Survey Results: What is a Typical Backup Environment?
As it turns out, the title of this post is a semi-trick question. Just like no two fingerprints are the same, no two IT environments are the same; each is its own unique snowflake. But that doesn’t mean these unique snowflakes don’t have a few things in common. We wanted to find out what they were.
We recently surveyed over 400 IT professionals on a number of factors related to their environment, including type of backups and DR, number of operating systems and percentage of virtualization. Our findings turned up some interesting results, which we’ve compiled into the infographic below.
The Typical Backup Environment, According to You
Multiple layers of protection is the norm. If there’s one big trend that came out of our data, it’s almost nobody is working with just one anything. When we asked if our participants used file, application or server image backups, 79% were using more than one – and 52% were using all three. 55% were using more than one form of disaster recovery.
Most use more than one OS. Windows may be the big dog of enterprise IT environments – and in fact, 95% of our respondents used it for at least some of their machines – but we found that nearly two-thirds of our respondents had a second (or third) OS to back up as well.
Reality isn’t completely virtual (yet). Our comments indicated that increasing virtualization was a goal for many respondents, but at least for the time being physical servers are a critical part of many environments. 53% reported that as of right now, less than 70% of their servers were virtualized. A full third were at 31-70% virtualization – meaning they have a significant amount of both physical and virtual servers in need of backing up.
Despite Variety, Some Clear Winners
While one of the major takeaways from our results is a whole lot of diversity in enterprise environments, we also noticed some big trends:
- We mentioned earlier that 52% of our participants reported using file, application and server image backups concurrently. That means just under half of participants use a different combination – but of those people, responses were very fragmented. After the 52% for all three, the next highest percentage was just 15%, for the combination of file and application backups.
- For our disaster recovery question, there were over a dozen possible responses regarding a combination of on-premise DR, physical offsite DR (i.e. tape), cloud DR and Disaster Recovery as a Service solutions. However, 70% of our participants answered with one of four combinations – just on-premise, just physical offsite, on-premise combined with cloud, and on-premise combined with physical offsite. Of the other responses, no single combination garnered higher than 5%.
- The concentration effect was especially pronounced in the OS question. Nearly half of respondents (47%) used Windows and Linux, and another third (33%) used only Windows. The remaining 20% were split between various combinations of Windows, Linux, Mac and other OS (participants mentioned Solaris, HPUX, AIX and IBM OS400). The highest percentage among these other combinations was 8% for Windows, Mac and Linux. For several others, the number was less than 1%.
The bottom line? While each backup environment can be drastically different, many seem to have one big thing in common: they’re not homogenous. From a backup and restore perspective, this means it’s important to offer enough flexibility and breadth of support to ensure that, if and when there’s a problem, the unique snowflakes don’t melt.