NetWorker 2017 Usage Survey

 NetWorker, Site  Comments Off on NetWorker 2017 Usage Survey
Dec 012017
Survey Image

It seems like only a few weeks ago, 2017 was starting. But here we are again, and it’s time for another NetWorker usage survey. If you’re a recent blog subscriber, you may not have seen previous surveys, so here’s how it works:

Every year a survey is run on the NetWorker blog to capture data on how businesses are using NetWorker within their environment. As per previous years, the survey runs from December 1 to January 31. At the end of survey, I analyse the data, crunch the numbers, sacrifice a tape to the data protection deities and generate a report about how NetWorker is being used in the community.

My goal isn’t just for the report to be a simple regurgitation of the data input by respondents. It’s good to understand the patterns that emerge, too. Is deduplication more heavily used in the Americas, or APJ? Who keeps data for the longest? Is there any correlation between the longevity of NetWorker use and the number of systems being protected? You can see last year’s survey results here.

Survey Image

To that end, it’s time to run the 2017 NetWorker survey. Once again, I’m also going to give away a copy of my latest book, Data Protection: Ensuring Data Availability. All you have to do in order to be in the running is to be sure to include your email address in the survey. Your email address will only be used to contact you if you win.

The survey should hopefully only take you 5-10 minutes.

The survey has now closed. Results will be published mid-late February 2018.

Mar 132017

The NetWorker usage report for 2016 is now complete and available here. Per previous years surveys, the survey ran from December 1, 2016 through to January 1, 2017.


There were some interesting statistics and trends arising from this survey. The percentages of businesses not using backup to disk in at least some form within their environment fell to just 1% of respondents. That’s 99% of respondents having some form of backup to disk within their environment!

More and more respondents are cloning within their environments – if you’re not cloning in yours, you’re falling behind the curve now in terms of ensuring your backup environment can’t be a single point of failure.

There’s plenty of other results and details in the survey report you may be interested in, including:

  • Changes to the number of respondents using dedicated backup administrators
  • Cloud adoption rates
  • Ransomware attacks
  • The likelihood of businesses using or planning to use object storage as part of their backup environment
  • and many more

You can download the survey from the link above.

Just a reminder: “Data Protection: Ensuring Data Availability” is out now, and you can buy it in both paperback and electronic format from Amazon, or in paperback from the publisher, CRC Press. If you’ve enjoyed or found my blog useful, I’m sure you’ll find value in my latest book, too!

One respondent from this year’s survey will be receiving a signed copy of the book directly from me, too! That winner has been contacted.

Ransomware is a fact of life

 Data loss, Security  Comments Off on Ransomware is a fact of life
Feb 012017

The NetWorker usage survey for 2016 has just finished. One of the questions I asked in this most recent survey was as follows:

Has your business been struck by ransomware or other data destructive attacks in the past year?

(_) Yes

(_) No

(_) Don’t know

(_) Prefer not to say

With the survey closed, I wanted to take a sneak peek at the answer to this question.

Ransomware, as many of you would know, is the term coined for viruses and other attacks that lead data erased or encrypted, with prompts to pay a ‘ransom’ in order to get the money back. Some businesses may choose to pay the ransom, others choose not to. If you’ve got a good data protection scheme you can save yourself from a lot of ransomware situations, but the looming threat – which is something that has already occurred in some instances – is ransomware combined with systems penetration, resulting in backup servers being deliberately compromised and data-destructive attacks happening on primary data. I gave an example of EMC’s solution to that sort of devastating 1-2 punch attack last November.

Ransomware is not going away. We recently saw massive numbers of MongoDB databases being attacked, and law enforcement agencies are considering it a growing threat and a billion dollar a year or more industry for the attackers.

So what’s the story then with NetWorker users and ransomware? There were 159 respondents to the 2016 NetWorker usage survey, and the answer breakdown was as follows:

  • No – 48.43%
  • Don’t know – 11.32%
  • Prefer not to say – 9.43%
  • Yes – 30.82%

An August 2016 article in the Guardian suggested that up to 40% of businesses had been hit by ransomware, and by the end of 2016 other polls were suggesting the number was edging towards 50%.

Ransomware Percentages

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that at least 50% of respondents who answered “Prefer not to say” were probably saying it because it’s happened and they don’t want to mention it. (It’s understandable, and very common.) I’ll also go out on a limb and suggest that at least a third of respondents who answered “Don’t know” probably had been but it might have been resolved through primary storage or other recovery options that left individual respondents unaware.

At the very base numbers though, almost 31% of respondents knew they definitely had been hit by ransomware or other data-destructive attacks, and with those extrapolations above we might be forgiven for believing that the number was closer to 38.9%.

The Guardian article was based on a survey of Fortune 500 senior IT executives, and ransomware at its most efficacious is targeted and combined with other social engineering techniques such as spear phishing, so it’s no wonder the “big” companies report high numbers of incidents – they’re getting targeted more deliberately. The respondents on the NetWorker survey however came from all geographies and all sizes, ranging from a few clients to thousands or more.

Bear in mind that being hit by ransomware is not a case of “lightning never strikes twice”. At a briefing I went to in the USA last year, we were told that one business alone had been hit by 270+ cases of ransomware since the start of the year. Anecdotally, those customers of mine even who mention having been hit by ransomware talk about it in terms of multiple situations, not just a single one.

Now as much as ever before, we need robust data protection, and air-gapped data protection for sensitive data – the Isolated Recovery Site (IRS) is something you’ll hear more of as ransomware gets more prevalent.

NetWorker users have spoken – ransomware is a real and tangible threat to businesses around the world.

