ExaGrid Survey of IT Managers Reveals Widespread Dissatisfaction with the Current State of Backup

Westborough, MA -- 10/25/12
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Legacy backup systems are not meeting objectives for backup windows, disaster recovery, virtual server protection and total cost of ownership

Westborough, MA— Sept. 25, 2012 — ExaGrid® Systems, Inc., the leader in cost-effective and scalable disk-based backup solutions with data deduplication, today announced the results of a 2012 survey of 1,200 IT managers which shows widespread dissatisfaction with the capabilities of many existing backup systems to keep up with requirements for faster backups with permanently short backup windows as data grows, disaster recovery, virtual server backup and recovery, and backup system costs.

The dissatisfaction stems largely from delayed investments by many organizations in modernizing backup systems in recent years, which leaves existing backup systems often unable to protect growing amounts of mission-critical data. The survey was conducted on ExaGrid’s behalf by IDG Research Services.

Nearly 40 percent of IT managers report that their routine nightly backups exceed the backup window, with 30 percent saying their companies exceed the backup window by more than four hours. Many IT managers report that legacy backup systems are inadequate to meet business imperatives for low total cost of ownership (TCO), seamless scalability, ease of administration and management and WAN-efficient replication. The use of tape-based systems is expected to decline as IT departments move to modernize their backup infrastructures, with increased investments in disk-based systems, according to the survey.

According to a September 2011 research note entitled “The Future of Backup May Not Be Backup” published by Gartner Inc. analyst Dave Russell, “There are many challenges with backup solutions today. The top concerns are related to the cost, capability and complexity of currently deployed backup systems. Gartner hears daily from organizations that are seeking significant improvements in their backup practices, and we continue to hear that organizations feel that the backup process needs to be dramatically, not incrementally, improved.”

Conducted in May 2012, the objective of the ExaGrid survey was to examine backup and recovery challenges among IT managers. To learn more about the survey insights, download the free whitepaper, titled “Wanted: Better Backup,” from the ExaGrid website.

The survey revealed several important trends and perceptions about existing backup systems:

  • Backup challenges mounting – Among the top nightly backup challenges cited by IT managers are the following: 54 percent said that their backup windows are taking too long 51 percent said they are facing growing business requirements for more reliable and efficient disaster recovery 48 percent said they face long restore and recovery times 
  • Widening expectations gap – There is a growing gap between what outdated backup systems can achieve and even greater requirements for faster backup and recovery that come with explosive data growth: While 75 percent of respondents said low TCO was extremely important or very important, only 45 percent said their systems delivered this effectively. In addition, 72 percent said avoiding costly “forklift upgrades” and product obsolescence was either extremely important or very important, but just 41 percent said their current systems were able to deliver this. 
  • Protecting virtualized servers – Existing backup solutions need improvement to meet goals for protecting virtualized servers: Just 44 percent of respondents said their current backup system either meets or exceeds their offsite disaster recovery goals for virtualized servers. In addition, only roughly half said their systems are meeting goals for protecting virtualized servers with regard to backup windows and restore/recovery times.
  • Data is vulnerable – IT managers have major concerns with the capabilities of their backup systems to keep their data secure: The vast majority of IT managers (97 percent) believe that their data is somewhat or extremely vulnerable to data protection or security incidents, and most have experienced one or more of these incidents in the past year.Following a data protection incident, it takes an average of about seven hours to resume normal operations. IDC estimates that it costs businesses an average of $70,000 per hour of downtime, further highlighting the need for enhanced backup and recovery.
  • Disk investment increasing – IT managers are interested in disk-based backup solutions with deduplication in a grid architecture, citing the advantages of faster backups, reduced management burden, no expanding backup windows as data grows, avoidance of forklift upgrades and elimination of potential unexpected costs over time: Among respondents using tape only, 75 percent said they expect to be using a disk-based method within 12 months. Usage of disk-based data deduplication appliances is expected to increase by 48 percent among respondents using tape only. 

Supporting Quote:Bill Hobbib, vice president of worldwide marketing at ExaGrid Systems: “What comes through loud and clear from these survey results is a sense that IT organizations can no longer delay the modernization of their backup systems. IT organizations are under pressure like never before to deliver on business requirements for reduced backup and recovery times, more reliable disaster recovery and low total system costs. Moving to a disk-based backup system that can scale seamlessly to handle data growth rates of 30 percent or more is becoming a top IT priority.” About ExaGrid’s Disk-based Backup Appliance:

ExaGrid customers achieve the fastest backup times because ExaGrid’s unique approach scales performance with data growth, prevents backup windows from re-exploding and avoids costly forklift upgrades and product obsolescence. The ExaGrid system is a plug-and-play disk backup appliance that works with existing backup applications and enables faster and more reliable backups and restores. Data is written directly to disk with deduplication performed post-process after the data is protected, and as data grows, ExaGrid adds full servers in a grid--including processor, memory, disk and bandwidth—compared to competitive systems that just add disk. Customers report that backup time is reduced by 30 to 90 percent over traditional tape backup. ExaGrid’s patented zone-level data deduplication technology and most recent backup compression reduces the amount of disk space needed by a range of 10:1 to as high as 50:1 or more, resulting in a cost comparable to traditional tape-based backup.

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