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Dont be afraid to delete that email

Zafar Anjum | Sept. 15, 2010
Symantecs Sean Regan talks about how his company eases customers fears of deleting business information

So, why is it that less than half of the respondents actually have a formal information retention plan in place?

Companies instead save information indefinitely because they fear deleting information that may be important to the business or may be required as part of a future e-discovery request, says Regan. As a result, information becomes harder to find and the costs of storing and searching for that information rise.  

In plain words, if emails (or any content) are just stored and not deleted, the back up systems, over time, create their copies multiple times. The result is pain: in terms of discovery (wheres that email I have looking for?) and bumped up storage costs (ouch!).

From ouch to aha!

Against this background, Regan says Symantec offers three integrated solutionsstorage, virtualisation, and information managementthat can cure the disease.

Enterprise Vault 9.0 and Enterprise Vault Discovery Collector are the latest releases in Symantecs Information Management Strategy, to help enable organizations to delete confidently and discover efficiently, while protecting their information completely and deduplicating everywhere to eliminate redundant data.

The faster you virtualise, the faster you realise the benefits of server consolidation, says Regan. On the other hand, every time you virtualise your server, you make copies of redundant data. So, virtualisation is beneficial but it cuts both ways. The nirvana, as Regan figures, is in information management.

In Symantecs approach, this information management strategy revolves around four pillars: data protection, discovery, cloud storage and de-duplication.

I think the world has completely misused back up, Regan says, criticizing the storage strategy of companies. He cites the example of an unnamed company that had 80,000 tapes on site. Regan thinks this kind of attitude to storage is sheer profligacy.  Thirty days of back up should be enough.

On discovery, Symantec has a clean logic: people keep things to find them later, but if you keep everything, you can't find what you want. You see the catch? So, get rid of the junk, he advises. If you keep too much, you are putting your customers at risk (of data loss or theft).

The third pillar of the strategy is the cloud. It is an option that is coming outit gives you more space at less cost. Symantec helps companies back up their data to the cloud (hot data stays locally and cold data goes to the cloud).

Symantecs cloud-based storage service is called NetBackup. It has integrated its user interface with Nirvanix's Storage Delivery Network for automated and policy-based backup and recovery service. In the recently announced products, the users of Backup Exec and NetBackup will be able to select the "cloud-storage" option within the user interface, which will automatically connect their data to the service for backup.

The fourth pillar in Symantecs information management approach is De-duplication. De-dupe everywhere, says Regan, at the application layer, back up layer and in storage.


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