Tuesday, June 19, 2012

U.S. Daily Backups Rise 47% in Past Year

An online backup provider, revealed that PC and Mac users are getting serious about backing up their computers.

The 5th annual State of User Data Backup survey determined that
10% of computer users now backup their computers at least daily. This is a 47% increase over 2011. The survey recorded similar improvements for weekly backups and monthly backups as well with increases of 38% and 29% respectively.

These are the best results we've seen since we started tracking data backup 5 years ago
. It's great to see that the desire to protect photos, videos, music, and other data is becoming an every day part of using a computer. There is no reason to lose data to a hard drive crash or a stolen or lost computer.

Below summarizes the results when computer users were asked:

"How often do you backup all of the data on your computer?"
 2008  2009  2010  2011  2012
 Daily or more   6%   6%   8%   6%  10%
 Weekly or more   2%  14%  16%  14%  20%
 Monthly or more  26%  27%  30%  27%  36%

The survey also reported that 29% of U.S. computer users have never backed up all their data
with adults ages 55 and older being most remiss (35%) and the 18-34 age group being the most diligent (24%).

Thursday, June 07, 2012

60% of Companies Don't Feel Their Data Being Secure

Cibecs and IDG Connect have released the 2012 Data Loss Survey, outlining the shifts taking place in business data protection, and how IT consumerization is affecting data management.

One of the defining results in this year's survey was the increase in mobile workers from last year's 50% of professionals using laptops as their primary device up to 60% in 2012. Tablets however are as expected more of a consumption tool, with only 2% of those surveyed using tablets as their primary work device.

The increasing number of mobile workers means more mobile data, resulting in IT needing to look for endpoint-focused data protection, automating laptop backups and reducing the overhead costs expectant when backing up mobile workers.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is becoming increasingly prevalent in modern enterprise environments, 40% of this year's respondents allow BYOD in their organization, however only a small percentage (3%) of IT executives see this as their biggest data protection hurdle. Instead, the increasing number of mobile workers and user non-compliance to business backup policies are seen as two of the biggest data protection challenges.

It seems that companies are still failing to see the importance of an effective and automated data backup solution, with 37% of the over 200 companies having no protection against unauthorized access to their data if lost and only 69% of those surveyed being able to recover lost files.

There is also a concerning number of businesses employing antiquated data protection strategies where they rely on users to backup their own data. Of the companies who employ a company policy instructing user's to backup to either a central server or external hard-drive, 94% have reported that users don't follow policy. This then leaves these organization's at massive risk, and further, results in Corporate Governance non-compliance and can mean costly data loss disasters.

Just over 10% of companies surveyed have reported using a cloud backup solution.
Most of these businesses have fewer than 100 users. 37% have employed a secure and automated backup solution, which is the most reliable data protection solution.

The perceived value of business data this year was interesting, with
35% of professionals placing the value of their business data at over $10,000 and less than 17% believing their data is worth less than $2,000. Clearly, although organizations are falling short of data protection best practice, individuals understand the value of their data.

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HDD Prices Not Expected to Return to Pre-Flood Levels Until 2014

Although production of HDDs is rapidly recovering from the catastrophic Thailand floods that occurred in October, HDD average selling prices (ASPs) are not expected to decline to pre-disaster levels until 2014, according to an IHS iSuppli Memory & Storage  Market Brief report.
In the wake of the floods, the ASP for the entire HDD market soared to $66 in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 28% from $51 in the third quarter. The ASP held steady at $66 in the first quarter, and is expected to decline marginally to $65 in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, after flooding caused a 29% plunge in shipments in the fourth quarter, HDD production is rising and will recover completely by the third quarter.

Shipments rose by 18% to 145 million in the first quarter and by 10% to 159 million in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, shipments are expected to rise by another 10% to 176 million. This will mark the first time in 2012 that shipments will exceed their 2011 quarterly levels, up from 173 million in the third quarter of 2011.

Despite exceeding pre-flood shipment levels in the third quarter, pricing is expected to remain inflated.

HDD manufacturers now have greater pricing power than they did in 2011, allowing them to keep ASPs steady. With the two mega-mergers between Seagate/Samsung and Western Digital/Hitachi GST, the two top suppliers held 85% of HDD market share in the first quarter 2012. This was up from 62% in the third quarter of 2011, before the mergers. The concentration of market share has resulted in an oligarchy where the top players can control pricing and are able to keep ASPs at a relatively high level.

Potentates of pricing
Owing to concerns over HDD availability, an increasing number of PC OEMs in the second quarter have signed long-term agreements (LTAs) with HDD makers. These LTAs provide shipment guarantees, but lock in pricing that is approximately 20% higher than pre-flood levels.

Even if all the OEMs stop entering into LTAs by the end of 2012, it would take about four quarters with a 6% sequential decline in the HDD ASP to reach the pre-flood pricing level. However, given that there have been no consecutive 6% sequential quarterly declines during the past three years, the likelihood is remote that this would happen now and that HDD pricing will decline accordingly.

Pricing particulars
Beyond the supply-side factors, demand-related issues also will contribute to inflated HDD pricing throughout 2012 and 2013.

From local drives for media content, to cloud storage of social media and corporate data, the requirement for large quantities of HDD capacity continues to increase.

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