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Beware risks of ill-advised attempts at virtual data recovery

DIY data repairWhen Kroll Ontrack and VMWare conducted a survey on data recovery in virtualised environments, three misperceptions stood out. The first assumption was that data was safer in a virtualised world. The second was the dangers of a blinkered focus on the low-cost benefits of virtualisation.

The final revelation relates to data recovery procedures.  According to the survey, if virtualised data is lost, 36% of respondents would try to rebuild the data themselves instead of calling a data recovery company.  It’s assumed that the process is easy to perform by an IT department and requires no external support. Only 22% of respondents would seek help from a data recovery expert.

In reality, performing in-house data recoveries often makes the process much harder – and in some cases impossible- to retrieve anything. This is due to the fact that a lot of the complexity is hidden from the users and administrators when systems are virtualised, making it seem deceptively straightforward.

To avoid exacerbating the disaster, companies need to develop a comprehensive and well tested data recovery programme.  Without one, IT staff can be left rudderless during a crisis. Lacking the proper knowledge and skills, they plunge swiftly to resolve the problem and perform un-tested repairs based on faulty troubleshooting. This only makes the situation worse.

Moreover, if data isn’t recovered on the first attempt using in-house resources, many companies will resort to using a third party recovery specialist to get it back. However, this decision doesn’t always yield the desired outcome.  That’s because the initial data recovery attempt could have inadvertently caused too much additional damage to the data. By the time it’s sent to a recovery specialist, the loss might be irreversible.

With so many recovery companies to choose from- with many promising recovery miracles- it’s also difficult to select the right one in an emergency. If an ill equipped provider is chosen then any chance of salvaging any data could be thwarted by another botched recovery attempt.

Kroll Ontrack provides a free consultation following a data loss so customers are more informed about what recovery actions to take, whether in-house or externally.

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