1 Small and Mid-Sized Organizations Gain Disaster Recovery Advantages December, 2010 Dick Csaplar ~ Underwritten, in Part, by ~
2 Page 2 Executive Summary In October of 2010 Aberdeen surveyed over 100 organizations with formal Disaster Recovery (DR) programs to learn whether they used public Cloud storage and if so, what benefits were realized in their DR performance. Aberdeen discovered that organizations that had moved at least part of their data storage to the Cloud recovered from downtime events almost four-times faster than those with no formal Cloud storage program. In addition, users of Cloud storage met their Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) more often than those storing their data in-house, and saw larger year-over-year improvements in the time needed to recover from disaster or downtime. This report outlines these findings and provides a roadmap for how organizations can leverage public Cloud storage to improve their ability to hit their RTOs and increase their overall DR performance. Research Benchmark Aberdeen s Research Benchmarks provide an in-depth and comprehensive look into process, procedure, methodologies, and technologies with best practice identification and actionable recommendations Best-in-Class Performance Aberdeen used the following three key performance criteria to distinguish Best-in-Class companies: Percentage of organizations meeting their RTO goals Average length of each downtime event Percentage decline in system downtime over the last 12 months Competitive Maturity Assessment Survey results show that the firms enjoying Best-in-Class performance shared several common characteristics, including: 53% classify data and store it based on business importance 40% employ server imaging to the Cloud 36% have a formal data governance policy 33% have an executive champion goaled to reduce downtime Required Actions Companies wishing to achieve Best-in-Class DR performance should use public Cloud storage to ensure a secondary copy of their business critical data is always available. This allows them to quickly recover from downtime events. Other specific recommendations found in Chapter Three of this report include naming a senior manager as responsible for the DR program, regularly updating the DR plan to account for changes to the infrastructure, and utilizing image-based back-up to the Cloud. As reported by survey respondents, it is only a matter of time before IT failure will occur - what keeps it from being a business interruption is good planning and prior testing. If an event does cause system downtime, using Cloud storage makes a critical difference in faster recovery. This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc.
3 Page 3 Table of Contents Executive Summary...2 Best-in-Class Performance...2 Competitive Maturity Assessment...2 Required Actions...2 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class...5 Business Context...5 The Maturity Class Framework...6 The Best-in-Class PACE Model...7 Best-in-Class Strategies...7 Benefits of Cloud-based Storage...8 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success...12 Competitive Assessment...12 Capabilities and Enablers...14 Chapter Three: Required Actions...19 Laggard Steps to Success...19 Industry Average Steps to Success...19 Best-in-Class Steps to Success...20 Appendix A: Research Methodology...22 Appendix B: Related Aberdeen Research...24 Featured Underwriters...25 Figures Figure 1: Business Drivers behind SMB Cloud Storage Initiatives...6 Figure 2: Top Strategic Actions for to Reduce Recovery Time...7 Figure 3: Best-in-Class Process Capabilities...14 Figure 4: Best-in-Class Organizational Capabilities...15 Figure 5: Best-in-Class Knowledge Management Practices...16 Figure 6: Best-in-Class Technology Enablers...16 Figure 7: Best-in-Class Performance Measurement...18 Tables Table 1: Top Performers Earn Best-in-Class Status...6 Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework...7 Table 3: Use of Cloud-based Storage...8 Table 4: Cloud Usage by Size of Enterprise...8 Table 5: Recovery Times Cloud vs. No Cloud...9 Table 6: Meeting RTO Objectives Cloud vs. No Cloud...10 Table 7: Improvement in DR Performance...10 Table 8: The Competitive Framework...13 Table 9: Architecture of Companies Storage Infrastructure...20 Table 10: The PACE Framework Key...23 Table 11: The Competitive Framework Key...23
4 Page 4 Table 12: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework...23
5 Page 5 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class Business Context Computer systems supporting business processes such as order fulfillment, finances, and customer relationships are critical to the performance of the organization. Automation has advanced to the extent that the loss of a single server or network device can bring large segments of an enterprise to a complete stop. Even the loss of internal, traditionally less important systems such as , web access, and desktop applications can result in the loss of employee productivity and lead to lower employee job satisfaction, missed sales opportunities and lost customers. These threats to the IT infrastructure range from the minor (hard disk failures, loss of a server power supply, accidental data deletion) to the catastrophic (major blackout, hacker or terrorist attack, or natural disaster), and as Murphy s Law points out, it is only a matter of time before one of these impacts an organization. Fast Facts Only 7% of companies describe their datacenter as having 100% uptime The average cost of one hour of downtime was reported to be $131,000 Business Drivers to Cloud Adoption IT Disaster Recovery (DR) specialists have long understood the advantages of protecting data by copying it and moving it to a remote location, thus protecting against geographically localized disruptions or disaster. However, small and mid-sized organizations in the past have not often had the luxury of owning secondary sites. Cloud data storage has changed that, as the low cost and increased convenience of this service has enabled these organizations to utilize the Cloud not only as their primary storage for dayto-day operations, but also as their data backup site and a key component of their DR plan. In Aberdeen s recent survey we found that companies, those small and mid-sized organizations that have adopted Cloud data storage reported significantly faster recovery times from DR events than those that do not use the Cloud. During October of 2010 Aberdeen surveyed over 100 end-user organizations on the subject of disaster recovery and their use of Cloud storage. Respondents reported that the need for a Disaster Recovery (DR) or backup solution was the number one driver for utilizing Cloud-based storage. It is interesting to note that three of the top four pressures are operational as opposed to financial. We see in these responses that small and mid-sized organizations are struggling to deal with the exponentially rising volume of data and the increasingly complex infrastructure required to manage it all the while balancing these demands against very real economic concerns and often decreasing financial support.
