Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kroll Ontrack Research: Over 50 per cent of respondents run multiple backup solutions, making legacy data (tape) management costs higher than necessary

Maintaining multiple legacy backup solutions significantly increases tape management costs.

Epsom - December 1, 2016. A recent survey of global IT administrators confirms that organisations continue to be challenged with adequately managing legacy tape archives – posing risk and high cost to their business.

Conducted by Kroll Ontrack, a leading provider of data recovery and ediscovery solutions, this second edition survey of 819 IT administrators sheds additional light on the processes and challenges associated with effective tape management and archiving. Similar to 2015 results, almost one third (27 per cent) of all participating companies do not have clear insight into what specific information is stored on their legacy tapes (compared to 30 per cent in 2015).

Robin England, Senior Research and Development Engineer at Kroll Ontrack notes, “It is imperative that enterprises know what data is on their legacy tapes and be able to quickly react, for example, when responding to investigations involving custodian data, regulatory requests from a government agency or as part of an ediscovery matter. Nearly half of companies surveyed (49 per cent) confirmed they run two or three different backup solutions, with an additional seven per cent running four or more parallel solutions. This not only raises the level of difficulty of knowing where their data resides and being able to respond accordingly, but also significantly increases the cost for managing legacy tape data.”

Maintaining legacy tape backup solutions can be a costly venture, due to both the amount of data kept and the number of systems often maintained by organisations to ensure they can respond to requests for data. In fact, survey participants claim that their costs for keeping legacy data accessible, depending on company size, ranges from £8,000 to over £1 million. When asked about the top three drivers of cost, participants responded as follows:

    1. Storage (70%)
    2. Maintenance (69%)
    3. Staff (52%)
    4. Security (42%)
    5. Licences (38%)

Cost can also be driven up by activity related to restoring data from legacy systems. Respondents from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, for example, report that the average number of restore requests is significantly higher compared to respondents in Germany, France, Poland and Italy, likely due to their common law heritage that requires the surrender of relevant data in legal disputes, which could result in increased restores from legacy tapes.

In addition, the majority of companies (56 per cent) report using different versions of their backup solutions (e.g., different versions of the same backup format at each company site). Unsurprisingly, up to 40 per cent of companies, similar to last year’s survey results, intend to terminate their maintenance contracts due to cost.

“We are not surprised by these results,” says Phil Bridge Managing Director at Kroll Ontrack. “Companies, especially in regulated industries, are often required to store data for a defined period of time. Because enterprises do not know what data will be needed in the event of litigation or an investigation, they elect to keep their legacy backup systems accessible to ensure they can access data in the future.”

As an alternative to maintaining multiple systems and to reduce costs associated with legacy data management, Kroll Ontrack developed a solution that catalogues tape data into a searchable, easy-to-use online inventory. When data from legacy tapes is required, the catalogued inventory can be searched without the need to fire up old backup solutions and requests can be sent to Kroll Ontrack to restore the data. Bridge adds, “With this new solution, the most significant cost drivers – storage, maintenance, staff and licenses – can be reduced and the legacy systems terminated without risking the ability to access data in a the event of a disclosure requirement for legal reasons.”

The study was conducted in late November 2016 in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and Poland and included responses from 819 IT specialists from corporate and IT service providers.

For more information on Kroll Ontrack tape services, please visit:

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