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How to Ensure Appropriate Data Protection

January 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 220

First and foremost, all primary data needs to be analysed in order to ascertain the following information;

The volume

The type and age

Historical growth

Creation, access and modification dates

Identification of any duplicate information

Biggest servers, users and files

Sort the information by level of importance

A typical business or organisation will have four different types of data, with varying degrees of importance. Each of these four categories will require a different level of protection through varying levels of automated backups.

Mission-critical data - This is the most important information which is typically transaction-based application data, which if lost would have a severe impact on a business. Mission-critical data needs to be backed up or replicated throughout the day, 365 days a year.

The type of information that falls into this category could comprise information from fast-changing applications and databases to business email accounts. In order to back up this information without impacting the servers on which the data resides, the data should be replicated every time it is modified, or new data is created.

Data replication can significantly reduce recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) as well as securing fast recovery for business continuity purposes.

Important data - Important data refers to other types of application and file data which has been created or accessed during the last 90 days. This type of data should ideally be backed up once a day and retained for an appropriate retention period.

All critical information should be backed up off-site, safe from system failures, power outages and physical server damage.

Inactive and legacy data - This is the information that is no longer important but still requires protecting for operational or compliance reasons. Inactive & legacy data typically sits on the mail server or local mail stores on file servers.

Although this data may not have been accessed for a long time, it should still be archived in order to reduce strain on the primary server, cut management and backup costs and improve recovery times.

Duplicate and non-business information - Any data that does not serve business requirements, such as data out of its retention date or users' personal files (such as music or photos) should be deleted during the archiving process. Eradicating this non-business-critical data will reduce storage costs and management overheads.

Make data accessible to its owners

End users should be able to access the data they need it, when and where they need it. Whether it's mission-critical residing on primary servers, or inactive information stored on archive servers, it should be easily accessible to the owners without the need for assistance from IT administrators or IT help desks.

Regularly test mission-critical and important data recovery

One of the biggest challenges for IT departments is disaster recovery (DR) testing. However, if a DR plan is tested regularly to application level, it can significantly improve recovery times and reduce potential problems. Although a potential disruption to the daily work load, DR testing should be standard procedure in every organisation.

Businesses or organisations that manage their data archiving in the correct way, though regular testing and analysis, will enjoy potentially huge rewards in the form of improved data recovery speeds and reduced management costs. Are you protecting your data properly?

Article submitted by Mark Palmer, Online Marketing Manager at InTechnology - one of the UK's leading data management providers, delivering data backup services, date archiving and data replication. To find out more about data management visit

Source: EzineArticles
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