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Cloud Storage Often Results in Data Loss

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As more businesses move their operations to the cloud and other virtual environments, a new survey reveals some of the pitfalls associated with storing critical information there.

Conducted by Kroll Ontrack, a provider of information management, data recovery and legal technologies products and services, the survey revealed that 65 percent of businesses and other organizations have frequently lost data from a virtual environment, a number that is up by 140 percent from just last year.

Specifically, 53 percent of those surveyed have experienced five incidents of virtual data loss in the past year alone, with 12 percent reporting even more than that.

According to the survey, common causes of data loss from virtualized environments include file system corruption, deleted virtual machines, internal virtual disk corruption, RAID and other storage and server hardware failures, as well as deleted or corrupt files contained within virtualized storage systems.

Jeff Pederson, manager of data recovery operations for Kroll Ontrack, said virtual data loss can be catastrophic for an organization.

"Successful organizations realize that any disruption within the virtual infrastructure, regardless of how small, will have an amplified impact on the business as a whole," Pederson said in a prepared release.

Since virtualization contracts often claim no liability for data corruption, deletion, destruction or loss, Pederson said it is critical for IT leaders and business continuity planners to include a data recovery service provider in their contingency plans.

In addition to using onsite virtual data centers, businesses and other organizations are increasingly turning to third-party cloud providers as a means of data storage.

Despite having enough assurance to shift their operations to cloud-based services, 55 percent of those surveyed said they lacked confidence in a cloud provider’s ability to properly handle data loss incidents. In addition, only 39 percent of respondents said their cloud provider educated their organization on how they would approach a data disaster or data recovery situation from the cloud.

The research was based on a survey of more than 360 IT professionals, the majority of which considered themselves experts in virtualization.


Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.