The most common mistake businesses make in managing storage efficiency is mixing up backup with archiving, according to IBM vice-president of storage sales, systems and technology in growth markets, Laura Guio.
She was speaking at an Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium (IIIS) 2011 session in Sydney.
Guio said the costs arising from backup and archiving is very different and suggested virtualising storage to increase utilisation by up to 30 per cent. Many companies are still using backups in the place of archives.
She added the explosion of unstructured data is also an efficiencies challenge as backup and archive requirements are growing at an average of 40 to 50 per cent annually.
According to Guio, the cost of a storage device is associated with the actual capital acquisition of the product, energy and cooling. Keeping data longer will cost businesses more as it increases the cost of that data over time and searching for it is expensive.
“Users expect 100 per cent utilisation of their application and information and that data out there can be associated with those expectations based on the key performance indicators that you put into your system. So, spending cost associated with data protection is increasing,” she said.
Guio said backup is not archive – two different values should be placed on the data and a whole different schema of how businesses use this within their datacentres.
A study done by the company showed that many companies do not spend as much money on data protection and backups than they should as they prefer spending it on mission critical applications.
She stated that the most important tool is for businesses to understand their data and the value of it.
“Did you know that on average, 70 per cent of data has not been accessed in the last 90 days or more? So understanding your data is extremely important – How often is your data accessed? Who is it stored by? Is it the required piece of data for management utilisation or government regulatory?” she added.
As such, she deduced that the process of archiving is more cost effective than backup. The time is longer in retrieving the data but, the cost of storing it is lower.
She suggested three key strategies that IT companies should take in managing storage growth. They include:
- Stop storing so much
- Make efficient utilisation of what you have already purchased
- Move data to the right place through automated tiering and automated data migration
“A well deployed archiving strategy can save up to 60 per cent in backup costs and reduce backup time by 80 per cent,” Guio concluded.