drr
Master Data Management

Bob Roudebush (US) - Disaster Across the Pond

Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) planning have become  central parts of business IT, as round-the-clock access to business data becomes ever-more critical for business success. It is often assumed that DR planning would be a priority for businesses both large and small regardless of geographic location. Interestingly, a recent survey carried out by Neverfail saw some striking differences between the US and UK results when considering virtualization deployments, downtime experiences and prioritizing continuity as part of infrastructure planning.


Of the 2500 IT managers and C-level executives surveyed from both the US and the UK, one key finding showed that US-based respondents consider DR as being integral to any business continuity plan, with 82.6% of US IT workers having ensured this provision. In the UK, on the other hand, only 56.6% of respondents had prioritized IT DR when continuity planning. When considering reasons behind this difference in approach, the survey highlighted the likelihood of IT downtime as one potential driver. For example, our survey showed that 109 US respondents had experienced an IT outage due to a natural disaster, compared with only 39 of those surveyed in the UK. This kind of geographical and environmental statistic is indicative of the fact that businesses which consider IT downtime to be more probable are more likely to plan for contingencies. In areas of the US where hurricane and tornado seasons are an annual occurrence for example, the attitude towards continuity planning is inevitably likely to differ from UK based organizations (which are less likely to be concerned with such events).


While environmental factors can play a part in attitudes to DR planning, the survey also showed that past experiences of downtime could also impact on plans that are in place. For example, in the US, where the majority of companies surveyed did have an operating IT BC plan, only 4.57% of respondents had never experienced an IT outage. In the UK, where DR preparedness was markedly less, 14.8% of respondents had never experienced downtime - nearly three times more than the US result. Similarly 45.9% of UK respondents did not consider DR to be a core business requirement, compared with just 22.41% US respondents who shared this belief. The results would seem to correlate with the assertion that BC planning quickly becomes a priority for organizations that have experienced downtime, and to avoid repeat occurrences steps are taken to enhance infrastructure protection.

Another interesting point to note from this research is the perceived cost of an IT outage. In the US, only 9.51% of respondents thought that an outage would cost less than $1000 (£616) per hour, whereas 19.3% of UK respondents believed the hourly cost of downtime would be under £1000. As respondents in the US consider the hourly cost of downtime to be higher than respondents in the UK, a greater emphasis on DR provisioning is again unsurprising. The deployment uptake in virtualized environments may be a further reason for differing attitudes towards DR planning and preparedness. 71% of respondents from the US claimed to run mission critical applications on virtual machines today, whereas only 58% of those surveyed in the UK made this claim. As part of virtualization projects, it is likely that businesses will have tested and made updates to their DR and BC capabilities to protect updated infrastructures, and with that in mind, we may see DR planning rise in the UK as virtualization adoption continues to increase.


Although we do see some key differences in approaches to DR and BC planning across countries, adoption trends will inevitably vary based on business needs, and also individual architectures. It will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on the adoption of virtualization in the UK over the next year to see whether momentum will impact DR planning in any way, so stay tuned for next year's survey where we will look back and reflect on this very point!

By Bob Roudebush, VP Marketing, Neverfail

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