Using Data Migration to Keep Data Secure and Accessible

Topics: Data Archive | Store and Protect Information

Restoring data in the wake of a disaster or other sudden loss poses several challenges. Legacy data, in particular, is often spread across the enterprise in multiple formats. Over time, as data moves from format to format and one storage site to another, the risk of mishandling, theft and compliance violations increases.

As you tackle these potential obstacles to data restoration, you still need to ensure that you can access the data you need on demand. This is where data migration and data restoration best practices are important. These initiatives can help an enterprise juggle the dual priorities of high security and easy access.

Here's how to keep your data secure and accessible:

Step #1. Consolidate: Too many archives foul the waters. The amount of worldwide data is growing at a rate of 40 percent per year. To keep pace, most businesses are maintaining more than six archives, according to an IDC archving report.

Adding to this data management mayhem, 88 percent of businesses surveyed lack a consistent archiving format. Given these conditions, it's a challenge for these organizations to quickly track down the data they need ASAP.

Your solution: consolidate archives, standardize formats and gain control of your data. This may require the help of a storage expert.

Step #2. Go Hybrid: Find your data's sweet spot. Effective data management requires a hybrid approach. Place data on the most appropriate storage medium with a tiering scheme.

Example data tiering scheme:

  • primary data resides on fast (and expensive) servers
  • backups go to onsite data appliances and to the cloud
  • archives live in the cloud and in offsite tape vaults.

Tape archive is cost effective., meaning a hybrid approach will likely boost efficiency and reduce storage costs, while reducing your IT department's stress levels considerably.

Step #3. Migrate: It's time to standardize data formats.

Government regulations, such as SEC Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4, require that you create and store records for set lengths of time, in specific formats and under strict security parameters. Consider migrating and encrypting data to comply. A storage expert can help with:

  • Data encryption: Ideally, you can store legacy backup tapes — and encrypt and migrate the data to a new media format simultaneously.
  • Chain of custody: Secure unencrypted historical data from point of pickup through completed migration with one documented process.
  • Offsite tape vaulting: Store your legacy source media and newly migrated archive tapes in your vendor's secure facility.

Step #4. Restoration Assurance: Gain the benefit of access with no strings attached. Litigation and regulatory challenges are on the rise. Maintain legacy backup media, even after upgrading your data backup environment.

To ensure hassle-free data recovery, seek a supplier that can provide on-demand restoration and extraction of data from tape, even if the media is damaged. Using deduplication techniques, your provider should be able to restore your data promptly and accurately, ensuring that it provides you with only single instances of each targeted file or email message within the requested volume.

Step #5. Letting Go: Dispose of your expired data. Keeping unneeded data is costly. It's essential to develop consistent data management best practices, from the creation of a file until it's destroyed. A third-party storage expert can help your IT team identify data ready for secure destruction, while also helping you dispose of old equipment (e-waste) in a secure, socially responsible way. As part of these services, your vendor should provide you with certification of a secure chain of custody. With this documentation in hand, you can always prove that your enterprise has adhered to all compliance and environmental protection regulations.

Gaining control of your data archives will most likely call for significant changes throughout your organization. But despite any temporary inconveniences, the transition to a more secure and accessible data archive brings valuable peace of mind.

Are you feeling stressed about integrating data encryption, offsite tape vaulting and IT asset disposition into your data management plan? Learn how Iron Mountain Media Migration Services can manage all of your assets securely across the data lifecycle.

Iron Mountain Recommends: Restoration Assurance

Your organization must retain information over the long-term for compliance, litigation and business purposes — and have the ability to retrieve it on demand. Iron Mountain Restoration Assurance Program lets you recover what you need, when you need it, without having to maintain costly, complex legacy backup systems. The program includes:

  • Offsite Tape Vaulting: We protect your archival tapes in a highly secure, environmentally controlled facility.
  • Managed Restoration Service: You can restore archival tapes and migrate data at any time, at a predictable cost — all without maintaining legacy backup systems and hardware.

This tape management solution lets you keep your IT staff focused on daily tasks rather than legacy maintenance. You'll reduce overhead, stay compliant and boost data management efficiency, while enjoying the benefits of fast, safe access.

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