What’s in Your Backup Blind Spot?

If you’re like most IT managers these days, you know you have a backup blind spot. You dread the day someone from legal or management asks you to deliver from your backup tapes an email exchange from five years ago, or a 10-year-old planning document, or worse yet, “all relevant correspondence and documents related to XYZ.” Yet you know such requests are increasingly common.

Perhaps your company may be involved in mergers and acquisitions. While companies may eliminate facilities and people, they’re required to keep, and if called upon produce, acquired data.

Failure to deliver the data can have dire financial and reputational consequences. As a matter of public record, regulatory fines now reach into the millions of dollars. Success or failure for your company in a lawsuit can be affected by evidence you are called upon to provide. Such eDiscovery requests are now commonplace.

There is growing awareness by business management of data’s value in driving decisions. Managing business intelligence held in current and past data is key to successful digital transformation. AI looks to mine your data backups for insight gold.

Meanwhile, the sheer volume of data grows exponentially. Current projections for storage demand growth of close to 25 percent annually suggest doubling of data storage every three years. Storage systems are constantly evolving. What is new tech today, becomes legacy tomorrow. And IT teams cannot predict future technologies.

No one in business envisions a future with less regulation or litigation.

Data lives a long time, and perhaps forever. Technology was never designed to meet that need. And the world keeps moving forward apace, whilst legacy data remains static. The risk of losing access or control over legacy data becomes ever more daunting.

Backup data generally outlives availability of the application and hardware that created it. And therein lies the challenge. Data says alive for, say, 50 or 60 years. The technology dies every five to seven years.

Keeping legacy hardware online generally costs too much. There’s the data center space, power and cooling costs, ongoing hardware requirements, updating software licenses, and so on. Plus, can you keep the people who know the legacy systems continually employed for that day, someday, when you are called upon to restore the data?

This stuff is legacy. It’s old. It’s only going to get older. Very few things that get older, get more reliable. You’ve got to consider the cost of ongoing maintenance and testing of required infrastructure.

In reality, the cost of retaining compliant legacy tape platforms is often disproportionate to the number of restores that may someday be required. Most organizations want to focus on current and strategic IT initiatives, and not have to worry too much about the past.

Scoping Your Backup Blind Spot

Likely you have lots of other IT duties and projects. You may resent having to even consider accessing your years of backup tapes. At Trusted Data Solutions (TDS) we can only tell you from our 30 years’ experience, the best time to address your legacy data issue is now, right now. Waiting until you’re under the pressure of an eDiscovery or regulatory challenge is the worst time.

Take the initiative now to at least understand your legacy data situation. At least know the size of your backup blind spot. TDS can help.

Start by asking yourself the following:

  • Do I know much legacy data I have?
  • Do I understand how the data was backed up?
  • Do I have access to the tapes?
  • Do I know if the tapes are in good enough condition to recover?
  • Do I still have a complete and accurate understanding of the various backup environments my company applied over the years?
  • Do I have the right technology footprint (drives, software) to access and restore the data?
  • Do I have enough of the right tech to process a large restoration requirement and scale up quickly if needed?
  • Do I have the tape catalogs or indexes required?
  • Do I have access to any required encryption keys?
  • Do I still have the relevant skill sets in-house?
  • Do I have ability to meet the restoration deadline?
  • Do I have a defensible process including chain of custody proof?
  • Do I really want to attempt this on my own?

TDS offers another option:

  • We offer an assessment process to answer all the above questions for you.
  • We can help you come to grips with your legacy data.
  • We’ve restored legacy data for companies big and small.
  • We’ve done this time after time after time.
  • We have people with years of experience in tape and data restoration.
  • We have a global footprint.
  • We understand the requirements of regulators and courts.
  • We understand the pitfalls.
  • We have proprietary software and methods.
  • We access data directly with our own tools and without restoring native environments.

It truly is better to assess your legacy data situation without being under the gun of an eDiscovery, regulatory or C-suite demand. However, if you are in a jam, TDS can help immediately. If you have time to consider your options, TDS also offers a managed solution. Our Restoration Assurance Program (RAP) takes the legacy data burden from your IT team.

You maintain access to data on your backup tapes without having to keep the hardware, software, and skill set that created them. Reclaim data center space for more strategic needs. Cut associated costs in retaining legacy infrastructure. Redeploy your skilled IT people to focus on the future.

TDS offers a proven data management solution. It turns any restoration requirement into a repeatable business process. We provide a bridge to the past so your organization can focus on its future.

Trusted Data Solutions (TDS) is the foremost expert in data management, legacy tape, and email migration. We access data directly with our own tools and without restoring native environments. Our proprietary software and talented engineers ensure success. Our experience spans 30 years and thousands of instances. Our team addresses both technical and business cases. “Trust” is the first word in our name and we stand by it. Call us today to see what’s in your backup blind spot.

Contact us today with your legacy data needs.