The Coming Data Crisis

    As the sheer volume of data that needs to be managed increases, so, too, does the opportunity to lose it. The problem, of course, is that most IT organizations still treat backup and archiving of their data as an event rather than something that needs to be managed on an ongoing basis.

    Eventually, however, even the most lax IT organization will need to come to grips with the new realities of data management, especially in the coming era of Big Data.

    Jeff Pederson, manager of data recovery operations for Kroll Ontrack, a provider of backup and archiving software and services, has outlined the 10 most common ways IT organizations lose data, starting with the simple fact that they fail to take backup seriously and then not keep current with the latest technological advances.

    Unfortunately, Pederson concedes that such advice all too often falls on deaf ears until something catastrophic actually happens. The good news is that as more IT organizations confront larger data management issues being brought on by the rise of cloud computing, virtualization and Big Data, more of them are addressing backup and archiving issues as part of the process. In addition, IT organizations are confronting a maze of compliance issues that all assume there is some form of backup and archiving in place. And just to make matters even more interesting, users are more mobile than ever, which means the opportunity to lose data is multiplying with each passing day.

    The trouble is that, right now, the technologies that most IT organizations have in place today can’t keep pace with the volume of data, resulting in backup windows that exceed 24 hours. On top of that, many IT organizations are confused about the difference between backup and archiving, which, more often than not, leads to extended recovery times when looking for a particular piece of data.

    The end result is that many IT organizations are starting to recognize that they need to prioritize what data is being backed up when based on its value to the business, which now includes any fines that might be levied in the event the business can’t produce certain data.

    Sometimes it takes the magnitude of constitutional crisis to get any organization to address long-standing issues that most people would rather ignore. From an IT perspective, the backup and archiving crisis is now upon us, so it’s no longer if backup and archiving is about to become a problem, but rather when.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 1

    Click through for 10 ways your company can lose data, as identified by Kroll Ontrack.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 2

    Large volumes of data present a challenge for backup procedures, and restoring this information can take days. Not matching the file backups with the hardware specifications hinders performance and growth capability, making data loss more likely.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 3

    Investing all of your backup funds in personal training can take away the necessary funds for other, more reliable backup strategies. Established archiving technologies and services allow content to easily be managed, preserved and recovered, saving money and ultimately preventing future data loss.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 4

    While tapes may seem indestructible, they are highly susceptible to damage from natural elements. Users should keep backup tapes stored in a stable environment, without extreme temperatures, humidity or electromagnetism. Also, storing tapes offsite will ensure that files are preserved if the site experiences a fire, flood or other disaster. Users should also consider uploading data to the cloud, which can protect it from natural disasters.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 5

    While some users may think they can easily store and back up their data, they might not know the most efficient and cost-effective solutions available to keep relevant data and comply with backup and storage requirements. Experts and consultants from third-party companies have experience in keeping up with document retention policies and best practices, and can install solutions and provide services with a minimal impact on resources.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 6

    Sometimes, having more than one data backup expert can cause conflicting opinions and contradictions. Users should stick with one expert who understands the customer's needs and the type of data and backup software they are working with. They can work closely with the user to make sure they understand how their backup solutions work and how to access relevant data.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 7

    Backup tapes are typically designed for use from 5,000 to 500,000 times, depending on the type of tape. By frequently replacing backups, users increase their chances of losing data in the process due to the inability for data on tape to be read by a new application or server.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 8

    Information that may need to be accessed must be transferred to modern media formats in order to be compliant with current legislation and recoverable in the event of data loss. Maintaining up-to-date records and data on modern media formats makes future extractions quick and painless. Furthermore, storage costs will decrease and the organization will be better aligned with compliance regulations.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 9

    The cost of a data loss often outweighs the cost of the data backup software and services. It is important for businesses to know the financial impact that days or even hours of downtime can have in the event of a data loss. Spending money upfront on reliable software helps businesses save money in the long run by protecting their valuable information.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 10

    As technology constantly changes, many businesses could find that when in need of a data recovery, their data is not retrievable because it is stored on old tape formats. Furthermore, data compliance regulations require businesses to retain data for many years, often longer than the availability of the technology used to store it.

    The Coming Data Crisis - slide 11

    Data loss experts have experience with all causes of data loss, from the simple to the most complex and catastrophic situations, including human error, viruses, natural disasters, accidental deletion, system crashes, corruption, hardware failure and more. They are well equipped to respond to any situation, and can prevent the loss from escalating.

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