Independent Survey Reveals Challenges with Managing Long Term Data Storage

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Sixty-two percent of organizations polled in a recent third-party survey rarely delete data and grapple with the challenge of managing long term data storage. The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Spectra, was very revealing in how organizations are currently managing long term data storage and the challenges associated with long term data retention.

A number of factors influence the trend toward extended data retention, including regulatory, compliance or governance requirements, as well as the opportunity to repurpose and monetize information in the future. This is evident in organizations across a number of sectors, including media and entertainment, life sciences, medical imaging, oil and gas, government, and communications, which are choosing to retain much of their data for extended periods of time – often indefinitely. 

Long term data retention creates unique challenges, and the survey results found IT decision makers at large organizations use manual processes to analyze and migrate stored data, rarely delete data, and add more storage when necessary. These findings illustrate the need for new storage options that allow organizations to reduce the time spent manually managing long term data storage and easily interface with low cost storage tiers. See for yourself. 

The survey found:

  • 68 percent of total respondents, including 81 percent of U.S.-based respondents, manually analyze and move their long term data to different locations, and delete limited amounts of stored data.

    • This finding reflects the current data center trend toward needing to retain more than just email and compliance data for future reference.  Great tools have been created for long term storage and access to structured data; however, current unstructured file data migration to cost-effective tiers often requires more manual migration.
  • 62 percent of respondents, including 77 percent of U.S.-based respondents, manage long term data storage by adding more capacity when necessary and rarely delete data.

    • This finding reflects the growing recognition of the value of data to business growth and success.  Retaining historical data is helping fuel business analytics that predict future trends.
  • When it comes to storing data in the cloud, 63 percent of respondents expect to keep stored data for up to five years. In addition, of all respondents surveyed more than 60 percent view cost as a barrier to storing data in the cloud for longer periods of time than they do currently.

As we look at the survey results one thing is clear, the low-cost nature of tape, combined with its scalability and durability, ensures it will continue to play an important role in modern and evolving IT environments.