File Server Management – The Growth Continues

Data Growth

Gary White – Waterford Technologies

The world we live in today creates more data than at any other time in our history, most of us now have smartphones, tablets, laptops, PC’s, Facebook, Twitter, Email accounts,  Photos, Videos and every imaginable type of document to replace everything including the post-it note.

This type of data growth is obviously the same in our work environment, where everyone receives that copy of the email with the 1MB attachment, every department keeps every single document they ever created and keeps multiple copies of the same document “just in case” to the point that every client I speak to now will see at least 20% taken up just with duplicate files.

There are a lot of different amounts quoted or estimated out there on the amount of data we generate, but it’s safe enough to say that in 2013 it is somewhere around 3 Zettabytes which is just a head hurting figure to even think about. Based on this figure we can expect to see growth of around 40% per year. So where do we keep all this data? On the latest and greatest development in the world of technology or on digital storage which has been in existence for over 50 years.

File Server Management
Luckily we’ve moved on from this……

So how do we meet this demand, how do we create space?

Go buy new disk space every time you hit your limit (be nice to have that kind of budget).

Do not save everything? Only save what’s really needed? Nice idea but in the real world, every item or document that an end-user has will be saved, duplicated, pushed to PST and will be of vital importance for the next 100 years.

Or do we use what we have and just work a little smarter, not harder?

Take a typical example of the type of client I speak to on a daily basis, mid-size company with a few hundred staff and a couple of servers with around 10TB of data. So does this company go and buy a new SAN or extra disk or do they review what they have and what they use.

Free File Server Management Tool

I always suggest a free tool I use called the SSE Tool (Storage Savings Estimator, obviously a lot of thought went into the name), this gives them a quick snap shot of the types of files, duplicates and the type of savings that can be achieved by archiving old unused data. So they will see the 20% lost to duplicates and then if they look at data older than say 1 year, they will usually see a saving of somewhere in the region 50-60%, so combined we see an average of between 70-80% space saving.

In Dept Drill Down

When we complete the installation the first thing we will do is run the FileAnalyzer element to give them that in-depth drill down information about what exactly is across their system, we know it’s there, we just don’t know what’s there.

This allows us to work together to develop a data strategy to combat the problem now and for the future.

All that older data is still there, ready to be accessed the minute someone needs it. Even if its that copy of their fantasy football team from 2008,which is obviously essential and mission critical to the company !!!! It’s just been compressed, encrypted and pushed to low cost Tier 2/3 storage.

So what have you achieved? Well you have…

  • Saved a huge amount of space,
  • Developed a data strategy,
  • Created your HSM (hierarchical storage management),
  • Created controls for your data retention going forward and
  • Done all of this on your existing hardware.

And the end-user will never know!

Why not see what type of data is on your network with our Storage Savings Estimator Tool