6 Page 6 Figure 1: Business Drivers behind SMB Cloud Storage Initiatives 75% 66% All Respondents 50% 25% 55% 46% 38% 0% Need for Disaster Recovery or backup solution Manage escalating IT infrastructure costs Need to support additional users or services Percentage of Respondents n = 112 Manage escalating IT infrastructure complexity The Maturity Class Framework Aberdeen used three key performance criteria to distinguish the Best-in- Class from Industry Average and Laggard organizations: Meeting their RTOs The ability to quickly recover from a disruption event Percentage decline in system downtime over the last 12 months Table 1: Top Performers Earn Best-in-Class Status Definition of Maturity Class Best-in-Class: Top 20% of aggregate performance scorers Industry Average: Middle 50% of aggregate performance scorers Laggard: Bottom 30% of aggregate performance scorers Mean Class Performance 100% of organizations met their RTO goals Average length of each downtime event was 6 minutes Over the last 12 months system downtime has declined 10% 86% of organizations met their RTO goals Average length of each downtime event was 2 hours Over the last 12 months system downtime has declined 9% 71% of organizations met their RTO goals Average length of each downtime event was 20 hours Over the last 12 months system downtime has increased
7 Page 7 The Best-in-Class PACE Model Defining and deploying a successful DR plan utilizing Cloud-based storage requires a combination of strategic actions, organizational capabilities, and enabling technologies. Table 2 summarizes the characteristics of those companies. Additional information about the Best-in-Class PACE Framework can be found in Appendix A. Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework Pressures Actions Capabilities Enablers Too long to recover from IT failure Outsource secondary/archive storage to the Cloud Develop corporate focus on reducing recovery times Outsource primary storage to the Cloud Best-in-Class Strategies IT staff trained in the effectiveness of Cloud storage IT spending tracked against plan Disaster Recovery plan updated regularly Executive champion goaled to reduce downtime All reporting organizations are utilizing similar strategies when considering moving to public cloud storage. Figure 2: Top Strategic Actions for to Reduce Recovery Time Secure connection to the Cloud (55% Best-in-Class Adoption) Server failover to the Cloud (40% Bestin-Class adoption) Server imaging to the Cloud (40% Best-in- Class adoption) Continuous data replication to the Cloud (22% Best-in-Class adoption) Utilize multiple Cloud providers (10% Best-in-Class adoption) 60% 54% All Respondents 40% 38% 38% 36% 20% 0% Understand scope and complexity of Cloud requirements Forecast cost of implementing a solution Measure ROI for Cloud computing Develop / acquire expertise needed to implement a solution Percentage of Respondents n = 112
8 Page 8 With top business drivers for Cloud adoption being operational, it is no surprise that the most often cited strategies for implementing a Cloud storage initiative to assist in DR were found to be operational as well. Understandably companies need to learn about the Cloud and its capabilities as well as hire, train or contract with skilled employees that have experience with Cloud adoption. We know from previous surveys that the top challenge companies face when considering migrating some of their assets to the Cloud is how to get started. Many systems integrators have developed consulting practices designed to educate small and mid-sized enterprises on how best to connect their business processes to the Cloud. (For more on this topic please see Aberdeen Insights Strategy, at the end of this chapter.) Benefits of Cloud-based Storage There is a strong correlation between being Best-in-Class in DR performance and the use of public Cloud storage. Even though the Best-in- Class category only represents the top 20% of all survey respondents, almost half (46%) of Cloud-users were ranked among these top performers. Likewise, only a handful, (16%) of Cloud-users are represented in the Laggard category. Table 3: Use of Cloud-based Storage Best-in-Class Average Laggard Users of public Cloud storage 46% 38% 16% The heaviest users of Cloud-based storage are small (under $50M in yearly revenue) and medium sized organizations($50m $1B). Large organizations (above $1B) generally have multiple geographic sites to act as data backup locations, and therefore have less of a need for using Cloud storage for DR purposes. Table 4: Cloud Usage by Size of Enterprise Small Enterprise Medium Enterprise Large Enterprise Use public Cloud storage 38% 48% 26% Average Number of DR Events the Last 12 Months Average Length of Time per DR Event Average Longest DR Event the Previous 12 Months Hours 4.0 Hours 7.7 Hours 9.6 Hours 6.4 Hours 14.8 Hours
