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Cloud Viable Disaster Recovery Option, But Quantifying Downtime Costs Elusive

When it comes to the cloud, 44 percent of respondents to a new survey believe the cloud is a viable option for disaster recovery; 26 percent aren’t sure, and 30 percent don’t -- of which one-third (34 percent) say it’s because they aren’t confident about cloud security.

Those are just some of the findings released by the survey's sponsor, Neverfail, which asked 1,473 U.S. IT professionals in enterprises of all sizes about their disaster recovery "plans and practices."

Backup and recovery is clearly an important focus of IT, given that nearly a quarter (23 percent) reported having an IT outage that lasted more than one business day, and only five percent said they never experienced an outage (talk about lucky!). Most outages were caused by hardware or software problems (according to 43 percent of respondents), followed by power or data center outages (35 percent), natural disasters (8 percent), and human error (6 percent).

Despite these outages, most respondents can’t put a cost to the event. Over half (54 percent) said they don’t know the cost per hour of downtime. Of those who can quantify the cost, 16 percent said it was more than $10,000, 7 percent put the figure at between $5,001 and $10,000 per hour; the remainder said it was under $5,000. (These estimates strike me as unrealistically low.)  There are other costs – and consequences – of downtime, including reduced employee productivity (30 percent), revenue loss (26 percent), damage to corporate reputation (23 percent), and failure to meet a service-level agreement (19 percent).

Just over three-fourths (76 percent) of respondents could identify their “most critical” applications.  In the top four positions: Microsoft Exchange (30 percent), Microsoft SQL (26 percent), Microsoft Sharepoint (13 percent), and Blackberry Enterprise Server (11 percent). For these critical apps, 44 percent said over 1,000 people depended on their mission-critical application each day; in fact, 69 percent say they need to provide access to the top application without interruption, 24 hours every day.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 03/22/2011

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