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Data management strategies: Toigo's 5 quick tips for clearing clutter

In this expert video presentation featuring Data Management Institute chairman and Storage Decisions speaker Jon Toigo, storage pros in need of new data management strategies in 2013 can learn five quick and simple ways to get started. View this video or read some of Toigo's comments below to find out how to implement good data hygiene policies without having to make it a year-long initiative.

1. Start out by downloading some free software or a 30-day free trial of SolarWinds' storage profiler. It's one of the best SRM reporting tools on the market. You can use it free for 30 days. Run it against your infrastructure -- and identify all files that haven't been accessed or modified in 90 days. Print out a list and then correlate it to Active Directory if you can.

2. Identify who the big [data] pigs are -- and hand it over to their manager. Say 'Look, this guy's using an awful lot of space, and a lot of these files haven't been accessed in [more than] 90 days. Do they really all need to be there?'

3. Give [users] free, unlimited access to tape.  Say that you will keep them safe; they can get access to them via the 'world wide wait' -- 20 seconds to 2 minutes to access the file. But we want to move it off our primary spindles because we're spending too much money on spindles. You might get a little cooperation; you never know.

4. Implement file segregation schemes. Basically, figure out how you deploy the data when it's first created and apply policies to it. That would be the best way -- granular understanding of the data, even if you only do it based on which department the guy works for.  If he works for accounting and you consider the accounting systems to all be mission-critical, that goes to a certain set of services and a certain set of resources.  When he saves, it goes there. It's invisible to him; it doesn't require his cooperation.

5. How can you implement it? By using the file classification infrastructure available to you for free inside Microsoft Server 2008. Use that. Or, you've got a third-party product [such as] Trusted Edge from FileTek, or any number of other products that will allow you to set up buckets and tell everybody when they save files; you store them to this bucket. Then, you treat each bucket with different policies based on the importance of that kind of data. Are you going to get false positives? Of course you are. Fine, if you've got false positives, those get migrated off too -- if they haven't been touched in 90 days. We have to start getting real about how we do this.

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