I’ll be aiming to have the full report published by mid-February, and I’ll contact the winner of the prize at that time too.

Nov 302016

Folks, it’s that time of the year again! Each year I run a survey to gauge NetWorker usage patterns – how many clients you’ve got, what plugins you’re using, whether you’re using deduplication, and a plethora of other questions. The survey runs from December 1 (ish) through to January 31 the next year. (This year I’m kicking it off on November 30, just because I have time.)

Take the survey!

That gets assembled into a report in February of the following year, reporting trends across the various years the NetWorker survey has been conducted. If you’d like to see what the reports look like, you can view last year’s report here.

You can fill out the survey anonymously if you’d like, but if you submit your email address at the end you’ll be in the running for a copy of my upcoming book, Data Protection: Ensuring Data Availability, due out February 2017. (Last year’s winner hasn’t been forgotten – the book just got delayed.) If you submit your email address, it will not be used for any purpose other than to notify you if you’re the winner.

The survey is closed now. Results will be published in February 2017.

Mar 022016

The NetWorker usage survey for 2015 saw 140 respondents across all geographic regions, and provided some excellent details on continuing trends, as well as picking up on some new correlations – such as the likelihood of using deduplication when compared to the overall number of clients being protected.

Here’s an example of one of the trends we’re seeing: the platform of choice for the NetWorker server. This year Windows and Linux are practically neck and neck – which platform will be the dominant server platform this year? We’ll find out at the end of the year!

NetWorker Server Version

You can access the report in full, for free, here. Happy reading!

[NB: The winner of the competition has been contacted.]

Dec 012015

It’s that time of the year again where I ask my readers and the NetWorker Community to spend a few minutes of their time answering some questions on how NetWorker is used within their environment. So your forbearance is greatly appreciated.

Each year I pose this survey and run it through from 1 December through to 31 January the following year – a straight 2 months. This year there’s 23 questions – a slight expansion on previous years, but I want to try to start gathering a bit of data on a couple of other topics, but I still believe this is something that will take no more than 5-10 minutes of your time. In return, you get to contribute to the NetWorker Usage Report that I generate in February each year. And trust me, now that I work in EMC, I’m well aware of how useful product managers find these reports, so this is well and truly your opportunity to provide real feedback as to how you use the product.

Edit, December 2: Product management reached out to me and ask if I could ask about CloudBoost, so I’ve added a 24th question to the survey.

While the survey is anonymous, it does offer a prompt for your to provide your email address, and for this survey there’ll be a prize: a signed copy of my upcoming book on Data Protection. This is a much broader tome of work than my previous book, Enterprise Systems Backup and Recovery, a Corporate Insurance Policy. At the moment the book is still under development, but it will be published next year, and if you want to be in the running for the book, please add your email address to the survey results. Your email address will be kept confidential. (I’ll notify the winner individually and then once the book is published, contact the winner for shipping details.)

Edit: The survey is now closed. Thanks for participating! Results coming in February 2016.

Recovery survey

 NetWorker, Recovery  Comments Off on Recovery survey
Jul 132015

Back in 2012, I ran a survey to gauge some basic details about recovery practices within organisations. (The report from that survey can be downloaded here.)

Recovery survey

It’s been a few years and it seems worthwhile coming back to that topic and seeing how things have changed within NetWorker environments. I’ve asked mostly the same questions as before, but this time I’ve expanded the survey to ask a few extra questions about what you’re recovering as well.

I’d really appreciate if you can take a few minutes to complete the survey using your best estimates. I’ll be running this survey until 31 August and will publish the results by mid-September.

The survey has now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated. Results coming in September.

Nov 302014

It’s that time of the year again where I ask my readers to set aside 5 minutes or so to answer some questions about how they’re using NetWorker within their environment. These results get compiled into the Annual NetWorker Usage Survey. You can find reports from previous surveys here, and the 2013/2014 report can be directly downloaded here.

The survey will run December 1 2014 (ok, I’m getting in a day early so I don’t forget) through to January 31 2015, with the report published in February 2015.

I’m grateful to everyone who has the time to fill in the survey. Please note that the survey tool asks you for your email address on submission. You can leave this blank or fill it in as you wish. If you do fill it in, I’ll assume you won’t mind me contacting you for any clarification or follow-up question. (However, I guarantee I won’t be adding you to any mailing lists, etc.)

The survey is now closed. Results will be published in February.


Dec 012013

It’s time for the annual NetWorker Usage Survey for 2013. This will run from 1 December, 2013 through to 31 January, 2014. Last year’s report can still be found here.

While the survey is anonymous, you are asked at the end of the survey if you’d like to provide your name and email address, and this year there’s an incentive to do so … I’ll be giving away a copy of my book, Enterprise Systems Backup and Recovery: A corporate insurance policy, to one survey entrant. Since the survey will close on 31 January 2014, I’ll be in contact with the winner in the first week of February to confirm address details and post it out. (Of course, if you don’t want to go into the competition, you can fill out the survey anonymously.)

The survey is now complete. Check back soon for the results.

NetWorker Usage Report 2012

 NetWorker  Comments Off on NetWorker Usage Report 2012
Feb 202013

Running between December 11, 2012 and 31 January 2013, the NetWorker Usage Survey switched from a bi-yearly to a yearly activity and continued to track trends within the NetWorker user community, as well as ask new questions relating to organisational structure for backup administrators, and backup methods used for virtual machines.

The results are now in – the report is available here.

There’s been some interesting trends … would you care, for instance, to take a guess as to the percentage of polled NetWorker sites now working with deduplication?

To see the results, download the report now.

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