9 Page 9 The number of DR events tracks closely to the size of the organization. Larger organizations tend to have more data, more business processes, and more of their business processes computerized. They therefore will have more DR computer-generated events than companies with more manual or simpler processes. The average length of a downtime event and the average longest downtime event correlate very closely to the use of Cloud storage. Mid-sized enterprises have the highest use of Cloud storage and the shortest recovery times. Small enterprises follow with large companies requiring the longest times to recover. While large organizations have more complex IT architectures they also have more DR resources and assets than smaller organizations. Thus, the data shows a strong positive correlation between having a copy of data stored in the Cloud and swifter recovery from a DR event. Cloud vs. No Cloud Usage Aberdeen also compared DR performance between organizations that reported using Cloud-based storage and companies with no such storage initiative. Roughly 45% of survey respondents reported using Cloud storage and 55% did not. It is from these comparisons that we find the strongest correlation between use of Cloud storage and superior DR recovery performance. Table 5: Recovery Times Cloud vs. No Cloud Cloud Storage No Cloud Storage Number of DR Events per year Average Length of Downtime per Event 2.1 hours 8.0 hours The number of reported DR events was very similar between Cloud users and non-users, indicating that while the cloud architectures might offer better resiliency and fail safes for minor technical glitches, they can no more protect against widespread disaster and the machinations of fate than any other service. However, the time required to recover from such downtime events for Cloud users was almost four-times faster than for non-users. The eight hour recovery times for non-users suggests a heavy reliance on traditional forms of emergency tape backup, as this eight hour time frame is consistent with the amount of time required to recall an archived tape and recover the missing data from the streaming media. Cloud recovery times are similar to recovery times for organizations using disk-based devices, however timing is not the only issue in choosing between disk and Cloud. A removable disk solution has a substantial initial cost for hardware but handles large files faster than a network-based Cloud
10 Page 10 backup solution. Cloud backup can be the most cost effective solution but slower, particularly for Illustrator files, video, CAD, or other large media. Table 6: Meeting RTO Objectives Cloud vs. No Cloud Cloud Storage No Cloud Storage Recovery Time Objective (RTO) 12 Hours 13 Hours Average Longest Downtime Event in Previous 12 months 5.3 hours 13.7 hours Likewise, Aberdeen saw no appreciable difference in the RTOs that organizations set for themselves, regardless of the adoption of Cloud storage. Again, however, the Cloud users rose above their peers, as their faster average recovery times enabled them to easily meet those RTO benchmarks. Even more telling is that the non-adopters of Cloud storage reported that on average, their longest downtime event within the last 12 months exceeded their RTO objective, highlighting the difficulties traditional DR plans might have in dealing with more severe disruption events. Cloud storage is the trend but security is an issue with using third party capacity." ~ IT Manager, Global Telecommunications Services UK Table 7: Improvement in DR Performance Change in Number of Downtime Events over the Previous 12 Months Cloud Storage No Cloud Storage Decrease of 9% Decrease of 4.7% In addition to its customary function as a data storage repository, the Cloud can also be used as a failover site in the event of a DR event. While not entirely the focus of this report, we did ask companies whether they use server failover to the Cloud. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Cloud users reported doing server failover to the Cloud and 44% reported doing imagebased back-up to the Cloud. Users of Cloud storage report improving their overall DR performance almost twice as much as non-users. In our survey, one third of respondents report that they began a Cloud initiative within the past year. Assuming that their DR performance is consistent with the previously reported non-user metrics, their DR performance has improved greatly since moving to the Cloud. Aberdeen plans to monitor the trends of Cloud adoption closely and use over the upcoming months, to track the difficulties and successes among this large number of recent adopters.
