Data disasters more likely to strike in summer
The turbulent British summer leads to a surge in data loss incidents, according to industry experts.
Kroll Ontrack claims that it traditionally deals with around 12% more data recovery requests in the summer months than it does in the spring, with the weather largely to blame for the surge.
“We see peaks [in demand] soon after peaks in the ambient temperature,” Kroll Ontrack’s chief engineer, Robert Winter, told PC Pro.
If you have devices that are going to fail, the failure may be induced by the elevated temperature
“The stress on electrical devices increases if you elevate the temperature,” Winter added. “If you have devices that are going to fail, the failure may be induced by the elevated temperature.”
Winter claims failure rates tend to be higher among personal and small business users, rather than large companies, which tend to have air conditioning and humidity control. Laptops and disk drives being left in direct sunlight or in the back of cars is another common cause of failure, the Ontrack engineer added.
Hot weather isn’t the only meteorological threat to IT equipment over the summer months. “You tend to get extreme weather, such as electrical storms,” explained the rather ironically named Winter. “Quite a few drives get damaged by electrical surges.”
Winter claims the damage caused by electrical surges isn’t usually terminal, with the diodes used to protect the rest of the drive’s electronics bearing the brunt, leaving the disk platters largely unharmed. “The normal [data recovery] process is to get the electronics working again, by replacing the electronics with an identical set,” he explained.
The summer can also trigger an indirect increase in data loss rates, with more IT staff naturally taking a break in July and August. “Often companies decide to do maintenance in the summer months,” said Winter. “If the maintenance goes wrong, there are limited reserves available because staff go on holiday.”