As time progresses, more and more data are stored on computers and servers. A backup system will safeguard your organization’s data, yet it can also cause a spike in the amount of data stored. A policy-based system for storage might also prove helpful. Our IT consulting group in Denver has found data retention policies have proven successful to decrease data backup sizes and automate retention.

The Challenge of Data Cleanup

For the most part, a manual cleanup is not reasonable. A significant number of files that serve no purpose will eventually have to be cleaned up. This issue is made worse with backup data. Some IT groups have found success with a combination of frequent full system backups and incremental backups. These two types of backups serve varying purposes. The incremental variety is a rapid backup of added or altered data each day that protects the data system in its latest state. It takes an abundance of time to build backups. There is also the potential for errors to boot. The full backup creates a copy of the system once per week.

It is possible to over-protect information with an abundance of extra copies, making the verification of recovery that much more difficult. The decision to drop a file from the backup requires some thought. It is about more than eliminating the incremental backups that are older than the others. Legal concerns also arise for financial sectors, healthcare sectors and beyond. If your head is spinning with these concerns, don’t fret! Our IT consulting team in Denver is here to help with all your data backup needs.

Policy is the Answer

The solution to the data storage quandary outlined above is the formation of a backup retention policy for your data. The system for data storage protects or even removes data according to rules that are pre-defined. Systems can coordinate elimination with the use of metadata that is tagged to the appropriate data object. Such systems can even designate exact locations for data storage and the manner in which it is encrypted.

The majority of systems rely on object storage for information. From an architecturally perspective, object stores are responsible for the challenges of protecting objects against potential drive failures with a replication across a series of node and drives. It is prudent to have copies stored in different physical locations with a decent amount of space between them just in case a natural disaster occurs.

The best backup systems eliminate duplicate files through a process of comparison with additional objects. This solves the challenge of determining the validity of a file and if each copy is identical. This process ultimately cuts down on the magnitude of the backed-up data. In the end, it proves quite cost-efficient. Some have tried compression as an alternative to decrease size. However, most of those who understand this challenge do not advise compressing the largest files as they will be slow to access an object and are that much more vulnerable to problems in decompression.

How Long Should Data be Kept?

The question of how long to keep data around is worth considering. At one end, there is data moving through sensors like cameras in shopping malls and other retail outlets. This provides helpful information about converting target customers, yet it will only last for half an hour or so. Those who use policy engines with a backup data retention policy set based on department, user, file type and overarching project will ultimately experience fewer problems.

At AccountabilIT, we provide IT consulting services for Denver businesses. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule an initial consultation.