11 Page 11 Aberdeen Insights Strategy We know from this, and previous surveys done by Aberdeen that one of the top challenges companies face when considering migrating to the Cloud is that they don t know how to get started. Their internal IT resources generally have no experience with integrating their computing systems into those located in the Cloud. The current infrastructure is working and there is a hesitation to fix something that is not broken. There is also concern that corporate data will be exposed and overall performance will be less than that provided by the internal assets. Aberdeen has noted that two types of vendors are strongly benefiting from this situation. These companies have found a way to meet the needs of SMB organizations seeking to take advantage of the Cloud. Aberdeen expects to see this trend remain steady as significant numbers of organizations are still evaluating Cloud adoption or are in the nascent stages of their initiative, and for companies that offer these services to see continued success: 1. Cloud integration services. Many systems integrators have developed consulting practices designed to educate small and mid-sized enterprises on how best to connect business processes to the Cloud. They offer multiple consulting or service engagements to get companies started in the Cloud. They also resell the storage capacity (and take a piece of the action) of large Cloud providers either under their own name or in the name of the provider. 2. Volume by the sip. Cloud storage providers that offer bitesized pieces of their capacity through a reseller channel with a strong presence in the SMB market are growing quickly. As noted in this report, small and mid-sized organizations are adopting the use of Cloud storage faster than large organizations. We see small initial individual SMB volume commitments, but they grow quickly as data volumes expand and companies see how easy it is to take advantage of the benefits of Cloud-based storage. In the next chapter, we will see what the top DR performers are doing to achieve these gains.
12 Page 12 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success Aberdeen asked a mid-sized organization why they have waited to deploy data in public Cloud storage. Case Study Aberdeen conducted a Cloud and disaster recovery survey in October of About 65% of the respondents currently do not utilize public Cloud storage. Of these, 12% will begin implementing this year, 33% are actively planning an implementation in the future and 55% have no plans to implement Cloud storage. While the focus of this report is on the benefits of utilizing Cloud storage, this case study focuses on a company that has not yet deployed and their reasons for waiting until now. What is driving you to begin implementing a Cloud outsourcing solution? We have three primary drivers causing us to move to the Cloud; the first is the need for a disaster recovery and backup solution, the second is to meet legal compliance requirements for our industry and third, and probably most importantly, to try and control the rising costs of storage, said the CEO of an IT consulting firm with about 50 employees. Why have you waited till now to begin this project? We have the following concerns about storing data in the Cloud. First is data security. We waited for integration of PKI, encryption, identity and access management and DLP technologies to raise our confidence level in this regard. Secondly, connectivity performance. The continued increase in bandwidth and the fall in prices are encouraging. However the first time data upload and data retrieval in the event of a disaster are still a concern due to the huge volume of data (> 100 GB) we have in our company, said the CEO. What have you done to get over these concerns? We appointed an executive to lead our Cloud program. He has researched the topic and spoken with companies that have already deployed a Cloud solution and it is his opinion that it is time to move. We feel we understand the scope and complexity, both positive and negative, and how the positives make the project worth the effort. We have staff trained and goaled on implementing a Cloud infrastructure and believe the financial benefits now make the project compelling, said the CEO. Fast Facts 6% of responding companies reported having more than eight hours of downtime per month Companies that use public storage report, on average, having 19% of their total data storage (or 500GB of data) in the Cloud Competitive Assessment Using Cloud-based storage as a DR tool is relatively new. But like all new tools, in order to be successful it needs to be incorporated into the overall corporate strategy. Having a DR plan, updating it regularly and testing it on a scheduled basis are critically important to DR performance, regardless of the use of Cloud storage. Without a full DR planning and testing program, Cloud storage will have no real impact on reducing the amount or length of downtime.
13 Page 13 Companies have recognized the threat to their operations and have almost universally implemented some form of DR plan. The program generally consists of a collection of procedures, IT assets, and recovery processes that can be deployed on very short notice. Aberdeen Group analyzed the aggregated metrics of surveyed companies to determine whether their performance ranked as Best-in-Class, Industry Average, or Laggard. In addition to having common performance levels, each class also shared characteristics in five key categories: (1) Process (the approaches they take to execute daily operations); (2) Organization (corporate focus and collaboration among stakeholders); (3) Knowledge management (contextualizing data and exposing it to key stakeholders); (4) Technology (the selection of the appropriate tools and the effective deployment of those tools); and (5) Performance management (the ability of the organization to measure its results to improve its business). These characteristics (identified in Table 8) serve as a guideline for best practices, and correlate directly with Best-in-Class performance across the key metrics. Table 8: The Competitive Framework Process Organization Knowledge Technology Performance Best-in-Class Average Laggards Incorporate Cloud metrics into business strategy 27% 18% 12% Monitor Cloud performance 20% 13% 0% Executive champion goaled to reduce downtime 33% 24% 19% IT staff trained in measuring effectiveness of Cloud 29% 11% 6% Classify data and store it based on business importance 53% 31% 26% Formal data governance policy 36% 16% 0% Server imaging to the Cloud 40% 27% 14% Percentage of data stored in the Cloud 33% 18% 9% Utilize multiple Cloud providers 10% 8% 0% IT spending tracked against budget 55% 41% 35% DR plan tested only once 0% 11% 13% "We are very pleased with our remote online data storage facilities and a sense of well being in the knowledge that we can restore files and lost data at the 'click of a mouse! We also now have 3 copies of our data, encrypted and stored securely. ~ General Manager, Mid-Sized Software Company, UK
