Not all data is created equal.

SAN’s and Storage Tiering: Difficult Situations Inspire Ingenious Solutions.  

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” – Thomas Jefferson, US Declaration of Independence 

While it is self-evident people are created equal, it is also self-evident to IT professionals managing application infrastructure that not all data is created equal.

In the late 1980’s through the 1990’s, Information Technology was only used by a small number of distinct applications – Financial Systems, Document Creation and one or two custom applications, all with dedicated hardware.  Data sets were small.  For most companies, the number of applications that pushed the performance envelope could be counted on one hand.  The primary purpose of consolidated storage platforms in that era was enabling high availability for applications by providing redundant storage architecture and supporting clustering at the server level.

As database technologies, ERP applications, Electronic Data Interchange, Web-Enabled ecommerce applications, Business Intelligence, Multimedia and now social media have been integrated into all aspects of the enterprise, both the performance and capacity limits of storage architectures have been challenged.  [Read more…]

You’ve got way too much mail.

How archiving is helping organizations get email under control.  

 Consider, if you will, these two predicaments.

 Organization A, which is particularly prone to lawsuits, has decided not to keep email backups beyond 30 days.  This decision is based on the knowledge that the number one issues courts are looking for today concerning email retention is for a company to have established policies in place and are actively enforcing them.  Today’s regulatory compliance is focused on security of specific personal information and the retention of specific documents related to people, patients, business transactions, etc. 

 At first glance, this somewhat extreme approach can seem effective at mitigating business risk in today’s litigious business climate.  The theory being that what no longer exists can’t be used against the organization in the future. However, inconvenienced employees needing access to older emails end up forwarding them to personal email accounts or requesting them from customers and vendors.  A decision meant to mitigate risk actually multiplies risk by having potentially confidential company information stored in uncontrolled and unsecure environments.

 Then there’s Organization B, on the opposite end of the spectrum, which can’t decide what to do with its sea of emails and attachments, what to keep or delete, so it hoards everything – a potentially costly and storage-devouring situation.  Not only does this turn out to be unsustainable over the long term it can have dramatic performance impact on a key business critical application.  Should this organization have to [Read more…]