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Q&A: Why data recovery is crucial

Zafar Anjum | Aug. 13, 2013
As more companies move to the cloud, data recovery becomes a more pressing issue, says Kroll Ontrack’s Country Director Asia CK Lee. He also explains why Singapore is a key market in the region for storage solutions.

How about the storage technologies? Is SSD better for businesses vis a vis the traditional HDD? Can you enumerate the benefits in brief?

The overall perception with regards to SSD is that, due to the lack of moving parts, they have higher reliability and lower failure rates than HDDs. Our research found that SSDs have a more complex set up and do not have an industry standard when it comes to data recovery.

If you look at the number of hard disks delivered with the amount of data recoveries between 2009 and 2012, there is no advantage using the SSD technology.

What we are seeing from a business perspective is that the decision is not to choose HDD or SSD. Rather, the best practice is to implement a hybrid storage system combining the best of HDD and SSD. While there are many plus points to SSD, the lack of standards make recovery of data more difficult and safe data erasure remains an issue due to lack of international standards for safe erasure methods. As such, our research reveals that SSD are neither better nor worse than HDD.

Many users have yet to appreciate the complexity that SSD poses. According to our customer survey in November 2012, results show that just 31 percent were aware of the complexity of SSD-based encryption and 48 percent said there was no additional risk posed by using SSDs. An additional 38 percent said they didn't know.

While SSD is proliferating in the smartphone space, data-centre operators are increasingly turning to SSD to boost the effective speed of their data-storage operations. However, there is a growing number of recovery operations that involve data lost to cloud-computing operators.

We're seeing more and more instances of cloud providers losing data, and if something happens to the data - if there is corruption to the operating system or some type of user error or a mechanical issue - we are having more and more cloud providers coming to us with data loss.

How about data recovery from the cloud? Is it a better approach? Is it cheaper?

There are still concerns about privacy and data loss, considering that large amounts of information stored in remote servers can be accessed from anywhere. Cloud operators can also suffer damage to their infrastructure much like internal server systems.

Faced with this dilemma, our recommendation for public and private companies, which store their data on the cloud, is to sign an SLA with a cloud provider, where a clause should indicate limitations if business operations are interrupted. The clauses should highlight compensations for service outages and procedures to follow in the event there is a need to recover lost information. One should also consider security related clauses to the agreement and a clear action plan in the event of cyber attacks. It is also important to consider that these clauses may differ depending on the cyber laws in the different jurisdictions where the cloud provider operates.


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