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Common causes of data loss from virtual environments and 5 tips to protect your data

2013 survey of data loss from virtual environments

Based on a recent survey, Kroll Ontrack discovered that 40 per cent of organisations that store data in a virtual environment have experienced at least one data loss event in the past 12 months. The survey went on to reveal that only one third of companies were able to recover 100 per cent of their lost data. The other 67 per cent of respondents disclosed that they were not able to get all their data back from their most recent data loss event.

It won’t happen to me

The survey revealed that hard drive failure/RAID problems and deleted virtual disks/snapshots are at the origin of 72% of data loss from VMware® environments, which means that nobody is fully protected from data loss.

5 tips for data protection in virtual environments

If you start to experience problems with either your virtual environment, hypervisor or RAID storage array, then there are four key steps to remember in order to best preserve your data:

  1. Restore backups to a different volume
  2. If there is a RAID problem, test the backup by restoring it to a different location or image each drive from the RAID before attempting a rebuild
  3. Do not create any new files on the disk needing recovery or continue to run virtual machines until the important data is recovered
  4. Do not run FSCK or CHKDSK file system repair tools on a virtual disk unless a good backup has been validated by restoring it to a different volume
  5. Always have a disaster recovery plan in place to ensure that, should a moment of crisis arise, you are able to quickly respond while giving yourself the best chance possible of recovering your data & minimising downtime. That plan should include the contact details of a reliable data recovery provider – a key piece of information which is often overlooked when developing the plan.

The results of this survey were based on a Kroll Ontrack poll of 724 IT professionals in August 2013.