Stubborn data

Persistent data can overwhelm archives if not treated differently 

Heidi Biggar hit a nerve with her stories on a growing problem in backup and recovery for businesses: backing up the same information over and over.  Backup technology and practices have improved greatly over the past few years, while simultaneously data volume has continued to expand every year.  So more companies are backing up, and have more to backup.


Problem: too much of the same data on all of those backup drives: 

ESG estimates that 60% to 80% or more of the data on primary storage systems today is static (or persistent). In other words, this data has not been accessed at all 90 days or more after its creation.

Is persistent data a large-scale problem? Heidi’s solution is basically tiered storage, but I’m not convinced that’s being done widely today.  I’d like to hear from people successfully (or unsuccessfully) addressing this issue. 


2 responses to “Stubborn data

  1. I’ve seen the backup plans for a few companies in Canada as well as here in Japan, and organizations on both sides of the Pacific tend to do things quite a bit differently.

    In Canada, it was normal practice to have full backups of all files and databases during the week written and re-written to tape with the backups written on Friday being stored at an off-site location. This was the method done at four of the seven places I’ve done freelance programming for and, in each case, it was because the network admins had read the same article about this in PC World a few years back.

    In Japan, there are incremental backups done daily with full backups every Friday, which are then stored on-site in a fire-resistant safe. Oddly enough, while there is some compression used on these files, there is no encryption of the data. It would take almost no effort to effectively steal a company’s most current data.

    Considering how well the Japanese implement domain controllers, active directory services and other security measures, this lack of encryption surprises me.

    That said, in Canada backups were almost exclusively written to tape. In Japan, backups are either written to a removable hard drive, or to easily destructable BluRay discs.

  2. Pingback: Don’t be a copycat « Storage Effect

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