Virtual data loss continues to be a problem

Users appear to think they are safe in a virtual environment but figures from Kroll Ontrack reveal problems with data loss

The idea that a virtualised world is more secure than a physical one has been challenged by research which indicates that a substantial number of firms are losing data from their virtual environments.

Findings from Kroll Ontrack show two in five firms have lost data from virtualised systems in the last year and that figure could rise as there remains a perception among just over half of firms that virtualisation software decreases the chance of information leakage.

“It is a common misconception that virtual environments are inherently safer than, or at less risk from data loss, than other storage media,” said Paul Le Messurier, data recovery operations manager, Kroll Ontrack UK.

“Although virtual servers have redundancies built-in, increased complexity generally means more potential causes of data loss, including file system corruption, deleted virtual machines, internal virtual disk corruption, RAID and other storage/server hardware failures, and deleted or corrupt files contained within virtualised storage systems. The effects are also usually far more serious because the volume of data stored in a virtual environment is exponential to that stored on a single physical server or storage device," he added.

The level of firms experiencing data loss has fallen between 2011 and 2012 from 65% to 40% but worries remain that when things do go wrong it is serious with only a third of firms able to recover all the information.

Read more on Storage Virtualisation Solutions and Services