Carbonite: For Dummies?

by Lynnette Nolan | Oct 24, 2008

According to a recently released survey by Compuware, most data loss is attributable to either user negligence or malice. Only 1% of data loss is due to hackers. I loved the headline on this story: "3/4 idiots, 1/4 bitterness."

I have to confess to being part of the "idiot" crowd. Three weeks ago I left my laptop sitting on my seat when I got off the train in New York. I remembered it just in time to see my train, with laptop still aboard, disappearing down the track. Except for occasionally recovering individual files that I accidentally delete or overwrite, I haven't actually had a PC disaster since starting Carbonite 3 years ago. So, aside from the pain of having to buy a new laptop, it was fun to use my own product to get everything back. I was really proud of how well it worked.

What I don't see in the Compuware survey is data lost to hard drive failure. For some reason this doesn't show up in the survey, even though I will bet you that it tops all the other categories. We use a LOT of hard drives in our data center, and our statistics show that roughly 3% of all hard drives will fail each year. That's why we use RAID arrays which are 36 million times more reliable than a single drive. Google also publishes their disk failure rate, and it's roughly the same as ours. Hard drives are a data disaster waiting to happen, in our experience. That's why you need a LOT of redundancy in your data storage architecture, as we do. We store our customers' encrypted data on 16 drive arrays. We would have to lose 3 of the 16 drives simultaneously AND your PC would have to crash all at the same time before any data is lost. When you figure the odds of this happening, it's very very close to zero.

I hope you never leave your laptop on Amtrak, but if you do, you'll be glad you've got Carbonite.

CEO, Carbonite