ESG Blog: The Good, Better, Best of Data Management (Video)
There is a lot of warranted excitement and focus (as well as some hype) in the area of Copy Data Management.

Apr 24, 2017
Jason Buffington   ESG Blog: The Good, Better, Best of Data Management (Video)
Author: Jason Buffington

 

 

Data Management, meaning the maturation of data protection and data preservation that adds contextual insight based on the data and the enablement of re-use of the data for other purposes, is a journey that all of us are on – whether we know it or not.

  • Maybe you’re just trying to get “good” data protection and retention.
  • Maybe you’ve got “good” but are looking for “better” (and smarter) data preservation.
  • Or maybe you’ve got or are working through “better” but want the “best” – whereby you are not only doing data protection and preservation, but are unlocking new business value and usage scenarios for your otherwise dormant data (BC/DR, reporting/analytics, DevOps enablement, etc.) through what many in the industry now call “Copy Data Management."

Check out where you are in this video – and what your next steps might be.



As the video stays:

There is a lot of warranted excitement and focus (as well as some hype) in the area of Copy Data Management; but make no mistake, the data protection landscape is forever changing as data protection and preservation become foundational elements of a broader data management strategy that not only keeps what you need and removes what you don’t, but also enables you to do more with the data that you have.

As always, thanks for watching.


Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jason Buffington. I'm the principal analyst at ESG covering data protection. Earlier this year, I've e-blogged on the concept of why and how data protection needs to evolve towards either data availability or data management. Thinking about the latter, there really is a maturation journey that most organizations and vendors should be going through.

Good. You're keeping your data for as long as you need to and frequently enough along the way. This may sound fundamental but many organizations still struggle with this. Some organizations only hold their data for six months or a year. As such, you may not be able to roll back as far as you need nor could you provide historical data for e-discovery events or regulatory mandates. Some organizations don't protect frequently enough, once or twice a week at best, such that recovering from a malware attack or other corruption event, it will cause more data loss than is tolerable. One vendor refers to this as the protection gap between what business units expect and data recoverability and what IT is currently able to deliver. To get good requires a modern approach to backup and a recognition by senior management as to the importance of data retention and recoverability.

Better. You have what you need and you're getting rid of what you don't. As soon as many organizations have solved data retention, meaning they're keeping data as long as and as often as they should, many will discover the storage burdens associated with that. Similarly, as soon as your lawyers and compliance teams are satisfied that you're keeping data long enough, they'll amend their request with "and not a day longer." Data destruction is just as important a facet of data management as data retention is. Your data protection budget would appreciate if you removed destroyed data longer than what your mandatory retention window looks like, seven years, whatever. As a side note, not all of your data should have the same retention window.

Some data really is operational and its previous versions aren't useful after 18 or 24 months. Or as a minority of your data, a small subset, likely has strategic or regulatory requirements thus warranting a 5 or 7 or 10 or more year retention window. Beyond all of that, your primary storage budget would appreciate if you removed the stagnant data that is no longer actively being used by your users. To get better requires archive solutions as well as improved communication and collaboration between compliance teams and IT professionals. You have to stop thinking, like, backups, which are just blind copies of servers and volumes and databases and other containers, and start acting with contextual insight on what information is within your data.

Best. Do more with your protection and preservation copies than just restoring from them. While all of the data protection copies make sense, including backups and archives and snapshots and replicas, a modern data protection infrastructure can be expensive. As such, ask yourself what else could I do with the dormant data within those repositories? You could boot up a dormant remote copy for BC/DR purposes. You could patch an alternative copy of an OS to ensure the patch doesn't impact your production process or application. You could run analytics or reporting on that dormant copy so as to gain new data insights without impacting production performance. You could enable DevOps with a near-live copy of your production data to accelerate their efforts and thereby accelerate the organization.

With those and other potential scenarios in mind, ask yourself what additional capabilities, and therefore business value, could you get by leveraging your otherwise dormant data within your protection storage? To get best means embracing what the industry terms copy data management, CDM, which is also sometimes thought of as copy data virtualization, active copy management, fill in the blank copy data management, etc. Some vendor approaches, architecture and engineering, start with copy enablement where data protection is just one of the outcomes achieved, while other vendors are augmenting their data protection offerings with mechanisms to provide some of the outcomes that we talked about earlier.

There's a lot of warranted excitement and focus, and some hype, in the area of copy data management. But make no mistake, the data protection landscape is forever changing as data protection and preservation become foundational elements of a broader data management strategy that not only keeps what you need and removes what you don't, but also enables you to do more with the data that you have. I hope this was helpful. I'm Jason Buffington for ESG. Thanks for watching.


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