14 Page 14 Capabilities and Enablers Aberdeen's analysis reveals the most important factors for reducing and shortening business interruptions. Process Cloud computing can bring many benefits to an organization. Faster recovery from downtime is the focus of this report; but, other Cloud benefits include lower storage costs, faster time to market for applications, and superior application performance. These are all based on the ability of the Cloud to perform as promised by the Cloud provider. In fact, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that spells out the level of performance to be supplied by the Cloud provider is highly recommended. Cloud solutions, like any other, should be regularly monitored for actual performance, and claims should be filed against the service provider when performance is less than promised. Once documented, Cloud benefits such as lower storage costs, faster application performance and quicker application time to market need to be incorporated into the business strategy of the organization. This ensures the advantages are understood and utilized by all departments in the enterprise. Figure 3: Best-in-Class Process Capabilities 30% 27% Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggards 20% 18% 20% 10% 12% 13% 0% Incorporate Cloud metrics in business strategy Percentage of Respondents n = 112 0% Monitor Cloud performance Organization There is a significant difference between Best-in-Class companies and all other companies in the use of an executive champion committed to reducing downtime. Thirty-three percent (33%) of Best-in-Class organizations use this capability compared to 22% of all others. An executive that is tasked with making a difference will ensure a consistent corporate approach to the DR process and attention to areas requiring work. For example, if an investment is required to address a continuing source of downtime, an investment in a removable disk backup system for example, a senior manager aware of the history of issues can quickly champion that purchase through the corporate approval process.
15 Page 15 Likewise, IT staff must be trained in measuring the effectiveness of Cloud storage. It is generally the job of IT to monitor Cloud performance and weigh it against the SLA guarantees. Cloud performance can mean speed, cost, reliability and vendor lock-in. There are several tools provided by vendors that track the RSS feeds of major cloud providers in order to monitor service updates and outages. Other tools compare vendors by assessing computation, storage, and network services offered by different Cloud providers, then estimate the performance and cost of an application if it's deployed on a particular provider. Figure 4: Best-in-Class Organizational Capabilities 40% Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggards 30% 33% 29% 20% 24% 19% 10% 0% Executive champion goaled to reduce downtime Percentage of Respondents n = % 6% IT staff trained in effectiveness of Cloud storage Knowledge Management Data governance is a discipline that defines a set of processes that ensures important data is formally managed over its lifecycle in accordance with corporate directions. Data governance ensures that data elements can be trusted and that people are accountable for low quality or lost data. Classifying data and storing it based on company importance has a strong correlation with top performance. As part of data governance, data and information classification refers to the policies and procedures by which stored data is categorized. Properly classified data can be accessed, updated, protected, recovered and managed more efficiently, and in accordance with corporate requirements. Different storage and archive methods should be used for different classes of data. You may choose high performance fibre channel drives to store your most immediate and critical data, but move that to less expensive, and less reliable SATA drives as the data ages. Data classification also defines what data can be destroyed, and when it should be destroyed so that multiple copies of the same information are not being stored, unnecessarily costing the company more money. Cloud providers can offer multiple forms of storage and backup alternatives.
16 Page 16 Figure 5: Best-in-Class Knowledge Management Practices 60% 53% Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggards 40% 20% 31% 26% 36% 0% Classify data and store based on business importance 16% 0% Formal data governance policy Percentage of Respondents n = 112 Technology Aberdeen has consistently found the use of server imaging, or image-based backup as a Best-in-Class practice for DR. Server imaging is used by 44% of Best-in-Class companies, a rate almost twice as high as all other organizations. Server imaging involves using a single image file to store all of a system's data, including the operating system, programs, software updates, patches, mission critical data files, configurations and settings. For more information on this technology and the advantages it brings to DR please see Bare it or Dare it: The Benefits of Image-based Recovery (June 2010). Overall, survey respondents reported having less than 20% of their total data in the Cloud. The Best-in-Class reported more extensive use of Cloud services, locating about one third of their total capacity at public Cloud providers. Aberdeen expects to see these numbers rise quickly as organizations become more comfortable with trusting their business-critical data in the hands of public Cloud providers. Figure 6: Best-in-Class Technology Enablers 45% 30% 40% Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggards 33% 27% 15% 0% 14% Server Imaging 18% 9% Percentage of data stored in the Cloud 10% Percentage of Respondents n = 112 8% 0% Utilize multiple Cloud providers
17 Page 17 Likewise, Aberdeen is beginning to see an emerging trend in Cloud storage: the simultaneous use of multiple cloud providers. Standards and common Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are emerging, allowing organizations to move data between different Cloud storage providers without having to make file or format changes. Cloud Storming or linking multiple Cloud providers allows users to load-balance, failover and/or easily shop for better Cloud offerings. Today just 10% of Best-in-Class Cloud storage users utilize multiple cloud providers (as compared to 0% of the Laggards) but we expect to see that practice grow quickly. Performance Management For IT professionals that have worked for large corporations, tracking IT spending against a budget is standard procedure. However, for small and mid-sized organizations IT spending can be done on an as-needed basis. If something is broken or a new server is needed and the money is there, it is purchased. SMB organizations need to have the same discipline about IT spending as larger organizations. Without a budget and a plan, IT spending can get quickly out of hand. Part of the annual budget process is prioritizing investments. Discussions take place across the organization on the value of each purchase to overall organizational performance. Without this vetting, DR investments may not be researched as appropriately as when purchasing is done in response to a crisis situation. Finally, regular testing of the DR process and tools ensure they are properly set up and ready for a potential business disruption. Only through regular testing can a company know how well they are protected from a negative IT event. Testing should include not just failover, but also rolling production back to the original equipment. Obviously companies that test their DR plan only once are not well positioned to respond to an unexpected downtime event. Seemingly inconsequential changes to the infrastructure such as adding a new server, moving an application to a faster platform, adding a new application or hiring a new IT employee can all result in previous plans failing to backup critical systems or data.
