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How to stop spending your IT budget on storage

To accommodate the growth of data in an organisation, many choose to define the problem in terms of storage, any example would be “Just buy more storage – it’s cheap!” or, “move it to the Cloud and make it someone else’s problem.”

Unfortunately, this storage-focused approach doesn’t always scale well with the exponential rate of data growth. In fact, it can place a huge cost strain on the business as the data multiplies faster than business growth.

According to this Veritas infographic, next year, organisations will create 39% more data than this year. The question is: Will your storage budget grow 39% too?


3 Types of Data

Data can be classified into three types:

  1. Dark data or unstructured data is data that organisations know nothing at all.
  2. ROT data is redundant, obsolete and/or trivial data – not dark anymore as the content is well understood, but this data is not relevant for business.
  3. Clean data, this is the data that is business relevant and provides value.

According to Veritas, the global average for Clean Data is only 15%, ROT data is 33% and dark data is a staggering 52%.


Businesses are built on Data

Data is what businesses are built on; and valuable data can help with business growth. In saying this, fundamentally, people are data hoarders. People often don’t want to delete anything because they think they might need it in the future, and it’s so easy to keep. The challenge with hoarding at any organisation is;

  • the lack of real insight into this data, and
  • lacking a firm information governance strategy,

Without both, organisations will continue to enable this hoarding tendency. The right processes, policies and technology need to be in place to better manage this information, otherwise, the data just piles up.

When considering the global average for dark data is 52% and ROT data is 33%, it will come as no surprise to learn that organisations will spend large portions of their IT budget on keeping this data highly available, backed up and secured.

Disk might be cheap and becoming cheaper by the month, but the total cost of ownership of storage is not.

It’s a drag on the business. The time required for managing all of this information and the burden of managing risk with many files in many locations – it is extremely difficult to keep tabs on who has access to what and where. Factor in disaster recovery and recovery testing for this data, it can add up very quickly.


Reduce the cost of Dark Data

Organisations can reduce their dark data and ROT data costs by defining and identifying data, and putting in frameworks to automate the business decisions on classifying, retaining, archiving or deleting ROT data. One such tool capable of performing these actions is Veritas’ Data Insight.

Data Insight provides the following;

  • visibility into data ownership and how it is being used,
  • allows users and administrators to determine the value of the data that is stored,
  • helps identify who has access to data, and
  • helps administrators determine appropriate access rights.

Have a think about how much data you may have that is unclassified, not identified or unknown.

Data#3 has the skills and resources to help you identify the dark data in your organisation and to reduce your ROT data footprint. The next time you are running out of storage, instead of following the typical storage-focused approach, try out the information-governance approach.

You may be surprised to learn that you don’t need to buy those new disks after all.

Tags: Data Centre Backup, Storage, Veritas

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