The Legacy Data Lifecycle: From Migration to Restoration to Disposition

Topics: Data Archive | IT Asset Disposition

You've probably noticed that your vital business data becomes less vital over time. But that doesn't mean you can toss it out as you please. Federal, state or industry rules and regulations may compel you to archive certain kinds of data–in some cases for more than seven years. It's up to you to devise your enterprise's data migration plan.

A typical plan sends your data into an archive, at which point it becomes legacy data. If and when you need to see it again, a data restoration plan makes it happen. When a piece of tape-based legacy data reaches the end of its designated lifecycle, an asset disposition program provides for secure and environmentally safe disposal.

Of course, all of these data migration and data restoration plans can strain your resources if you tackle them as in-house projects. For example, consider the costs and difficulty of maintaining multiple tape systems, all kept on site so that you can access legacy data in any format, on demand. Once you determine the overhead of these systems, you'll likely conclude that securing expert help for your enterprise is easier and more cost effective.

Data Migration Strategies: Take It Away

Your enterprise can reduce the risks, challenges and costs of maintaining a legacy storage infrastructure by migrating tape based data archives into offsite tape storage. Doing so shifts responsibility for the permanent protection of your archives, regardless of format, to a trusted vendor. Its experts can enforce a complete, documented chain of custody, including secure data encryption, transport and storage.

Imagine the freedom and savings when your IT team no longer needs to struggle with the upkeep of largely obsolete systems. Finally, they can focus on more urgent business tasks.

Data Restoration Strategies: On Demand Access

Sending your archives away isn't the same thing as saying goodbye. After all, who knows how many times you'll need that data to answer queries from regulators or attorneys? When such a query arrives, you need fast archival data access.

Though it may not seem intuitive, data restoration becomes more efficient with your archives stored offsite and your catalogs managed by your storage vendor. To retrieve what you need, simply phone in or email your request; your storage vendor will then return the data promptly on encrypted media.

Given these high levels of security and access, your enterprise can:

  • Decommission your legacy tape environment
  • Consolidate silos of tape catalog data
  • Move forward with an offsite management program

With these steps complete, you may find that data restoration turnaround time becomes as fast—or even faster—than your current in house process. Adding to this advantage, the cost of an offsite, subscription based service is more predictable than the overhead of maintaining onsite legacy systems.

IT Asset Disposition Strategies: When It's Time to Say Goodbye

Anyone who works in an office knows that old technology doesn't just fade away quietly. It lingers, often in the most annoying places, until it finally disappears. But who takes it away, and where does it go? How can you ensure that live data doesn't end up in the wrong hands, or that potentially harmful components aren't released into a landfill or a water supply?

When you no longer need to preserve your archives, you must, by law, destroy them in a way that can never present a security risk to anyone. Enter the process of secure media destruction and IT asset disposition. You simply can't risk having proprietary data fall into the wrong hands, and you can't risk getting hit with a compliance penalty for mishandled data.

A professional asset disposition team can destroy data onsite, offsite, in bulk or tape-by-tape, going beyond degaussing to complete physical destruction. Once destruction is complete, your vendor should present you with a certificate of destruction to prove your compliance.

Thinking about your data management challenges in terms of the data lifecycle helps define the tasks you'll face as time passes. And yes, there are many steps in a lifecycle. But when you work with a trusted vendor to identify the most secure and cost efficient data migration, restoration and destruction processes, your IT team is free to focus on new business goals.

Want to see the data lifecycle in action? Check out the infographic: Managing Your Data: from Birth to Data Afterlife.


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