Using Multiple Backup Systems Costs Companies Millions in Downtime and Data Loss

Posted by Ben Barker on Dec 17, 2014 8:03:34 AM


EMC recently published a study that showed the massive amount of money being lost each year on data loss and downtime. The numbers were staggering. The most staggering number in from that study was the $1.7 trillion that data loss costs company's each year, but upon digging deeper an equally disturbing statistic jumped off the page...

Of the more than 3,000 IT decision makers interviewed, 65% reported using more than one vendor for data protection. 

Percentage of Companies Using Multiple Vendors


You may be asking, "What's wrong with that?" Well, truth be told, there's a lot wrong with it. EMC's report goes on to show a direct relationship between the number of vendors that a company relies on and figures such as IT spending, disruptions, data loss and the cost of downtime. The more vendors being used, the higher these damaging numbers climbed.

Of course, many companies may feel as if they have no choice but to use multiple vendors. Often times, backup support is needed for different operating systems. So, when a company needs support for both Windows and Linux, they'll often times look to the service of two vendors; one that supports Windows and one that supports Linux.

What these businesses apparently aren't aware of is the fact that backup solutions exist that provide support to more than one operating system. As shown in EMC's report, a single backup vendor is a financially preferable option for businesses needing protection over more than one operating system.

Impact on Disruptions

Data loss and downtime are a company's worst nightmare. Surprisingly, those 65% of IT decision makers who reported using multiple vendors are actually increasing their chances of having that nightmare. According to EMC, those organizations using one data protection vendor are the least likely to experience disruption.

There isn't a significant difference in disruption between companies using two vendors and those using three or more vendors. However, there is a significant leap in disruption when compared those using a single vendor. 54% of companies using three or more data protection solutions reported unplanned downtime, while only 42% of companies using a single vendor reported downtime. Similarly, 38% of those using three or more vendors experienced data loss compared to 24% of those who use single vendors.  

The bottom line is this: You have a much greater chance of experiencing disruption when you're using multiple data protection vendors.

Impact on Cost

Seeing the amount of downtime and data loss is one thing, but seeing just how much this unplanned inconvenience is costing you truly hits home. Companies who use three or more data protection vendors are being hit with $1.66 million in downtime costs. That's more than four times the amount that it costs those companies who are using just one data protection vendor ($.34 million). 

Cost of Unplanned Downtime (In Millions)

Affect on Amount of Data Lost

As you would expect after learning the statistics on cost, companies who use multiple vendors also reported a much higher average when it comes to the amount of data lost. Companies using a single a single data protection solution lost an annual average lost of 1.16 terabytes (TB).

Conversely, those who used two vendors leaped to 1.73 TBs of data loss, while companies using three or more vendors posted a ridiculous 3.54 TBs of data lost per year. Again, the difference between one and two vendors was significant, but not immense. However, once the amount of data solution vendors being used eclipses two, the potential damage is vastly higher. 

The Solution

If you want to minimize your data loss, downtime and data protection costs, it pretty clear that a single data protection vendor is your best bet. However, it's not that simple. You've got to first evaluate your business and be sure that the vendor that you select supports the operating systems that you need to manage. If there is even one system that is not supported, you'll need to find a second vendor which bumps you into that "two or more" category.

The good news is there are data protection vendors out there who offer support on multiple operating systems. If you evaluate your managed systems and do a bit of homework, you'll be staying toward the left side of the above graphs.

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