Survey says cloud DR is viable, but security concerns linger

Todd Erickson

Nearly half IT administrators said they consider cloud disaster recovery (DR) services a viable option for disaster recovery, although security remains the chief concern,

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according to a survey of 1,473 small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) and enterprise IT professionals in the United States.

The survey conducted by high-availability software vendor Neverfail Ltd. found that 44% respondents said they'd consider the cloud DR a viable option, while 30% said it is not, and 26% were unsure. More than one-third (34%) of those who don't consider it an option said lack of confidence in cloud security was the major concern.

Natural disasters receive a great deal of media attention and prompt people to pay attention to DR, but cause only a small number of IT outages. Hardware and software outages (43%) were said to be the main cause of service outages, followed by power and data center outages (35%), natural disasters (8%), and human error (6%).

Only 5% of the respondents said they had never experienced an outage, and 23% had outages for a full business day. Thirty two percent said they had one downtime incident in the past year, while 21% indicated they have had two incidents, 16% said three or more incidents, and 31% had no incidents.

Less than half (47%) of the admins said they were notified immediately when downtime hit. Another 36% received notification when a user tried to access an unresponsive application, and 17% were unaware when an outage occurred.

The administrators found it hard to pin down the cost of downtime. Most of the respondents (54%) didn't know their organizations' hourly cost of downtime. Of those who did know the hourly cost, 16% said it was greater than $10,000 per hour and 7% said downtime cost between $7,001 and $10,000 per hour.

The cloud DR survey also made clear that organizations need to take virtual machines (VMs) into account in their DR plan -- 72% said they run mission-critical applications on VMs.

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