The data management conundrum

Computerworld Data Management Forum 2007

With data growth rates topping 60 per cent per annum the high attendance at Computerworld's data management seminar series came as no surprise.

Held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in late October, the agenda covered a broad range of data management issues from storage infrastructure to archiving, compliance, business continuity and enterprise content management. High profile analyst and IBRS advisor Kevin McIsaac set the scene by opening the seminar with a presentation on market trends through to 2012.

McIsaac pointed out that 92 percent of all new data is stored on magnetic media. While structured data is well managed he said its the unstructured data that is creating the real problems, particularly e-mail, Power Point slides and all that information user's tend to hoarde on the desktop.

"More than half of all data managed by IT is unstructured," McIsaac said adding that office workers spend more than nine hours a week searching and gathering information. And while Information Lifecyle Management (ILM) is the holy grail of storage vendors, McIsaac said it has not been widely adopted. He advised automating the management of the data lifecycle policy and to start with tiered storage.

"Don't confuse backup and archiving make sure they are separated," McIsaac warned.

On the subject of document management, he said it needs to include e-mail the largest repository of unstructured data. "However, document management, ILM and archiving are all predicated on data classification and policy," he said.

Simply introducing mail box quotas is not the solution, he said, as it's only a temporary solution and creates more problems.

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