18 Page 18 Figure 7: Best-in-Class Performance Measurement 60% 55% Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggards 40% 41% 35% 20% 0% 13% 11% 0% IT spending tracked against budget DR plan tested only once Percentage of Respondents n = 112 Aberdeen Insights Technology Many Cloud vendors are offering data management solutions in addition to the plain vanilla data storage offering. Once data is stored in the Cloud there are technologies that can used to bring additional business benefits: Data mining. Data mining recognizes patterns in the static data and turns them into business intelligence. Data dredging and data fishing are similar processes that allow companies to identify and capitalize on internal business trends. What-if business analytics. Copies of stored data can be replicated and the secondary copies subjected to strong analysis through data manipulation. Using a secondary copy avoids possibly corrupting the original version, and compromising its use for DR. E-discovery. Companies involved in litigation are often required to produce copies of all internal and external communications about the topic in question. By storing their data in the Cloud in a searchable format, e-discovery can be accomplished in a less costly and legally defensible process. Archiving. Governments are mandating that data be stored for increasingly longer time periods. As the cost of Cloud storage continues to drop, data can be affordably archived on searchable disks, making it accessible for data analysis. The cost of these services offered by a Cloud provider is much smaller compared to the expense an organization would require to buy the physical storage to house the data, purchase the required analysis software and train IT staff in its proper use.
19 Page 19 Chapter Three: Required Actions Whether a company is trying to move its performance in DR from Laggard to Industry Average, or Industry Average to Best-in-Class, the following actions will help spur the necessary performance improvements: Laggard Steps to Success Utilize public Cloud-based storage. While this report has focused on the benefits gained from using public Cloud specifically for DR, the other financial benefits of utilizing storage in the Cloud can no longer be ignored. Laggard companies should begin at least an investigation to see how Cloud-based storage can be of benefit. For example, do a cost/benefit analysis that includes access to expertise, regular maintenance and testing, and infrastructure flexibility, in addition to the raw cost per terabyte of storage. Develop a formal data governance policy. Data is the life blood of a company. How data is stored, protected, replicated and archived needs to be defined and documented as completely as the financial processes of the organization. All stake-holding departments need to be represented on the data governance committee with regular reports made to senior management. Test your DR plan regularly. Fifty-four percent (54%) of Laggard companies report they do not regularly test their DR programs. A downtime event is not the moment to discover a forgotten application or critical server. Regular testing is the most important thing an organization can do to reduce the number and severity of a downtime event. Fast Facts 33% of respondents reported having no plans for utilizing Cloud storage anytime in the future 70% of companies that responded indicated that they backup their data on a daily basis Industry Average Steps to Success Task a senior executive with reducing downtime. Downtime events are a serious threat to any business. Just as senior management monitors finances, sales, and production, someone needs to be goaled on reducing the number of downtime events. This will provide continuous pressure for improvement and a reduction in the threat of business interruptions. Classify data and store it based on business importance. Not all data is created equal. If all data is treated as having the same importance, a company will spend more than what is required in storage and archive expenses. The decision of what data is critical and what has marginal value should guide choices of how to store it, what form that storage should take, and when the data is destroyed. Formally train the IT staff in measuring Cloud performance. Any plan or process is only as good as the people expected to execute it. Formal training is required to ensure "DR is an evolving process that will take several test iterations before an organization is confident it can recover applications in time required by the business." ~ Robert Reinckens, Partner, IT Consulting Firm, Danbury, CT
