Are you planning your move to Office 365 and struggling to manage your legacy email archive? If so, download this new white paper by Archive360 that concisely describes the challenges that you face and the best practice. Some of the challenges are:
When employees leave a company, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, it is quite common for them to take sensitive and confidential data with them. How widespread is the problems and what can IT Managers do to protect sensitive data? To answer these important questions (and more) Osterman Research surveyed 187 IT/HR decision makers in organizations of various sizes primarily in North America.
Enterprise Vault.Cloud (EV.Cloud) is one of the most challenging email archives to migrate. EV.Cloud migration is a single-connection process that is painfully slow and often corrupts the data while it is being extracted. Archive360 is proud to be the leader in archive migration performance. For EV.cloud migration, I am pleased to share this recent Daily Extraction report from an actual customers who was migrating archive data from EV.Cloud to PST files.
We recently caught up with George Crump, Founder of the well-known analyst firm, Storage Switzerland to provide an update on Archive360 and its technology solutions, as well as provide a sneak peek at what's to come. And, I guess he liked what he heard, because the result was a Briefing Note entitled, "Breaking the Archive Dead End".
With the availability of low-cost public cloud storage, now is the perfect time for organisations to reduce the load of unstructured data.
All organisations face the challenge of managing low-touch, unstructured data that consumes valuable enterprise storage. For the majority of organisations, this task has been moved to the “back burner” for years. With the availability of low-cost public cloud storage, now is the perfect time for organisations to reduce the load of unstructured data on enterprise storage with a Next Generation Cloud Archive.
When someone mentions the modern data center what comes to mind first? Virtual machines (VMs), containers, SSD, flash storage, hyper-convergence? The answer is, "all of the above." But have you considered public cloud storage as a critical element of your modern data center strategy in 2017?
Have you successfully moved your organization’s on premise email service to Office 365? If so, nicely done! You have provided your employees with a rich package of communication and collaboration services.
What are your plans to utilize Office 365 OneDrive? IMHO, OneDrive is one of the most valuable assets of Office 365, second only to Exchange Online. As part of your Office 365 license, Microsoft provides each user with a whopping 1 TB of storage for online file sharing.
Most organizations eventually retire (shut down) aging business applications for several reasons including cost reduction, application consolidation, risk reduction, and because of new regulatory and eDiscovery requirements. However, one question that is not usually addressed early on is; what should be done with the associated application data?
The adage “too big to fail” relates to financial institutions so large and interconnected that their failure would have seismic repercussions in the economy, but what about these same companies’ plans to manage big data? The new question is whether there is a data archive “too big to move?”
At Archive360, we know a lot about de-commissioning legacy email archives. Every day we speak with potential customers about moving legacy email archive data to Microsoft Office 365 or a new email archive. The underlying question on each customer’s mind is, “should I migrate the archive data now or can I want until some future time?” At the end of the day it is the responsibility of each customer to make this decision. In this blog I will address the potential security risk of maintaining a legacy email archive.
Undoubtedly you have heard about the new low cost public cloud storage from Amazon, Microsoft and Google. New terms such as cool, cold, Nearline, coldline, and glacier are just a sample of the new brands being marketed. To better understand these new brands, I thought it would be helpful to review and compare each brand and make note of its preferred use case.
Recently released information from Osterman Research, reveals that “the archiving market is growing but the cloud-based segment is growing at a much faster pace”, says Michael Osterman.
Infrastructure Modernization is a trendy new phrase you will hear from industry experts and read about in IT-related articles. In simple terms, infrastructure modernization describes a major shift taking place from on premise applications to cloud-based applications. When properly deployed, new cloud-based applications can dramatically reduce your CAPEX spending in favor of low cost software services.
As I discussed in Part 1 of this blog series, your enterprise data is comprised of approximately 30% grey data, or unstructured data that is low-touch or abandoned that for various reasons, your legal department is not willing to dispose of. This data can be content from departed employees, data that has aged beyond the standard retention periods but due to extenuating circumstances still needs to be retained, eDiscovery data sets from past cases, or content considered corporate history. The question is; how do you determine what is grey data versus truly valueless data?
First Tackle the Obvious
Referring back to the CGOC numbers from Part 1, you should be able to quickly determine what data is subject to legal hold, regulatory retention, or has obvious business value based on how your organization handles data generally. The difficult process is gleaning the grey from valueless data. In Part 1, I suggested that culling for valueless data is not the best strategy. Let me clarify by saying that culling for obvious valueless data only is not a best practice.
To begin the culling process, first concentrate on those files that are obviously valueless such as:
- Duplicate files: There can be large numbers of duplicates in the file shares, document repositories, and PSTs spread around the enterprise file shares.
- Revisions: Documents can have several revisions the final document was created from. The revisions usually include structural changes, edits, added content, and comments. The question is; are the revisions important when determining value? In most cases the answer is no for aging files.
