The answer is multi-tiered data management – so what is the question?
There are many questions to which MDM is the answer. One is ‘How do you reduce the cost of securing the data and information that you rely on for your daily operations?’ Another… ‘Do you set policies to manage the data on your servers?’
So what is MDM? It is how an organisation should approach the task of managing its active and inactive data.
Data can be classified into a number of different types: ultra-critical; critical; important; and legacy data. Ultra-critical is typically financial transaction-type data where even a few hours of data loss will have a severe business impact. Critical covers other application and file data which has been created or accessed in the previous 90 days. Important and/or legacy data is sitting in a mail server or file server and it must be protected for operational or regulatory compliance reasons.
Ultra-critical data should be replicated in real-time as soon as it is created. High-availability storage with fail-over capability is utilised to reduce recovery point and recovery time objectives. Critical data should be backed up daily to secondary storage with access to on-site or on-line recovery in the event of primary system failure. Important and/or legacy data should be archived on low cost, off-site tertiary storage and retained for the period required to meet regulatory and compliance directives.
The cost of managing and storing data spirals upwards as the amount of primary data increases. The solution is to utilise the correct type of storage to match the data management requirement. Replication services are very secure, highly available and expensive, but they may save your business when they are called into action. Ten per cent of your data is likely to fall into this category. About 60 per cent of your data is critical and should be backed up in a secondary data store, accessible and ready for restoration when required. The remaining 30 per cent is data that should be archived, held securely off site, but accessible when required.
Your data management policies should recognise and differentiate the type and importance of your data. It makes sense to regularly audit your data and to ensure that application and file system data is correctly secured.
The latest developments in multi-tiered data management integrate the systems and processes that support each data type, handling the movement of data between storage types seamlessly and transparently. This, after all, is the real answer to the data management question, because unless you are able to continually review and manage your data, you are at risk.
If you are, perhaps you should talk to a relevant managed services provider who will help you secure your data and save you money at the same time.
Glenn Tookey is marketing director at InTechnology plc.