Data defenders: A blog on data protection issues

June 21, 2011  10:01 AM

SearchDataBackup: New cloud storage offerings from HP and IBM out this week

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

SearchDataBackup’s Dave Raffo has the latest on new public cloud storage offerings from IBM and HP this week that are aimed for the data protection needs of large organizations.

The landscape for cloud backup providers is shifting constantly – last month, Iron Mountain sold off its cloud business, while CA and Microsoft teamed up to provide their own hybrid cloud service.

June 8, 2011  1:12 PM

Disaster recovery storage: Lots of talk about backup, but is there enough about recovery?

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

SearchDisasterRecovery recently spoke with Pierre Dorion about the basics of disaster recovery storage, particularly about issues confronting small and medium-size businesses, such as the costs of running your own DR versus hiring a third party to do it for you.

Dorion raises an interesting question–we talk a lot about backup, but maybe not as much about getting that data back quickly:

Data replication is meant to take your data elsewhere, take your data offsite. We tend to focus too much about taking the data out of here, but we lose focus on what happens when that data needs to be used in event of a disaster.

If the connectivity is poor, or restricted enough to need something like WAN optimization to get our data across the wire, what happens when we try to get it back if we had a major site disaster? It becomes an issue–you need to think about that: it’s not all about backing up the data, it’s about being able to use it following a disaster. That’s the ultimate goal here.

Anyone out there share those concerns about accessibility of data in the cloud or at a disaster recovery site?

Check out the transcript or listen to our podcast and come back to tell us what you think.

June 1, 2011  2:58 PM

Kirvan: why your DR plan should include media response plan

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

We check in with Paul Kirvan, a board member with the Business Continuity Institute’s U.S. chapter, about the need for a media response plan when preparing a disaster recovery policy.

While some may not consider damage control-type PR to be a concern when you’re dealing with disaster recovery, Kirvan argues that a good media response plan can make the difference with public perception when trouble strikes:

Organizations of almost any size, regardless of private or public sector, must be aware of the possibility of dealing with the media. A well-organized media response plan—coordinated with other corporate emergency response activities—can make a huge difference in how the organization is perceived by the media, and therefore the public, stakeholders, investors and other interested parties.

Kirvan notes that a mishandled incident on the part of a company can be remembered, citing the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 and the BP oil spill from last year.

May 26, 2011  2:35 PM

Surveys: U.S. disaster recovery planning still spotty, cloud storage still faces obstacles

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

A pair of recent surveys from storage vendors paints a mixed bag for SMB disaster recovery planning and a cautious embrace of cloud storage.

First, the cloud: According to a Drobo survey (free with login) of over 250 business stakeholders and IT professionals conducted in May, SMBs are planning to adopt hybrid cloud storage. 32 percent of respondents indicated that 50 percent of their company’s storage would be onsite and 50 percent in the cloud within the next 3 years. Ninety-nine percent of respondents said they will not move 100 percent of their storage to the cloud within the next 3 years. The study reportedly included 250 business and IT professionals.

Drobo makes data storage hardware for small- and medium-size businesses.

And over at CA Technologies, a recently-released study shows that many small and medium sized organizations may haven’t prepared for the worst.

According to survey results, small North American companies (with between 50 to 499 workers) lost an average of about 440 productive man hours per year due to IT downtime. That resulted in an average annual revenue loss of about $55,112.

Meanwhile, medium-sized businesses (with 500 to 999 workers) lost an average of about 283 productive man hours per year, and an average revenue loss of 90,787.

Coleman Parkes Research, Ltd., conducted the survey independently for CA in the last quarter of 2010. The study also reported that small businesses were more likely than larger organizations to have a disaster recovery plan in place: 50 percent of small businesses had DR plans. That’s compared to 39 percent of medium-sized businesses, and 42 percent of large businesses.)

Another 23 percent of small businesses, and 46 percent of medium-sized businesses, are developing DR plans, according to the report. About 6 percent of small businesses and 3 percent medium-size businesses said they had no DR plans in place.

