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Show Me The Money #3 – Information Lifecycle Management (Backup, Archive, Disaster Recovery)

Your data is the lifeblood of your company.  So much so, that most companies would go bankrupt if they could not recover their data.   So that begs the question, is data treated according to it’s worth?

The short answer is no.  Most businesses treat all of their data the same.  Store it on disk, back it up, never delete it and when it runs out of room add a new disk.  Here is the cold hard fact, not all data is created equally.

That’s right.  My Powerpoint file is not as important as the payroll database or the POS application.  Duh.   Why then do most business have a single policy to protect all those 1’s and 0’s?

Help me help you on this.  Treat your data according to its real worth.  Store the data in the correct manner from the time it is created to the time it is deleted.   For example, production on the fastest disk while everything else on slower and less expensive disks.  Data protection follows that same logic.  Your production data gets protected first, then non production data second.  Production gets the most resources and on a recovery it is the same way so the data can be brought back very quickly.

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is a fancy way to say “treat your data according to its worth”.

In order to help you, I would like you to create 3 different storage policies.  First, everything you MUST HAVE to do business on a day-to-day basis (Production applications, email application, etc.).  This gets the most expensive and fastest disks.  Second, everything you NEED on a yearly basis to ensure your businesses integrators (test and development applications, user data, copies of older data etc.).  Lastly, everything you WANT to keep (non-business applications, pictures etc.)

Once you have those three storage policies, use the tools that you already have to enforce the policies.  The best example is your data protection application.  It should treat the data it is protecting according to your wishes and according to its worth.

So when Jerry McGuire says, “help me help you”, think about your data.  The data is simple to create and delete but it is difficult to manage over its lifetime.  Think. Act. Plan.

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