20 Page 20 everyone can meet those levels of expectation. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Industry Average organizations have no formal Cloud education program in place for their IT organization. The Cloud is a new tool in the IT arsenal and there must be formal training on how best to use it. IT personnel should understand how to utilize Cloud performance monitoring tools, particularly those that compare vendors by assessing computation, storage, and network services. Best-in-Class Steps to Success Make the DR plan a living document. Only 44% of surveyed organizations reported having a formal review and report after each DR event. Immediately after an event is the moment when the knowledge is most fresh and relevant to the organization. Develop a practice of always updating the DR plan with the latest lessons learned. It should also be reviewed and updated whenever there are changes to the IT infrastructure or data architecture, or when there are industry advancements that might have a positive impact on the cost or performance of the DR plan. Calculate the cost of downtime. Only 20% of companies reported that they calculate their hourly cost of downtime. This metric is important to scope the right level of investment and response to business interruptions. This figure sets the correct priority for dealing with downtime events. For example if a company reports that one hour of downtime results in the loss of less than $1,000 (as was reported by about 20% of our respondents), then investing in a $100,000 backup system does not make financial sense. Define a cross functional disaster recovery team. Only 32% of organizations indicated that they have a formal DR team. Knowing who is responsible for what is critical to getting back up quickly. If you have a formal team named, you can create training programs, have documented procedures and designate backup personnel for when key employees are unavailable. Aberdeen Insights Summary We asked survey respondents to describe the overall architecture of their storage infrastructure. Table 9: Architecture of Companies Storage Infrastructure All Small Enterprise Medium Enterprise Large Enterprise Public/External 26% 38% 16% 8% Hybrid 45% 38% 47% 69% Private/Internal 30% 24% 37% 23% continued
21 Page 21 Aberdeen Insights Summary Public Cloud is still in its early adoption stage. While overall only 26% of organizations reported having primarily a public Cloud storage architecture, the real indicator of the eventual widespread use of external Cloud as a storage destination is the high percentage of Hybrid adopters. Companies are testing the concept of public Cloud as an addition or extension to their existing in-house storage architecture. In the near future we expect to see more companies migrate from purely a private Cloud infrastructure to hybrid and then to more of a pure public Cloud deployment. That process is already most pronounced in small enterprises. Of the large enterprises that currently do not have a Cloud storage initiative, 56% plan to begin one this year or in the near future. This promises strong growth potential for vendors of Cloud storage capacity.
22 Page 22 Appendix A: Research Methodology In October 2010, Aberdeen examined the use, the experiences, and the intentions of more than 100 enterprises deploying a cloud DR strategy in a diverse set of industries. Aberdeen supplemented this online survey effort with interviews with select survey respondents, gathering additional information on DR strategies, experiences, and results. Responding enterprises included the following: Job title: The research sample included respondents with the following job titles: CEO / President (22%); EVP / SVP / VP (26%); Director (16%); Manager (18%); Consultant (12%); and Staff (6%). Department / function: The research sample included respondents from the following departments or functions: Information Technology (45%); Corporate Management (26%); Operations (8%); Product Dev/Eng (4%); Purchasing (3%); marketing (3%); and other (11%). Industry: The research sample included respondents from the following industries: IT Consulting Services (26%); Software (18%); Manufacturing (10%); Telecommunications (10%); Financial Services (7%); Government (4%); Utilities (4%); Medical (4%); Education (3%); Aerospace and Defense (3%); and others (11%). Geography: The majority of respondents (55%) were from North America. Remaining respondents were from the Asia-Pacific region (12%), South America (3%) and Europe/Middle East/Africa (30%). Company size: Nineteen percent (19%) of respondents were from large enterprises (annual revenues above US $1 billion); 29% were from midsize enterprises (annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion); and 52% of respondents were from small businesses (annual revenues of $50 million or less). Headcount: Thirty-four percent (34%) of respondents were from large enterprises (headcount greater than 1,000 employees); 19% were from midsize enterprises (headcount between 100 and 999 employees); and 47% of respondents were from small businesses (headcount between 1 and 99 employees). Study Focus Responding executives completed an online survey that included questions designed to determine the following: The uptime of their datacenters Their ability to meet the organization's uptime need The percentage of the overall IT budget spent on DR The estimated cost per hour of downtime The study aimed to identify best practices for disaster recovery and to provide a framework by which readers could assess their own DR capabilities.
