Do you know what data you are storing?

“What can’t be measured, can’t be managed.”
Peter Drucker, Management Consultant”

One problem we frequently encounter when talking to new clients about their file and email archiving solution is that they don’t know exactly what data they are storing. If you don’t know what data you’ve got, how can you manage it?

In most businesses it isn’t the people who create the files and emails who are responsible for file and email archiving. Generally we find the IT team is tasked with storing data from across the business without being given much detail on what’s valuable and what isn’t. Added to that is the frustration associated with not knowing how much data is duplicated, how many times it’s duplicated, and how old it is. It isn’t uncommon for an established business to regularly back up decade-old data that is no longer of use. It’s a waste of time and resources.

That’s why we engineered our file and email archiving solution to give businesses better visibility of what they are storing and what kinds of data make up the bulk of their archive.

Measure your data

ShareArchiver has a feature that can identify duplicates and remove the copies. In some clients we find up to 25-40% of their data storage volume consists of duplicates. Clearing out the spare copies can make a huge difference to how much data they need to store.

If you haven’t already done so, we suggest you use ShareArchiver’s reporting tools to assess the extent of your file and email archiving problem. Our solution will automatically only store one copy of the data, with any duplicate copies being replaced with a link to the original version. This significantly cuts down on your storage requirements while data remains accessible.

unorganised-files

To help you understand what data you’re keeping, ShareArchiver lets you archive data according to properties including its size or file type, the date it was created or last modified. ShareArchiver’s file archiving reporting features then helps you understand the properties of data making up your archive and what kind of data is occupying most space.

Our clients rely on the graphical interface to understand how their data is divided amongst different types of files and how it is split by age/volume. You can measure how much data storage you are saving by using ShareArchiver to compress your archive and de-duplicate.

Manage your data

Once you’ve archived the bulk of your data, you can set up some file archiving rules for the future based on policies such as age or size of data being retained. Our clients find this helps them stay in control of their file and email archiving and they can say with confidence what kind of data is being archived. The key to taking control of your data really is to understand it.

Why findability is the key to a successful file archiving solution

If you can’t find your data then your file archiving solution isn’t working!

When new clients come to us, we usually find that their number one file archiving complaint is how hard it is to locate the data they’ve archived. Like many businesses they’ll generally be using tape to store their data. This isn’t a very secure solution, as tape is so vulnerable to damage by magnetic fields and other physical harm. But on a day-to-day basis the main problem with tape is that it doesn’t let you locate and restore files and emails easily.

Quite often we’ll find our clients are storing their tapes with a third party, so their archived data isn’t even at the same location as their offices. Specialist equipment is needed to read the tape and the whole tape needs to be restored in order for a single byte of data to be retrieved.

It’s a slow solution and this impacts on the business in a big way. For a start it’s a time cost but there’s an associated reputation risk if critical data can’t be tracked down speedily when required. We frequently find clients coming to us at their wits’ end as they waste huge amounts of time trying to track down files and emails they’ve backed up to tape.

Findability is key

That’s why ShareArchiver doesn’t rely on tape and we’ve made findability a big part of the file archiving solution that we offer. We offer several features to help you retrieve your data.

Archived data is replaced with a stub that contains all the critical data to help you retrieve the original file. Stubbing is popular among our users as it offers a seamless way to locate and retrieve files and emails.

Tagging lets you add a unique string to your data. This will help you retrieve it incredibly quickly (usually in under a second).
You can tag files individually or apply a single tag to a group of files. When you tag a group of files it acts like a filter for your search, helping you narrow down the results.
We purge duplicated data but retain all file server links to the duplicate files. This means the duplicated files can be seamlessly restored without the user being aware that they are accessing the original rather than the duplicated file.
It’s possible to preview documents online in a browser without needing to download the file to view it.
This saves time locating the right document.
Once the right file is identified, you can quickly restore it at the click of a button.

Reducing bottlenecks

The disadvantage of relying on tape is that only a small number of business users have access to the archived data. Rather than rely on the IT team to restore tapes, our file archiving solution allows users across the business seamless access to files and emails. Multiple users have access to the archive rather than only a small number of data specialists. This reduces bottlenecks as users can serve themselves rather than depend on IT personnel for assistance.

Although data security is of high importance, we tend to find that the ease with which documents can be retrieved is what makes the difference to our clients in their everyday working lives.