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Enforce data management techniques to keep up with data growth

In this first tip of a seven-part series, Jon Toigo, CEO and managing principal of Toigo Partners International, and chairman of the Data Management Institute, discusses how unmanaged data is contributing to the 'storage infrastruggle' -- a term he coined to characterize the challenges IT administrators face in today's data storage technology environments. Watch the video above or read the text below to learn what changes Toigo believes need to be made to data management techniques and practices.

When it comes to the storage infrastructure, one obvious trend driving up cost and complexity is the nearly complete absence of data management. Despite the necessity to understand what data is associated with which applications to assign appropriate data protection and security services, or to ensure that a retention schedule is in place that complies with regulatory or legal mandates, in most shops data is a bunch of anonymous bits.

Please read Toigo's entire video-tip series on data management issues

Growing capacity one of the main impacts of server virtualization

Toigo: Disk needs to be varied with other data storage methods

Vendors benefit from offering alternative storage tiering strategies, you don't

Vendor lock-in, value-add software make storage utilization efficiency more difficult

Why the limitations of cloud storage may add to the 'infrastruggle'

Data storage problems require different types of thinking from IT leaders

We don't manage data well. Based on a study the Data Management Institute conducted of nearly 3,000 firms, approximately 30% of the capacity on disk drives in client systems, servers and external arrays is used to store data needed for day-to-day operations. On average, 40% of disk capacity hosts data that can best be described as "inert" -- you need to keep it for one reason or another, but it's never accessed. Data copies, orphan data (whose owner no longer exists in the organization) or contraband data that doesn’t belong on disk consumes another 25%. In many cases, a significant amount of storage is assigned and then lost due to poor capacity management processes, becoming "dark space."

A failure to implement data management strategies contributes significantly to capacity demand growth and, ultimately, to infrastructure cost. Storage now consumes between 33% and 70% of an organization's IT hardware budget (depending on which analyst is quoted), and business management is beginning to question whether the return is worth the investment.

Wrangling unmanaged data requires, at a minimum, periodic data hygiene to clear out data that no longer belongs on the infrastructure. Archiving is the best way to curb the unmanaged data deluge, as well as the expense and waste it creates.

Coping with the infrastruggle in data storage will require careful consideration of data growth and its associated issues and problems, and the data management techniques and strategies that can be brought to bear to blunt the trend.

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