Susan, an employee of a major insurance company, clicked on her email at work to open a cute home video her friend Debbie sent. That 20mb video file was then stored in her email and, at the end of the day, was diligently backed up by her company’s data storage solution.
Just one year later after daily backups of Susan’s email, that one video now takes up 7300 MB of space!
The incredible growth in the amount of electronic data generated for both business and personal use has resulted in higher costs for data storage and backup. Several factors have lead to these spiraling cost increases, including storage of larger files such as video and audio, multiple backups of the same files, and enforcement of industry compliance regulations. How often is your company backing up duplicate data over the course of a year?
With the exponential increase in the storage of email, video, mp3 files and other large sized files, business storage needs have grown accordingly. In addition to backing up business information, company computers often end up as the de facto backup for personal music, videos and email, resulting in additional backup storage costs for businesses.
Currently, 75% of documents are stored in email. In 2008 alone, more than 210 billion emails were sent. Backing up the same email attachments sent to different people in the same organization results in increased storage requirements, costs and time for backups.
3 Ways to Control Costs
Using outdated backup methods or limiting your company to tape storage and backup will increase your costs, rather than reduce them. Instead, look for a solution that provides the flexibility and technology that will help you maximize cost savings. Implementing the following cost management techniques may help optimize your storage and backup strategy.
- Reduce duplication of data
Increase the speed of your backup operations and reduce storage costs by eliminating the duplication of data and backing up only new and changed data blocks. With tape backup systems and most disk-based backup systems, the same data is often backed up multiple times, resulting in higher data storage needs and an increased storage footprint. By eliminating duplicate data and only backing up the block-level daily changes, less data storage is needed. In addition, the ability to quickly recover data in the case of a disaster will eliminate unnecessary downtime and risk of data loss.
- Implement flexible data retention policies and schedules
Flexible retention policies and schedules allow you to determine the appropriate retention time based on the type of data being stored. By setting and managing retention schedules, you control the amount of data you store. For example, Sarbanes Oxley Sec. 802(a) requires that audit or review work papers be retained for a period of five years. This is likely a longer period of time than you might keep non-financial data.
In addition to length of time, a system that provides the flexibility of different policies for different file types can also assist a company in avoiding storing employees’ personal files such as video files or mp3 files during backup sessions. Eliminating or reducing the amount of time a type of file is saved, especially large video and audio files, can provide significant cost savings.
- Use one system that works with multiple platforms
Companies have implemented multiple platforms and applications across different types of servers, operating systems and databases. These organizations are often forced to deploy multiple backup systems to handle each separate platform type. The maintenance time and costs for these systems can really pile up. Having one backup system that can work across different platforms saves time and money, while reducing the complexity of managing and maintaining multiple data storage systems.
For more information on how to reduce the costs of you data backup methods, contact your Regional Manager or call us at 757-545-7675.