Coping with a Serious Data Loss from your Computer Hard DriveWritten by Darryl Peddle
Data loss is an expensive reality. It's a hard fact that it happens more often then users like to admit. A recent study by accounting firm McGladrey and Pullen estimates that one out of every 500 data centers will experience a severe computer disaster this year. As a result, almost half of those companies will go out of business. At very least, a data loss disaster can mean lost income and missed business opportunities.
The other side of data loss is psychological and emotional turmoil it can cause to IT managers and business owners. Despair, panic, and knowledge that whole organization might be at risk are involved. In a sense, that's only fair, since human error is one of two largest contributing factors in data loss. Together with mechanical failure, it accounts for almost 75 per cent of all incidents. (Software corruption, computer viruses and physical disasters such as fire and water damage make up rest.)
Disk drives today are typically reliable. Human beings, it turns out, are not. A Strategic Research Corp. study done in 2000 found that approximately 15 per cent of all unplanned downtime occurred due to human error. A significant proportion of that happened because users failed to implement adequate backup procedures, either having trouble with their backups, or having no backup at all.
How does it happen that skilled, high-level users put their systems - and their businesses - at such risk?
In many cases, problem starts long before precipitating system error is made, that is, when users place their faith in out-of-box solutions that may not, in fact, fit their organization's needs. Instead of assessing their business and technology requirements, then going to an appropriate engineered solution, even experienced IT professionals at large corporations will often simply buy what they're sold. In this case, faith in technology can be an vice instead of a virtue.
But human intervention itself can sometimes be straw that breaks technology's back. When office of a Venezuelan civil engineering firm was devastated by floods, its owners sent 17 soaked, mud-coated disks from three RAID arrays to us in plastic bags. A tough enough salvage job was made even more complex by fact that someone had frozen drives before shipping them. As disks thawed, yet more damage was done. (After eight weeks of painstaking directory-by-directory recovery, all data from remaining fifteen disks was retrieved.)
Sometimes, underlying cause of a data loss event is simply shoddy housekeeping. The more arduous required backup routine, less likely it will be done on a regular basis. A state ambulance monitoring system suffered a serious disk failure, only to discover that its automated backup hadn't run for fourteen months. A tape had jammed in drive, but no-one had noticed.
When disaster strikes, normal human reaction is panic. Because loss of data signifies critical consequences, even most competent IT staff can jump to conclusions, and take inappropriate action. A blank screen at a critical time can lead to a series of naive decisions, each one compounding preceding error. Wrong buttons get pushed, and disaster only gets worse. Sometimes pressure to correct system failure speedily can result in an attempt to reconfigure an entire RAID array. IT specialists are typically not equipped to deal with crisis modes or data recovery techniques. Just as a good physician is trained to prolong life, skilled IT specialist is trained to keep system running. When a patient dies, physician turns to others, such as nurses or counselors to manage situation. When significant data loss occurs, IT specialist turns to data recovery professional.
NextWest, Inc. to Demonstrate PCXi and NextContact IP-based Communications Solutions at ACCE 2004Written by NextWest, Inc.
Tucson, AZ (August 27, 2004) – NextWest, Inc., Booth 339, a leading manufacturer of IP-based business telecommunications and contact center systems today announced availability of its next generation PCXi and NextContact Call Center Solutions at ACCE 2004. NextWest’s rock-solid, fully-integrated, IP and converged communications systems help small to mid-sized businesses, government agencies and other institutions to meet their growing telecommunications needs.
NextWest's PCXi IP Communications platform brings together all of advanced PBX features with sound, reliable Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions. NextWest's NextContact Call / Contact Center solution open's door for full feature inbound / outbound calling while their predictive dialer & Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) modules provide best of class call blending.
”NextWest's PCXi combined with NextContact creates most advanced fully integrated IP Communications platform available on market, said NextWest COO Matthew Morales. “ACCE 2004 is perfect venue for demonstrating our quality and reliability to marketplace.”
“We’re excited about NextWest’s announcement,” said Joy Cerequas, ACCE 2004 Executive Director. “Their decision to release this information here is an endorsement of ACCE 2004 as a key industry event. That’s why we created it. It’s a showcase for very latest product and services innovations. That’s what people come here to see and learn about… and buy.”
ACCE 2004 takes place at Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, WA, September 13-15, 2004.
Pricing & Availability For pricing and availability, go to http://www.nextwest.com or call NextWest at: 1-877-I-GO-NEXT (446-6398).
About NextWest, Inc. NextWest, Inc., headquartered in Tucson, AZ., is a leading manufacturer of IP-based business telecommunications and contact center systems. Our rock-solid, fully-integrated, IP and converged communications systems help small to mid-sized businesses, government agencies and other institutions to meet their growing telecommunications needs.