I’ve spoken previously about our company’s drive and enthusiasm for cloud services and about our vision to embrace this technology as a fundamental building block for Multitrends as we continue to move forward. This last month has seen our plans come to fruition as a number of our clients have successfully moved into our cloud and I must say getting them there has been a thoroughly rewarding and interesting experience for my staff and I.
One aspect of the process that’s held a particular fascination for me is being able to physically see the vast quantities of rapidly expanding data involved, even in some of the small to medium businesses.
I was recently reading an interview with a guy called Vivek Ranadivé, the CEO of a Silicon Valley based $4 billion software company. Obviously a guy like Vivek knows his stuff and a quote from him that struck a chord with me was “If you take all the data that was generated from the dawn of man to, say, the day Barack Obama became president, that’s x. And then if you add up all the data that’s been generated since then, in just three years, that’s 10x. We are drowning in data”. Every working day I see Vivek’s forecast coming true. The question is how do you slow down and control that ever increasing snowball of information?
So what steps can you take to manage your data?To put it into clearer figures, worldwide, data will continue to grow at a rate of 50% or more in 2012 and will require more storage space to retain it and along with storage space comes increased expense. To combat this at a basic level we need to start thinking about optimizing our data which essentially means controlling data by reducing and managing it.
1. Implement Policies – Companies need to plan for disasters before they happen. They need to understand the life cycle of their data. Understanding this life cycle allows for proper determination on when to archive data.
2. Procedures – Companies need to take the time to define and implement procedures for their data. Most companies just stop at creating directories then putting data into them and backing all that up. Archiving requires a directory structure that supports it so that data can be easily released into the archiving process.
3. Personnel – Staff should be trained and empowered to monitor the system centrally. Software should be used that automates the backup and archive process while understanding that these two systems are separate and different. Optimization and tuning should always be part of the policy, procedure and training of staff.
4. Products – The products that companies choose must meet policies and procedures. Usually the biggest challenge a company can face is when they try to use their backup to archive their data. There are products in the market that are specifically designed to support the archiving of data. The right product tools help to eliminate human error and minimize the administration aspects of archiving data.
Following these steps will ensure that your data is protected in an effective manner. The tough part is understanding the importance and putting the time in to manage it effectively.