Don't be afraid to delete that email

Symantec's Sean Regan talks about how his company eases customers' fears of deleting business information

Today, many enterprises find themselves mired in the ever increasing need of bigger inboxes and larger archives. But the problem is that their IT departments haven't got the dough to buy more storage."

The financial crisis and tighter IT budgets are not helping the situation either. Between 2007 and 2009, the part of IT budget spent on storage has jumped up from 7 per cent to 17 percent. So, at a time when IT budgets are flat or negative, and storage budget as a component of the overall IT budget keeps burning a bigger hole, IT departments have to live the cliché of our times: do more with less. However, that does not leave them with enough moolah for chasing innovations.

Bottom-line? We can't afford to fund bigger mail boxes, the companies sing in a chorus of despair.

Small problem, big pain, that's right. This begs the question: Is there a solution for this moolah-guzzling monster of a problem?

Delete and manage

Apparently there is, says Sean Regan, director, product marketing, Information Management Group, Symantec. Sean was recently in Singapore ahead of announcing Symantec's releasing of a new de-duplication appliance based on its existing software product, as well as a cloud storage service for NetBackup and Backup Exec customers (read the related story here).

"As a first step, we advise companies to deploy archiving technology," says Regan. "The second step is to implement retention and deletion policy. The other option is to put restrictions on how much storage your users can have. And that's not an option."

"So the best way is to start archiving, then managing and deleting your content," he says.

"The basic point the larger customers in the market are missing right now is that there is so much data coming in and organisations aren't actually retiring or deleting any of the data. So, it is not a surprise to know that they can't continue to do that."

The world of copies and copies

According to Regan, Symantec talks about an information management strategy that their customers can use to help solve the problem of limited storage in the face of a deluge of content.

But first Regan poses a question to the enterprises: Why is it that when it comes to paper, we are concerned about Green IT, but when it comes to storage and data centres, we turn a bit blasé.

Regan says that it is not the case that enterprises or their employees don't want to improve the situation. In fact, according to a June 2010 worldwide survey of 1700 respondents (600 from Asia), conducted by Symantec, almost 90 per cent of respondents said that they wanted to be allowed to delete email but three quarters of them were not actually doing it (as part of their back up plan).

So, why is it that less than half of the respondents actually have a formal information retention plan in place?

"Companies instead save information indefinitely because they fear deleting information that may be important to the business or may be required as part of a future e-discovery request," says Regan. "As a result, information becomes harder to find and the costs of storing and searching for that information rise."

In plain words, if emails (or any content) are just stored and not deleted, the back up systems, over time, create their copies multiple times. The result is pain: in terms of discovery (where's that email I have looking for?) and bumped up storage costs (ouch!).

From ouch to aha!

Against this background, Regan says Symantec offers three integrated solutions--storage, virtualisation, and information management--that can cure the disease.

Enterprise Vault 9.0 and Enterprise Vault Discovery Collector are the latest releases in Symantec's Information Management Strategy, to help enable organizations to delete confidently and discover efficiently, while protecting their information completely and deduplicating everywhere to eliminate redundant data.

"The faster you virtualise, the faster you realise the benefits of server consolidation," says Regan. "On the other hand, every time you virtualise your server, you make copies of redundant data." So, virtualisation is beneficial but it cuts both ways. The nirvana, as Regan figures, is in information management.

In Symantec's approach, this information management strategy revolves around four pillars: data protection, discovery, cloud storage and de-duplication.

"I think the world has completely misused back up," Regan says, criticizing the storage strategy of companies. He cites the example of an unnamed company that had 80,000 tapes on site. Regan thinks this kind of attitude to storage is sheer profligacy. "Thirty days of back up should be enough."

On discovery, Symantec has a clean logic: people keep things to find them later, but if you keep everything, you can't find what you want. You see the catch? "So, get rid of the junk," he advises. "If you keep too much, you are putting your customers at risk (of data loss or theft)."

The third pillar of the strategy is the cloud. "It is an option that is coming out--it gives you more space at less cost." Symantec helps companies back up their data to the cloud (hot data stays locally and cold data goes to the cloud).

Symantec's cloud-based storage service is called NetBackup. It has integrated its user interface with Nirvanix's Storage Delivery Network for automated and policy-based backup and recovery service. In the recently announced products, the users of Backup Exec and NetBackup will be able to select the "cloud-storage" option within the user interface, which will automatically connect their data to the service for backup.

The fourth pillar in Symantec's information management approach is De-duplication. "De-dupe everywhere," says Regan, "at the application layer, back up layer and in storage."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags internetstoragesoftwareapplicationse-mailMailInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zafar Anjum

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?