23 Page 23 Table 10: The PACE Framework Key Overview Aberdeen applies a methodology to benchmark research that evaluates the business pressures, actions, capabilities, and enablers (PACE) that indicate corporate behavior in specific business processes. These terms are defined as follows: Pressures external forces that impact an organization s market position, competitiveness, or business operations (e.g., economic, political and regulatory, technology, changing customer preferences, competitive) Actions the strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures (e.g., align the corporate business model to leverage industry opportunities, such as product / service strategy, target markets, financial strategy, go-to-market, and sales strategy) Capabilities the business process competencies required to execute corporate strategy (e.g., skilled people, brand, market positioning, viable products / services, ecosystem partners, financing) Enablers the key functionality of technology solutions required to support the organization s enabling business practices (e.g., development platform, applications, network connectivity, user interface, training and support, partner interfaces, data cleansing, and management) Table 11: The Competitive Framework Key Overview The Aberdeen Competitive Framework defines enterprises as falling into one of the following three levels of practices and performance: Best-in-Class (20%) Practices that are the best currently being employed and are significantly superior to the Industry Average, and result in the top industry performance. Industry Average (50%) Practices that represent the average or norm, and result in average industry performance. Laggards (30%) Practices that are significantly behind the average of the industry, and result in below average performance. In the following categories: Process What is the scope of process standardization? What is the efficiency and effectiveness of this process? Organization How is your company currently organized to manage and optimize this particular process? Knowledge What visibility do you have into key data and intelligence required to manage this process? Technology What level of automation have you used to support this process? How is this automation integrated and aligned? Performance What do you measure? How frequently? What s your actual performance? Table 12: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework PACE and the Competitive Framework How They Interact Aberdeen research indicates that companies that identify the most influential pressures and take the most transformational and effective actions are most likely to achieve superior performance. The level of competitive performance that a company achieves is strongly determined by the PACE choices that they make and how well they execute those decisions.
24 Page 24 Appendix B: Related Aberdeen Research Related Aberdeen research that forms a companion or reference to this report includes: Disaster Avoidance and Disaster Recovery; Making your Datacenter Disaster Resilient; May 2010 Datacenter Downtime: How Much does it Cost; June 2010 Bare it or Dare it: The Benefits of Image-based Recovery; June 2010 Off-site Storage and Computing: Keys to Successful Disaster Recovery; September 2010 Information on these and any other Aberdeen publications can be found at Author: Dick Csaplar, Senior Research Analyst, Virtualization and Storage Since 1988, Aberdeen's research has been helping corporations worldwide become Best-in-Class. Having benchmarked the performance of more than 644,000 companies, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to provide organizations with the facts that matter the facts that enable companies to get ahead and drive results. That's why our research is relied on by more than 2.2 million readers in over 40 countries, 90% of the Fortune 1,000, and 93% of the Technology 500. As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte- Hanks (Information Opportunity Insight Engagement Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) , or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) or go to This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc. (110810a)
25 Page 25 Featured Underwriters This research report was made possible, in part, with the financial support of our underwriters. These individuals and organizations share Aberdeen s vision of bringing fact based research to corporations worldwide at little or no cost. Underwriters have no editorial or research rights, and the facts and analysis of this report remain an exclusive production and product of Aberdeen Group. Solution providers recognized as underwriters were solicited after the fact and had no substantive influence on the direction of this report. Their sponsorship has made it possible for Aberdeen Group to make these findings available to readers at no charge. Cirtas Systems has developed the world's only enterprise-grade, cloud powered primary storage system, the Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller. Bluejet is a 2U data center appliance that appears to servers and applications like a local storage array, yet leverages the power of cloud storage services such as Amazon S3, AT&T, and Iron Mountain to provide limitless, on-demand capacity while solving complex backup and disaster recovery challenges. Bluejet integrates advanced WAN optimization, deduplication, and encryption technology to make using the cloud fast, costeffective, and secure. For additional information on Cirtas Systems: Cirtas Systems 75 E. Santa Clara Street, Suite 950 San Jose, CA Telephone:
26 Page 26 i365 is bringing storage solutions into the cloud-connected future via an integrated suite of EVault on-premise, cloud, and hybrid storage solutions. All are built on a single technology platform and all come with connectivity to the EVault cloud. Most important, all protect critical data, applications, and systems and help ensure business continuity especially across multiplatform, multi-site IT environments. With EVault, small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) and remote/branch offices get the kind of professionalgrade data protection once enjoyed by only the very largest companies. For additional information on i365: i Jay Street, Suite 110 Santa Clara, CA Telephone:
27 Page 27 Vision Solutions, Inc. is the world s leading provider of information availability software and services for Windows, Linux, IBM Power Systems and Cloud Computing markets. Vision s trusted Double-Take, MIMIX and itera high availability and disaster recovery brands support business continuity, satisfy compliance requirements and increase productivity. Affordable and easy-to-use, Vision products are backed by certified customer support centers and a global partner network that includes IBM, HP, Microsoft, VMware and Dell. For additional information on Vision Solutions: Vision Solutions Carlene Clinton Telephone:
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