Data recovery business full steam ahead

Bill Margeson, president of CBL Data Recovery, says data recovery business is full steam ahead.

With all the stress vendors have placed on backup solutions, whether it’s tape, disc or the latest cloud solutions, there might be a perception that the data recovery business is shrinking, but that’s not the case, according to the head of data recovery specialist CBL Data Recovery Technologies. In fact, quite the opposite. Business is booming.

CBL Data Recovery has provided data recovery services since 1995, and even then, it was hardly uncommon to hear about the importance of backup technologies and processes. The technology has changed (tape has been edged out by disc, and now the cloud is playing a major role in backup and recovery; additionally, storage space and storage performance has increased exponentially), but the same problems are obviously still relevant.

After all, if backups were regularly being made, would CBL and the data recovery space in general be experiencing an increase in business? As Bill Margeson, president of CBL, told, business is full steam ahead.

However, the data recovery business is changing, and there are new competitors entering the market. Although competition can be a good thing, the problem with some of the competitors that have entered the space in the last few years is they don’t have the skills or experience that customers really need, Margeson said.

“The marketplace, I’m embarrassed to report, over these last few years we’ve got every Tom, Dick and Harry in the world trying to get involved with data recovery. They’ve bought $99 software and they’ve recovered data for some people,” Margeson said. They don’t always know what they’re doing, and they can’t always offer clients the level of service they need, he said.

Another issue is a morphing in the industry about four years ago, he said. That’s when Western Digital pioneered the external hard drive market and quickly found a large business in the consumer market.

“Our heads were turned chasing the consumer, and that was the result of one of the biggest players getting into the business, Seagate,” Margeson said. Seagate entered the external hard drive market in a big way, but it also got into the data recovery business — a move that Margeson said started to commoditize the data recovery space.

The secret to the data recovery business is not recovering data, though, Margeson said. It’s solving a problem for a client.

“We’re changing, always. We ride what I call the bleeding edge. We see hardware before it’s really in the marketplace and promoted and sold by the truckload. We gain insight and we’re always seeing trends,” Margeson said.

Of course, as storage space continues to grow, that presents additional challenges to data recovery specialists.

“As the densities go up, more data per square inch, we’re really challenged to solve customers’ problems because it’s physical and because it makes a lot more mess of data than it used to,” he said.

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