Archive for November, 2011
I know everyone always says that they are “drowning in data,” but I’m always looking for more. So, I was very happy this week when a very large pile of data landed in my email inbox. The data were the results of research commissioned by EMC and performed by VansonBourne. VansonBourne just released a report based on the research entitled “European Disaster Recovery Survey 2011: Data today gone tomorrow, how well companies are poised for IT Recovery.”
I provided a link to the report, in case you want to read the entire report, but let me tell you some of what I found interesting. First there was this:
A quarter of organizations have experienced data loss within the last twelve months.
Hardware failures are the most frequent cause of data loss at over 60%, and I should probably write more about how Axxana protects against data loss when there is a hardware failure, because we do. Instead I’ve written a lot about the risk of natural disasters; maybe too much, since natural disasters accounted for only 7% of the reported data losses. It’s just that when a natural disaster occurs, like an earthquake or a flood, the risk to your data can be enormous. Just ask the folks in Japan or Thailand.
More interesting, though, than the cause of data loss, were the reported consequence of data loss. Here are a few data points from the report on the impact of data loss:
- 43% reported loss of employee productivity
- 28% reported loss of revenue
- 14% reported loss of customers
- 12% reported loss of repeat business
In this fiercely competitive business climate, employee productivity is extremely important in trying to derive profit from revenue. Every deal and every customer is important, and losing repeat business from an existing customer may be the worst outcome of all, since that should be the most profitable.
Even though the average amount of data lost was relatively small at only 400GB, the consequences were significant, which is why we advocate protecting 100% of your data for all applications. When it can be done so cost effectively, why risk losing productivity, revenue, customers, and repeat sales.
Sumitomo Corporation has a venture arm, Presidio Ventures. Sumitomo helps Presidio’s portfolio companies expand their business in the Japan and Asia regions. And there’s plenty of business in Japan and Asia.
For anyone who has followed the string of natural disasters that have affected the Japan and Asia regions, it should be no surprise that Sumitomo is interested in any technology that can help organizations survive and recover from a disaster. But Sumitomo didn’t invest in just any technology. They invested in ours.
There are plenty of solutions that help corporations restore their applications and data after a disaster. There are existing solutions for tape backup and disk-based backup. There are disk snapshot and remote asynchronous replication solutions. All of these help restore operations, but they also all leave data exposed and many lead to long recovery times.
One of the reasons we are so attractive in the Japan and Asia markets is that we reduce costs and enable extended distances, while protecting all of the data and enabling rapid recovery. Much of the savings that we deliver come from reduced data communications charges, which are particularly high in the Asia region.
We are thrilled to have Sumitomo on board as investors, and know that with the help of Sumitomo, we can ensure that businesses operating in the Japan and Asia regions, protect their data and their business.
Whew! That was close. At least too close for my taste. The asteroid, YU55, that passed by the Earth yesterday is 400 meters long and was traveling at 30,000 miles per hour when it whipped past us. It came within about 200,000 miles, or .85 lunar distances, from the Earth. We were never in any real danger. The astronomists that track these things, determined quite a while ago that we were safe.
If it had hit, scientists estimate that it would have created a crater four miles across and 1/3rd of a mile deep. For the record, while Axxana’s Phoenix System is water proof, fire proof, smoke proof, shock and vibration proof, and can survive building collapses, if one of our black boxes ever does take a direct hit from an asteroid of this size, we won’t survive. I guess we should put that in the disclaimers at the bottom of the product brochure. The next fly-by of an asteroid this size is expected in 2028. I guess we have a few years to re-print the brochures.
It’s annoying. You’re talking on your mobile phone over a cellular network, and you get a dropped call. Even with the growth of cellular networks, coverage can still be spotty. Most people at some point will complain about the service. And yet, the use of mobile phones is on the rise and, in many regions, preferable to any land-based system. And during a disaster, when there is loss of power to a region, it’s cellular technologies that help people communicate.
When we talk to prospective customers about Axxana’s Phoenix System, one of the first questions we get is “Why are you using cellular to transmit the data to the remote site during a disaster?” It’s a logical question, given that everyone has experienced the annoying dropped call. But the reason we chose cellular is simple. In our operating environment, cellular is the the most reliable, resilient, and flexible approach currently available.
Unlike mobile phones, which are designed to be, well, mobile, in our case the location of the Axxana Collector (in the primary data center) and the location of the Recoverer (in the backup data center) are known. The data centers aren’t driving all around the country. They aren’t driving through tunnels, over mountains, or into valleys. Also, in our case, the quality of service can be both measured and enhanced, if necessary. Of course, we don’t give you just one way to get your data out. It can also be physically retrieved and sent over any available IP connection.
We’re not the only company to recognize the value of cellular networks in enabling low-cost, resilient, and flexible ways to deliver relatively small amounts of data between fixed points. As this article attests, the world of utility smart grids is increasingly embracing cellular as the technology to pass data between smart-grid nodes. If you want to talk in depth about why we chose cellular, we’re happy to take your call.