Australian companies don’t trust their backups
Who would have thought?
Australian businesses – particularly SMBs – have little confidence in their disaster recovery strategies, according to research detailed to the media yesterday by Acronis.
It is not clear if this is because most SMB backup and DR strategies are managed by the owner of the business, usually not a technologist, or because experience has taught businesses that backups can fail.
However, the 3,000-plus respondents to the international study, conducted for Acronis by the Ponemon Institute, clearly show a lack of confidence by Australians in DR, compared to their international counterparts.
The study found that just 22 per cent of Australian businesses were confident in their backup/DR strategies. The rest were concerned that they might suffer a failure in the event of a serious incident or event. Globally, the average was 50 per cent.
Considering the recent catastrophic floods in Queensland, northern NSW and Victoria, respondents’ concerns probably weren’t misplaced. It could be argued that Australian respondents were merely more realistic than those in countries such as Germany, who believe their systems and data would survive disaster.
According to ANZ country manager Simon Howe, it’s perhaps more concerning that 36 per cent of respondents have no offsite backup capability.
Asked by El Reg whether the lack of confidence also related to the abysmal quality of the backup software most SMBs are familiar with – for example, utilities that ship bundled with external drives, and have the build quality of an East German car – Howe agreed that “vendors should deliver more effective solutions”.
He said that “most SMB backup software started life as an enterprise product, which the vendor then stripped features out of.” ®
Most disaster recovery processes are NEVER tested
Lots of companies have DR, or business continuity strategies - some are required to have them, by law. The problem is that what happens according to the theoretical, ideal, document - written in the cool, considered environment of an office usually bears little or no resemblance to the reality of trying to implement a recovery programme after an actual disaster. Of whom none will have ever experienced a real-world IT disaster.
So while your planners might have considered how to recover to the "B" site in the case that your production environment is subject to a fire, or has suffered a crippling power outage, or was flooded or ,... It probably hasn't considered what to do if all your sys-admins go down with food poisoning after a dodgy meal in the staff canteen - or even the 'flu.
Even with the common-or-garden disasters, it's inevitable that things won't go according to the book. There will be some changes that didn't get incorporated, or some incompatibilities that were missed out. However, the cost of testing a full-blown DR and the risk that you can't get the B site up (or revert back to A, afterwards - the forgotten final phase) and the sheer upheaval that it all causes means that most MDs are quite happy to remain ignorant of the true state of their emergency procedures. After all, if the worst does happen they can always get another job.
Not an isolated case
Prostate cancer researchers don't trust backups either!
Austrailia doesn't trust backups
I wouldn't trust any backups made by PC's (or any small computer) as they do not have designed into them data integrity. Data integriy is the most important part of backs and PC's cannot offer it.