June 7, 2016

In decades of helping firms recover data, we have come to believe there must be almost as many ways to lose data as there are data users. We have seen data lost through

  • deliberate action (“I thought I didn’t need that file, and I deleted it.”)
  • unintentional action (“I don’t know what I did, but the system deleted it.”)
  • power failure (“I didn’t save before the power went out.”)
  • hardware failure (“My disk crashed.”)
  • software failure (“Everything just froze, and now I can’t find that file.”)
  • software-induced user failure (“Wasn’t it supposed to ask me before doing that?”)
  • business failure (“They were storing our data, and they went bankrupt.”)
  • file corruption (“This file was fine last week. Now the system can’t read it.”)
  • incompatibility (“I upgraded the application, and it won’t read the old files.”)
  • disaster (“The earthquake wrecked our server.”)
  • crime (“We’ve been hacked. Somebody stole our hardware.”)
  • sabotage (“I didn’t realize he had access to those files when I disciplined him.”)

And we are sure we haven’t seen it all. In addition to the sheer variety of dangers your database faces from day to day, the possibilities for data loss seem to increase with every advance in technology.

A non-functioning database could cause your business to come to a screeching halt. Poor performance, corrupt databases, and broken SQL Server processes are just a few of the disasters lying in wait.

Database vendors improved their software over the years to make them more stable. In the early days, the slightest blip in hardware issues could cause major data losses due to database corruption. These days are thankfully behind us. Today the threat of database corruption is mainly from user error or issues during upgrades of databases. Every time there are changes to the structure of a database, data corruption is always a threat. Always backup the database before attempting a database upgrade.

EMC’s 2013 IT Trust Curve Survey, a study based on 3,200 respondents in 16 countries, found the average cost of a data loss incident to be $585,892 in lost revenue alone. That doesn’t include the additional costs of lost employee productivity, lost customers, remediation, regulatory noncompliance, or lawsuits. The magnitude of the cost is not surprising. A web-based retailer, for example, could lose revenue every second its database is down. There are many web-based retailers to choose from, and web-oriented shoppers are, as a rule, both impatient and unforgiving. Wise web retailers don’t count on customer loyalty.

To some extent, the costs of a data loss are proportional to the competitiveness of your business. If you’re running the ticket desk of an airline in an isolated airport served by no other airlines and your database goes out for an hour or two, you will have to deal with frustrated passengers, but you probably won’t lose too many. If, on the other hand, you’re running an airline ticket desk at Miami International and your system goes down, you can actually watch your revenue walking away as your passengers get out of your ticket line to seek other airlines. In such a case, you’re talking about thousands of dollars per second in revenue that will never return.

Maybe you’re not running a ticket desk at Miami International, but you probably have a pretty good idea of how much revenue your business generates per hour. That, plus the costs of repair, remediation, lawsuits, and customer ill will make up your per-hour cost of unexpected data loss.

The best way to avoid catastrophe and the need for emergency services is to talk to Spinnaker Support about an Emergency Data Services Contract. After we fully assess your system, we will be able to help you build an affordable support program that meets your needs. Our team of experts is standing by at all hours to assist you in the event of a database emergency.

The experts at Spinnaker Support will help create solutions and fixes to solve potentially disastrous database problems before they become huge issues (and revenue loss!). Through an analysis of the root cause, Spinnaker Support is able to provide short-term remediation and rapid identification of performance or process issues that may make you vulnerable to data loss.

Because of the collected knowledge of your system prior a potential emergency allows us to expedite the troubleshooting process and can

  • Reduce downtime during periods of maintenance
  • Restore database environment to normal functionality
  • Offer rapid turnaround for minimized business disruption

If you’re in the midst of an emergency, you are performing crisis management, whether you like it or not. Call us. We can help. If you’re not in the midst of an emergency, plan for one. Risk management is always easier and cheaper than crisis management.

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