Coleman Parkes interviewed CIOs, IT directors and senior managers of a total of 2,000 small, medium and large companies in Europe and North America.

We’re focusing here on the results from the 200 North American companies included in the study, which included organizations from the financial, retail and manufacturing industries, as well as the public sector.

May 24, 2011  8:56 AM

Global dedupe across remote sites on Sepaton’s roadmap

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

While Sepaton Inc. has just expanded its line of data duplication disk backup systems this week, global dedupe isn’t included – at least, not yet.

As SearchDataBackup Senior News Writer Sonia Lelii reported on Monday, Sepaton’s S2100-DS3 lineup is designed to replace tape backups in use at remote sites and replicate data to backup devices.

But while Sepaton’s S2100-DS3 does not dedupe across remote sites, the company is looking to offer global deduplication across remote sites in the future for the DS3, according to Florin Dejeu, director of product management.

Sepaton currently supports global deduplication in its S2100-ES2 enterprise systems.

May 20, 2011  11:17 AM

Podcast: Dealing with disaster *before* the disaster

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

Paul Kirvan, a frequent TechTarget contributor and board member of the Business Continuity Institute’s U.S.A. chapter, talked with us about some pointers for companies to consider in disaster planning.

Short, short version – don’t wait until disaster strikes before you do something about it.

But Paul is much more eloquent than that, and has some ideas about how to bring business continuity from concept and into reality. Listen to our podcast or read the transcript.

Business Continuity podcast with Paul Kirvan

May 17, 2011  10:02 AM

Upcoming podcast: why you need business continuity and disaster recovery planning

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

We’ll be recording a podcast later today with Paul Kirvan, of Paul Kirvan Associates and a member of the board of the Business Continuity Institute’s USA chapter, to talk about the importance of business continuity and disaster recovery planning in case of fire, flood, tornado or perhaps Stay Puft Marshmallow Man attack.

How critical is planning ahead for the worst? Check out Paul’s recent article over at that talks about why you need a plan, and tips for getting one started.

May 10, 2011  2:08 PM

Is going ‘cold’ the way to go with disaster recovery? Find out here!

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

In our latest podcast, Site Editor Andrew Burton talks about the realities of cold site disaster recovery with Harvey Betan, associate principal at Risk Masters Inc.

Read the transcript here, or download the audio from our interview into your iPod (or non-Apple-branded music player) and let us edify you during the drive home.

March 28, 2011  11:43 AM

Podcast: Backup encryption pros and cons

Mkellett Megan Kellett Profile: Mkellett

In order to secure your data, you must use a backup encryption solution. There are several data encryption products you can choose from, including disk or tape encryption, or hardware and software backup encryption. So how do you choose the right one for your environment? And how do you overcome challenges that arise with key management?

I sat down with Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at The Storage IO Group, to talk about backup encryption. Learn about the popular types of data encryption, how to choose between hardware and software backup encryption and the most common challenges users encounter with encryption.

Listen to our conversation in the MP3 below. And for more information, read the transcript for the podcast on backup encryption pros and cons.


March 22, 2011  1:40 PM

Podcast: SMB email archiving tips

Mkellett Megan Kellett Profile: Mkellett

Is email archiving important? As emails grow and grow, companies, including SMBs are trying to determine whether or not it’s important to have an email archive service for their environment. Email archives are good to have for e-discovery and litigation purposes, but it’s often difficult to decide what emails to archive. And how do you choose which email archiving service is right for your company?

I sat down with Brian Babineau, vice president of research and analyst services at the Enterprise Strategy Group, to discuss email archiving for SMBs. He talked to me about the challenges SMBs encounter with email archiving, how to choose between in-house and outsourced email archiving services and affordable email archive products that are on the SMB market right now.

Listen to our conversation in the MP3 below. And for more information, read the transcript for the podcast on email archiving for SMBs.


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