Hardware Failure: The Right Way to Backup Your System

Hardware failure is the leading cause of data loss; so ignoring hardware failure is the fastest shortcut to losing data. Because you don’t want to lose your data, do not ignore the hardware failure and backup your systems and data.

If you use tape as your backup medium, you could also lose your data. With the high failure rates associated with tape, sooner or later you’re assured that you’re going to need to recover your data and not be able to do so.

SAN or NAS storage devices as the source of the backup and the target of a backup is another highly probable way to losing data. We are not referring to snapshots in between physical transfers of data off the SAN or NAS; we are talking about using your SAN and NAS for primary storage and for backup storage exclusively.

What to do instead

To protect yourself from hardware failure, you have to move your data from primary storage to a completely separate secondary storage. That secondary storage can and should be less expensive than your primary storage, but it has to have RAS (Reliability, Availability, Serviceability) characteristics that are as good or better than your primary storage.

Those requirements rule out tape as well as ruling out partitioned primary storage (SAN or NAS) – although SAN and NAS snapshotting may be used between primary backup protection. The best approach is some type of D2D (Disk-to-Disk) backup. The advantage to D2D backup is that you are using secondary media with higher reliability characteristics than tape while still insuring that you have a physically separate secondary storage set so that you can survive hardware and system failure.

For help with Hardware Failure, contact NPV.com


What Causes Data Loss?

In order to understand shortcuts to losing your data, the first thing we need to do is understand the most common reasons that data is lost.

The primary causes of data loss are:

  • Human failure
  • Human error
  • Software corruption
  • Theft
  • Computer viruses
  • Hardware destruction

The results of the two best studies regarding data loss in the real world are depicted as follows:

Root Cause and the Incident %

Hardware failure – 40%

Human error – 29%

Software corruption  – 13%

Theft – 9%

Computer viruses – 6%

Hardware destruction  -3%


Root Cause vs Customer Perception vs Actual Incident %

Hardware or system problem – Customer Perception is 78%, Actual Incident percentage is 56%

Human error – Customer Perception is 11%, Actual Incident percentage is 26%

Software corruption- Customer Perception is 7%, Actual Incident percentage is 9%

Computer viruses – Customer Perception is 2%, Actual Incident percentage is 4%

Natural disasters –  Customer Perception is 1%, Actual Incident percentage is 2%


Each of these together forms the foundation for our advice on the most effective path for you to lose

your data. For assistance with data loss, or for help in preventing data loss, contact NPV.com.



Backup Data Services and Statistics

No one wants to lose data.  The consequences of data loss are dire; below is a sampling of just a few statistics related to the impact of data loss on business.  Did you know?

  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster, filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
  • 94% of companies suffering from a catastrophic data loss do not survive – 43% never reopen and 51% close within two years. (University of Texas)
  • 30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year and 70% fail within five years. (Home Office Computing Magazine)
  • 77% of those companies who do test their tape backups found back-up failures. (Boston Computing Network, Data Loss Statistics)
  • 7 out of 10 small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year. (DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  • 96% of all business workstations are not being backed up. (Contingency Planning and Strategic Research Corporation)
  • 50% of all tape backups fail to restore. (Gartner)
  • 25% of all PC users suffer from data loss each year (Gartner)