Nearly one-third of organisations (30 per cent) said they had lost data as a result of a data centre outage in the past year, while more than four in ten (42 per cent) said they had experienced a period of downtime. That’s according to a new survey conducted by Unitrends, which polled more than 400 respondents from organisations of all sizes and industries about the challenges and trends that IT departments and admins face when protecting data from downtime and disasters.

According to the survey, well over half (58 per cent) of respondents said they had to recover at least some of their data from the cloud at least once last year, while 11 per cent in total had to recover data from the cloud five times or more. Surprisingly, however, more than half of respondents (55 per cent) said they tested their data recovery capabilities once a year or less.

“It is concerning that most enterprises don’t really know for sure if they can recover their applications after a downtime event as they test rarely or not at all,” Joe Noonan, vice president of product management, Unitrends and Spanning said: “The need to continuously test recovery tools is critical to ensuring speedy business restoration.”

More positively, the Unitrends research paints a picture of growing use of cloud in data protection strategies. The survey found 61 per cent of small (1 – 50 employees), 58 per cent of mid-sized (51 – 1000) and 60 per cent of large organisations use the cloud as part of their data protection.

“The survey highlights that cloud is now an active part of the data storage infrastructure of a growing number of organisations today,” Noonan added. “We are also seeing cloud-based disaster recovery-as-a-service (DraaS) becoming an increasingly widely adopted tool in data and application protection. 80 per cent of survey respondents told us they either used the cloud for DraaS or planned to do at some point in the future.”