Companies struggle to implement disaster recovery procedures

News by Dan Raywood

Disaster recovery testing and virtualisation are still major challenges for organisations.

Disaster recovery testing and virtualisation are still major challenges for organisations.

Symantec's fifth annual IT Disaster Recovery survey demonstrates the rising disaster recovery pressures on organisations caused by soaring downtime costs and more stringent IT service level requirements to mitigate risk to the business.

It showed that while disaster recovery budgets are higher in 2009, they are expected to remain flat over the next few years – requiring IT professionals to do more with the same or less.

It found that the average cost of executing/implementing disaster recovery plans for each downtime incident worldwide, according to respondents, is around £175,000. It also found that one in four test fails and 93 per cent of organisations have had to execute on their disaster recovery plans.

The survey also revealed that 35 per cent of respondents reported that they test their disaster recovery plans once per year or less frequently.

Respondents reported that it takes on average three hours to achieve skeleton operations after an outage, and four hours to be up and running. This is dramatically improved over the 2008 findings, where only three per cent of respondents reported that they could achieve skeleton operations within 12 hours, and 31 per cent believed they would have baseline operations within one day.

One positive statistic showed that 70 per cent of respondents reported that their disaster recovery committees involved the CIO, CTO or IT director, a significant increase from last year's research where 33 per cent of respondents indicated executive involvement.

Darren Thomson, senior technical director at Symantec, said: “While the research identifies a significant improvement in terms of executive involvement, shorter recovery times and increased successful testing, we are troubled that some areas – including the impact of testing on customers and the backing up of virtual environments – have not improved or have even worsened.

“Organisations shouldn't let disaster recovery testing cause significant downtime, especially when there are solutions available to address this.”

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