- Aging backups: Backups of both desktops and servers/storage beyond a certain age are almost always valueless. Ask yourself the following question; what could I possibly do with an email system backup from seven years ago? In reality, backups are for disaster recovery purposes and should only be kept for short periods of time, i.e. 3 months, otherwise they become useless.
- Aging system files and system reports: Again, what value does a system report from 3 years ago have?
- Non-business related or personal MP3’s and video files: These files can take up large amounts of enterprise storage. Send an email out to employees say that they have 2 weeks to move these files off of company assets and at the end of two weeks all files matching these profiles will be deleted
This is not an extensive list however you get the idea, use common sense here.
The Not So Obvious
The next step is to create a policy for determining, for the vast majority of unstructured data in the enterprise, what low-touch or grey data still rises to the level of retention? After disposing of the obvious, the next step is to begin culling on other data points such as:
- Last accessed date: If data is new or relatively new, then it no doubt belongs to current employees and still might have a relatively high probability of review/reference (refer to the Lifecycle of Grey Data blog) . It’s never a good strategy to delete relatively new content without the owner’s knowledge. Employees can waste huge amounts of productivity searching for a file they are sure they just created 1 month ago.
- Target Custodians: Companies should develop a list of those employees whose data will not be culled and deleted for any reason, for example the CEO, GC, or specific engineers developing IP for both legal and historical reasons.
- Departed Employees: Data from departed employees such as mailbox content, email archive content, file system content, cloud data, and data from their workstations should be collected and held for a period of time as defined by corporate legal. This data can be instrumental if later wrongful termination lawsuits are files. This data is more easily collected as the employee is actually leaving the company ort shortly after.
- Author-less Content: In rare occasions, data files will not have an easily discernible author. In this event, keyword filtering can help determine content value.
- PSTs: Again, PSTs can sometimes be difficult to determine ownership. Cracking open the PST (if it’s not password protected) can help you quickly establish ownership.
The above bullets are the most productive culling points but many others can also exist depending on your specific industry.
Next Steps After Categorization – Store It
So what should you do with this grey data after you have finished the filtering/categorization? Obviously you began the process to save it. The questions are: for how long and where?
You should develop a policy for handling grey data. First, create high water mark retention periods, for example the time period for your local statute of limitations for employee wrongful termination lawsuits.
Second, establish a secure low cost repository that can be managed and searched when needed. This repository should also include in-place legal hold and retention/disposition functionality so that this grey data can eventually be disposed of.
Microsoft Azure as the Managed Grey Data Repository
Archive2Azure is Archive360’s Compliance Storage Solution targeting long term storage and management of unstructured grey data into the Microsoft Azure platform. The Archive2Azure solution leverages Microsoft Azure’s low-cost ‘cool’ storage as an alternative to expensive on premise enterprise storage. Azure costs as little as $0.02 per GB per month and eliminates all the expensive overhead costs of traditional on premise storage.
Archive2Azure importantly provides automated retention, indexing on demand, encryption, search, review, and production – all important components of a low cost, searchable storage solution. Given the clear cost advantages of the Azure cloud, it’s no surprise many companies are looking to Azure and Archive2Azure for grey data management and storage.
This title is a misnomer to anyone conversant with cybersecurity reality. Cybersecurity legend John McAfee may have said it best in reference to every company’s online data assets;
Yesterday I conducted a webinar for the Association of Legal Administrators titled Tomorrow’s Information Governance. One of the questions I received was about determining what is actually grey data, what should be kept and what is truly valueless data that should be disposed of. I thought it was a great question so I will address it here.
In recent months I have been struck by the explosion of high performance storage solutions - Nutanix, Pure Storage, Nimble, Simplivity, and Datrium just to name a few. These new storage solutions are pushing the performance envelope for the modern data center and virtual server hosts. What I find very interesting is the corresponding impact on actual storage expectations.
For anyone responsible for legal discovery – this upcoming webinar is not to be missed! Two experts in the field of eDiscovery will be presenting important new information for modern legal discovery.
Last week I was on the phone with a partner discussing ‘cold’ cloud storage and what is best for the customer. In the middle of the discussion I declared, “we are the Switzerland of cloud storage”, meaning ultimately, it is always up to the customer to decide whether or not they wish to move their data into cloud storage.
As corporate data continues to pile up within the enterprise, a much asked question, at least around the IT water cooler, is why is all of this data accumulating instead of being deleted. Employees create, send, and receive approximately 20 MB of data per day. The vast majority of this data is retained because employees feel that they will need to reuse/reference it at a later date so it accumulates on local storage, on file shares, in the email system and archive, and lately, into employee corporate and private clouds (figure1). In fact, 70 to 80% of corporate unstructured data is unindexed, unmanaged, and invisible to IT.