Guest Column | March 14, 2011

Is Your Tape Archive A Ticking Time Bomb?

By Jeff Pederson, manager of Ontrack Data Recovery operations and Jim Reinert, VP of product development

Despite reports of its demise, tape remains the predominant repository for historical business information. In fact, recent research from the Enterprise Strategy Grup (ESG) shows that 82 percent of organizations still use tape to support all or at least a portion of onsite backup processes. However, many organizations still do not have the proper procedures and controls in place to keep track of their data.

Organizations without a tested strategy for managing stored data are taking a serious gamble with their future. Moreover, simply assuming legacy data will not be an issue and archived information will be easily accessible and usable if and when they need it is a mistake. To avoid the tape archive ticking time bomb scenario, it is imperative companies put an effective strategy in place to determine what information is stored on these tapes – and for how long they are kept, onsite or off – to avoid facing a deluge of problems ranging from inflated IT budgets to increased e-discovery risks and costs.

Projects involving the management and manipulation of stored data can be triggered by a variety of regulatory, compliance or e-discovery needs. Planning for data accessibility streamlines the effort required to meet those needs and mitigates the associated risks. Organizations that define their information management strategies and employ the tips outlined above will see these results. Simply put, an information management strategy generated with a well-defined project plan, comprehensive documentation of data contents, improved usage of IT resources and timely delivery of data will greatly benefit your organization, regardless of your storage solutions.

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