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Data: Most of it is junk
Bill Bennett 2700058NDT firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  virtualisation
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Data: Most of it is junk
Earlier this year, the journal Science reported the world’s total stock of data storage hit 295 exabytes in 2007. It’s likely to be double that today.
An exabyte is one billion gigabytes. It’s usual when talking about vast quantities of data to illustrate with an image. Try this: if 295 exabytes was stored on CDs, the stack would stretch past the moon.
It’s a lot of information. Or maybe not.
Storage experts say anywhere from 80 to 90% of stored data is anything but valuable. The bulk of material stored on the world’s disks, discs, tapes and other media is worthless.
Companies are increasingly moving applications and data to remote servers where they can be managed more efficiently by dedicated specialist teams. To get the best value from outsourced services, they need to make sure the data they work with is in good shape.
Trevor Clarke, a senior analyst with the Infrastructure Group at IDC Australia, says companies should identify and analyse the data that’s more critical and valuable then store and protect it appropriately.
He says: “All organisations should be looking at assessing what data they are capturing now and then categorising this into tiers – this will then allow them to make better decisions around what is and isn’t critical and on what kind of storage media it should be kept on.
“It’ll also help understand future storage requirements and whether you need to adopt technologies like de-duplication that can let you cut down on unnecessary duplication of data.”
Devising a data strategy is important for any business. Thankfully it’s not a task you have to do for yourself. Clarke says there are many service providers and vendors who can help with assessing your storage architecture, then manage it.
He says: “I’d advise organisations to make sure they do the proper due-diligence on selecting a partner for this, as your storage infrastructure is a vital component of any IT system and having a sound and forward looking strategy in place can help alleviate a lot of pain down the track.”
Most of the world’s data might well be junk, making sure your data is worthwhile isn’t difficult.