Thursday, December 1, 2016

Survey: More than 50% of companies run multiple backup solutions

Maintaining multiple legacy backup solutions significantly increases tape management costs and exposes the business to unnecessary risk

Minneapolis, MN – December 1, 2016. A recent survey of global IT administrators confirms that organizations continue to be challenged with adequately managing legacy tape archives – posing risk and high cost to their business.

Conducted by Ontrack, a leading provider of data recovery and ediscovery solutions, this second edition survey of 819 IT administrators sheds light on the processes and challenges associated with effective tape management and archiving. Nearly half of the companies surveyed (49 percent) confirmed they run two or three different backup solutions, with an additional seven percent running four or more parallel solutions. Nearly one third (27 percent) of all participating companies reported they do not have clear insight into what specific information is stored on their legacy tapes.

Tom McCaffrey, product director at Ontrack notes, “It is imperative that enterprises know what data is on their legacy tapes and be able to react quickly, for example, when responding to investigations involving custodian data, regulatory requests from a government agency or as part of an ediscovery matter. Running multiple backup solutions not only raises the level of difficulty of knowing where their data resides and being able to respond accordingly, but also significantly increases the cost for managing legacy tape data.”

Maintaining legacy tape backup solutions can be a costly venture, due to both the amount of data kept and the number of systems maintained by organizations to ensure they can respond to requests for data. Survey participants disclosed that their costs for keeping legacy data accessible, depending on company size, ranges from $10,000 to over $1 million annually. According to survey respondents, the top drivers of cost are:

a. Storage (70%)
b. Maintenance (69%)
c. Staff (52%)
d. Security (42%)
e. Licenses (38%)

Cost can also be driven up by activity related to restoring data from legacy systems. Respondents from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, for example, reported that the average number of restore requests is significantly higher compared to respondents in Germany, France, Poland and Italy, likely due to their common law heritage, which requires they surrender relevant data in legal disputes, which can result in increased restores from legacy tapes and may contribute to higher costs.

In addition, 56 percent of respondents report using different versions of their backup solutions (e.g., different versions of the same backup format at each company site). Up to 40 percent of companies intend to terminate their maintenance contracts due to cost.

“We are not surprised by these findings,” says Todd Johnson, vice president, data and storage technologies at Ontrack. “Companies, especially in regulated industries, are often required to store data for a defined period of time. Because enterprises do not know what data will be needed in the event of litigation or an investigation, they elect to keep their legacy backup systems accessible to ensure they can access data in the future.”

As an alternative to maintaining multiple systems and to reduce costs associated with legacy data management, Ontrack developed a solution that catalogues tape data into a searchable, easy-to-use online inventory. When data from legacy tapes is required, the catalogued inventory can be searched without the need to fire up old backup solutions and requests can be sent to Ontrack to restore the data. Johnson adds, “With this new solution, the most significant cost drivers – storage, maintenance, staff and licenses – can be reduced and the legacy systems terminated without risking the ability to access data in a the event of a disclosure requirement for legal reasons.”

The study was conducted in late November 2016 in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and Poland and included responses from 819 IT specialists from corporate and IT service providers.

For more information on Ontrack tape services.

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Lynn Walker
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(952) 949-4122