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cloud disaster recovery education

Closing the DR Achievement Gap in Education

by Laura Knight

A recent survey by Evolve IP turned up some discouraging numbers about disaster recovery (DR): half their business participants confessed they were only “somewhat prepared” to recover IT and related assets in the event of a disaster.

That’s problematic (though we suppose “somewhat prepared” is better than “absolutely not prepared at all”). But when it came to participants from education organizations, things got even worse – just 25% felt “very prepared” for disaster.

Disaster Recovery in Schools: A Difficult Curve

Now, let’s be fair to educational institutions. When it comes to IT, they’ve got a tough hand. We did a whole series last summer about the various time, budget, dataset size, offsite and data type challenges schools face. Schools are much more likely to rely on legacy systems with limited and already-stretched IT resources. It also doesn’t help that DR is fairly abstract (except when you actually need it), and there’s almost always something else that is more tangible and immediate to fund first.

Unfortunately, that leads to situations like the one uncovered in the survey: just 62% of respondents in the education sector said they actually had a DR plan, period. Mull that over for a minute: two-fifths of the schools surveyed have no plan for what they’d do in a disaster.

The rest of the findings followed a similar vein:

  • 28% of responding educational institutions experienced permanent losses from a disaster compared to an average of 11% of other groups.
  • Nearly a third (31.5%) lost more than a day’s worth of data during their very worst incident.
  • 62.5% needed more than a day to recover from their worst DR event—10 percent higher than the norm.
  • Permanent losses were far more acute for education providers with 15.5% losing critical data permanently and another 15.5% not being able to recover backups at all.

Schools, you fight the good fight and we love you. But consider this your intervention.

Making the Grade with Online Backup & DR

Online backup eliminates many of the issues that keep DR solutions out of reach for cash and time-strapped schools. Direct-to-cloud backup automates offsite backup creation, eliminating the high cost and time requirements of traditional methods like disk-to-tape or disk-to-disk. The cloud is also scalable by nature, making it easier and less costly for schools to adjust to changing dataset sizes.

Online recovery is also much simpler than most physical-media scenarios. Instead of having to figure out which tape the necessary data is on, locate/retrieve it and then finally go through a manual restore process, files can simply be selected and restored from the cloud to a designated local machine. This can save valuable time, getting things up and running faster after a data loss event.

Much like with final exams, ignoring the need for disaster recovery by pretending it doesn’t exist won’t make it go away – it just ensures the eventual reckoning is that much more painful. Online backup and DR can help schools ditch that failing grade and get them an easy “A” in data-loss disaster preparation.

Laura Knight
Laura Knight

As Content Marketing Manager, Laura writes, edits, designs and is always on the lookout for new ways to tell the Zetta story.