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Ontrack survey shows: Number of backup refusers remains high!

A worldwide survey of just under 350 Ontrack data recovery customers at this year’s World Backup Day revealed that more than a third of the respondents did not back up at all when they lost their data. Thus, the number of backup refusers remains at a high level, although in the last five years their share has fallen slightly. In 2013, the proportion of respondents who did not have a backup solution at the time they lost their data was 37 percent, 39 percent in 2015 and 33 percent last year. The backup deniers stated that the main reason was that they had no time to search for the right backup solution and then administer it.

The results are in

As a result, the number of refusal figures collected by Ontrack this year is only slightly higher than those published by the organizers of World Backup Day 2018 on its website: For them, the proportion of non-backup users is 30%. For this reason, the first World Backup Day was celebrated seven years ago – 2011. Its purpose is to help users be reminded that backups are important and that they make backups at least once a year on a tight day each year. However: One single backup during the year might be enough for a private user, but definitely not for a company!

This is about making business-critical data available again within a very short time after a system failure and/or a data loss. If this takes too long, it can sometimes lead to such serious problems that the company is threatened in its existence. It is clear that the shorter the time intervals between the current backup and the data loss, the less data is lost. Finding the right balance between storage requirements and costs and the up-to-dateness of the backup is crucial for success in an emergency.

So why is no one backing up their data?

That’s why most of the surveyed users using a backup solution did a daily backup. Nearly 58 percent of all respondents worldwide did backup users. A weekly backup created just under 20 percent of all users and just under 12 percent created a monthly backup. On the other hand, only a tiny three (3!) percent made a backup once a year.

With regard to the type of backup, a complete/full backup is the user’s favourite: 42 percent of the global users use this backup variant, followed by incremental backup with 25 percent and differential backup with around 15 percent. Backups, on the other hand, were used by only about 7 percent of the respondents.

Data loss is high

Despite all these precautionary measures, many respondents were experiencing severe data loss: of the respondents who lost data in 2017, only 43 percent were able to recover 75 to 100 percent of their data from their backup. Eleven percent recovered only 40 to 75 percent of their data. The remaining respondents either lost most of their data or even the entire data. In 2016, 66 percent could recover from three quarters up to all of their data, while 11 percent could recover only 40 to 75 percent of the data.

The big question

Why did so many respondents experience data loss even though they have a backup solution? The simple answer to that is that they do not test enough or check that their backup is working properly!

The results of this year’s survey show that only 27 percent of respondents test their backup weekly and 32 percent only once a month. The remaining respondents test their backup only once a year or never. In 2016, only 24 percent of respondents tested their backup once a week, 34 percent at least once a month, 13 percent did a backup check just once a year and nearly 24 percent did not test at all.

Backup is an ongoing task

So it is not enough to just set up the backup solution once and then rely on it to run one hundred percent. On the contrary, you must constantly check the functionality of the backups and the backup solution, identify sources of error and correct them. The backup solutions must also be checked to run at the specified time. It is not enough to check the backups themselves, but especially the data contained therein. These must be complete and intact so that they can be used later. It is also important that a backup schedule is created that covers as many relevant devices and media as possible.

Not to create a backup, on the other hand, is just grossly negligent. As a private person, this may still work, but as a company, that does not work at all.

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