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Daily data volatility rates

Are you aware of any planning guidelines or industry standards that speak to daily volatility rates? For example, in a file and print server environment with 100 GB of online data, I believe you should expect to see 10% of your data change daily.

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The assumption here is that you are looking for a best practice approach for sizing a backup solution. As a rule of thumb, most industry practitioners will use a daily data change rate for a file server between 2% and 5%, the latter being a little on the high side. When looking at databases, the daily change rate is typically estimated at 100%. This is explained by the fact that the majority of organizations typically run daily full database backups.

That being said, these are based on averages. Depending on the nature of the data and applications, the industry you are in and other related factors, the change rate may be completely different. In such cases, estimating the change rate must be approached on a per application basis. An example of that would be Patient Medical Imaging data. Existing data is typically static but new images are created daily. The amount of data created daily then becomes the change rate to use.

This was first published in February 2005

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