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Some environments are using a phased approach to application classification and opportunistically leveraging other major initiatives--for example, focusing on data retention as part of an overall archiving initiative, or targeting performance and resilience in conjunction with equipment lease expirations and a technical refresh cycle. These efforts include developing the overall classification framework and approach, as well as the process and tools needed to support and scale the effort on an ongoing basis. One GlassHouse client initially focusing on data retention, for example, is creating an extensible methodology that includes the following:

  • A cross-functional process flow, including phases, activities and dependencies involving infrastructure, app teams and functional areas such as legal, finance and compliance.

  • Classification rule sets to establish the logical link between business requirements and defined service levels.

  • Requirements questionnaires to gather application-specific business requirements.

  • A comprehensive data classification repository built upon a relational database to store and manage business requirements, application information, infrastructure data and service-level information.
This will enable them to expand classification

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into other dimensions and then apply it to the organization's other business units in a well-documented, supportable manner.

Tiered storage initiatives have largely been acts of faith based on the belief that buying cheaper storage would help stem rising costs. Achieving this goal isn't so easy. The only path to success is to clearly provide value. To do this, storage services must be aligned with business needs. The unavoidable point of intersection is application data classification.

This was first published in May 2006

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