The verdict is in. When it comes to data protection, once-a-day backups just don’t cut it. Enterprises need to protect their data quickly – and often. They also need to recover data fast. But how quickly? How often? How fast?

At Nimble Storage we’re excited about helping customers meet some of their most challenging data protection needs. To make sure we stay current with their challenges, we sent out a survey to IT professionals, from storage admins to CIOs. The graphic to the left shows the breakdown of the 1,600 responses we received, by business size.

The survey validated our belief that data needs to be protected – aggressively. We’ve gathered the results into this infographic.

Business Critical Data – RPOs and RTOs

The first big takeaway is that the vast majority of respondents (about 70 percent), said that more than half their data is business critical, meaning:

1. It would cause significant business disruption if lost; and

2. It requires aggressive recovery time and recovery point objectives.

When it comes to recovery time objectives (RTOs), the maximum amount of time it should take for business critical data to be recovered, the majority (54 percent) said they need to get data back in less than six hours. Fourteen percent of respondents had even more aggressive RTOs of less than one hour.

For recovery point objects (RPOs), the maximum tolerable period of time for data loss, 69 percent say they can’t afford to lose more than six hours worth of their business critical data. Not surprisingly, for larger customers, that number increases to 72 percent – as businesses grow larger, their data protection service level agreements (SLAs) become stricter. Drilling into the data even deeper, 42 percent of respondents had even more aggressive RPOs of less than one hour.

The Importance of Virtualization

virtualization pie chartThe survey also asked about the percentage of protected data that is generated by virtualized applications as shown in the chart to the right.

For 27 percent, more than three-quarters of their protected data is generated by virtualized applications. The majority (57 percent) have more than half of their protected data generated by virtualized applications. So the balance has shifted – protecting data generated by virtualized applications is now a greater need than protecting data generated by non-virtualized applications.

data protection infographicSumming it Up

So what does this all mean? Data really is the lifeblood of businesses today, and given that the majority of it is critical for the business, once-a-day backups are really a thing of the past. Ultimately, most IT professionals think that businesses need to:

1. Protect the majority of their data, which is increasingly generated by virtualized applications

2. Protect that data often (at least every six hours)

3. Recover that data quickly (at least in six hours)

Protecting large amounts of data, often and during business hours, mandates that data protection be scalable and efficient, and that it doesn’t slow down production during the workday. Fast recovery is another must-have.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series. We’ll dig deeper into the various storage media used by enterprises to keep their critical data safe and sound.