5 Things I Found in My Garage that Suggest You Need a Data Center Intervention

When my car could no longer comfortably fit in the garage, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and see exactly what was forcing me to upgrade my garage capacity.

After I pulled everything from the garage out onto my driveway, I stood looking at my collection stuff, I realized I amassed exactly what I warn data center admins about keeping in their data center, stuff of value mixed in with redundant, outdated and trivial junk.

Sensitive documents. First there was a large box sitting out in the open. I remember rummaging through it last February. It has tax documents, pay stubs, doctor receipts, credit card bills and similar financial statements. Sure, it contains tons of my PII, but is it really at risk in my garage?

Of course it is. Most of this could be shredded and I’d never miss my June 2011 American Express bill. The documents I need – W2s, tax returns – easily fit into one folder that can get archived safely into the safety deposit box that I pay the bank for anyway. By organizing this, I can reclaim about six square feet of space and eliminate the risk of my nosey house sitter wandering into my garage and seeing the box labeled “Financial and Tax Records”.

Same thing for the data center, your networks and backup data is likely crawling with PII and PHI issues. Depending on age, industry, company policies; much of that should be remediated. The rest needs to go into a secure archive or encrypted.

Redundant, Outdated, Trivial Data. Then there was a four-shelf rack of stuff that I thought I needed, can’t use right now, but may use again one day: crock pots (two of them), tools, a snow blower, three shovels, old propane tanks and a few boxes of old household stuff.

I could use it. I likely won’t. I definitely don’t need all of it. Toss out the snow blower that doesn’t quite work, retire the boxes of old lamps, radios and other outdated items and relocate the three snow shovels out to the storage shed getting it out of the way and I start making progress. The crockpot came in handy last year and you can never have too many tools, right? Condensed to two shelves.

ROT (redundant, outdated, trivial data) isn’t active data. It’s a mix of junk, outdated files and some things that may need to be kept just in case. If it hasn’t been accessed in the last two or three years, it’s probably safe to move it offline and reclaim some server capacity. (I’m betting on your user share server.)

Active Data. There are some freshly placed bags from the local home improvement store. I have grass seed, some mulch, a few gallons of pool shock and some bath tub sealant. While the best place for it probably isn’t along the passenger side of my car, I need these products today and over the next few weeks.

Active data needs to be managed in place, so it is not lost and I can take advantage of it. Cleaning up all the junk around it makes it easier and allows me to leverage what has value.

Duplicate Data. A few garbage bags and shelves filled with bulk warehouse items: cases of water, toilet paper, canned vegetables, bags of charcoal and laundry detergent.

To me this is value, but when you have 96 of something that isn’t bottled water, it’s a waste of storage budget. Remediate these copies. I’ve seen organizations reclaim 25% of their network capacity just by getting rid of duplicates.

Aged and Former Employee Data. Behind the fourth case of water is a mystery box I haven’t seen in a while. It’s old training and marketing material from a former employment. It was outdated long before I left and is next to some old dry cleaning I haven’t worn in seven years… and will probably never wear again. Next to this are a dozen boxes from my kids room, old books and stuff they will never use. They moved out 5 years ago and have no plan to reclaim this stuff, nor does anyone know it exists.

It happens at data centers too. Employees move around within the organization. Others move on to different companies. Sometimes the data is just outdated and abandoned.

Aged and former employee data can make up to 50% of an organization’s network data. Find out how much of your data either hasn’t been accessed in three years or over two years and is owned by inactive or former employees. My aged and former employee stuff is going in the garbage. Yours may be better off remediated or at least moved offline.

Cleaning up. In one afternoon I was able to clear about over half the contents of my garage. While cleaning up the data center might take a little longer, it is just as simple.

Data profiling technology helps categorize and define user data based on metadata and individual file content so you can make decisions on it. Tier to the cloud. Archive. Remediate. Manage in place. Move offline.

I can even help you get started. Try Catalyst Express, it’s a free download from Index Engines that enables you to understand and manage up to 5TBs of LAN data. Start on a user share server or one used by the sales/services department. Those tend to be hot spots for ROT, ex-employee data and PII.

From there we can help get the rest of your LAN, email and legacy data in order.

As for your garage, you’re on your own.

Web Event: Managing Risk and Cost Associated with Legacy Backup Data For Financial Services

Join EMC’s Director of eDiscovery and Compliance, Jim Shook, and Index Engines for this exclusive web event on June 15.

Organizations have amassed significant volumes of legacy data through the archiving of backup tapes. These tapes contain a snapshot of files and email that goes back decades.

Additionally, through all the mergers and acquisitions in the financial services industry, legacy tapes contain records of organizations that no longer exist even though the data lives on.

Data on legacy tapes pose a risk and liability for financial services firms as the data archived and stored in offsite vaults could become the “smoking gun” evidence in a trial or regulatory investigation.

EMC and information management company Index Engines have teamed to provide a solution to managing legacy data and control the inherent risk and costs associated with this sensitive content.

Join us for this important webinar to discover:
• The legal risk associated with data archived on tape,
• Best practices for managing content & controlling risk,
• A case study of a financial services firm and how they conquered this challenge, and
• An analysis of the hidden costs and how they can be contained.

Register at: https://cossprereg.btci.com/prereg/key.process?key=P8B8F8JNR

Index Engines Launches 5 TB Free Product

Index Engines has announced its new Catalyst Express, a no-cost software that provides full content and metadata indexing of up to 5TB of storage containing unstructured user data.

This software-only download creates deep metadata and full-text searchable indexes on documents and emails stored on the file server of their choice that can be used to answer questions like:

– What types and classes of data is being stored where
– When are files being accessed and modified
– Which users can access what files
– Where is the personal, sensitive, non-compliant, regulatory or high-value data
– How much storage is consumed by redundant, old, trivial or stale data

Catalyst Express is tightly integrated with Active Directory, and includes customizable summary reports, dashboards, scheduled system monitoring and workflow automation, plus support for data migration and deletion with defensible audit trails.

“Most organizations don’t know what they have, if it has value, if it’s stored in the correct place, if it poses a risk or liability or if it’s employee vacation photos and music libraries,” Index Engines VP Jim McGann said. “Catalyst will give them this insight into their data and help them determine and execute data policies.”

Index Engines’ Catalyst product line scales to large global enteprirse data center environments consisting of petabytes of unstructured data. The new Catalyst Express software is a no-cost entry point that allows clients to leverage the value of the Catalyst platform and begin to control costs and risk associated with unstructured user data.

Leveraging the rich metadata or full-text indexing in conjunction with Active Directory integration and security analysis through indexing of file ACLs, content can be managed with a single click.

High-level reports allow instant insight into enterprise storage providing unprecedented knowledge of data assets so decisions can be made on disposition, governance policies and even data security.

Upgrade options for Catalyst Express include:

Additional terabytes of capacity
Advanced data management policies
Integrated forensic archiving and eDiscovery workflows
Detailed indexing of file system audit trails
Metadata and full content indexing of Exchange, Notes, and Sharepoint
Federated search for distribute environments
Support for data within backup images (tape or disk)

“Catalyst is implemented worldwide to help manage petabytes of critical business data assets,” McGann said. “With this new product Index Engines is providing a great opportunity to begin managing risk and costs associated with user data at an attractive $0.”

Catalyst Express is available for download at http://www.indexengines.com/catalyst-express-2

Index Engines Collaborates with EMC, Launches Workshop for Legacy Tape Data Management

EMC and Index Engines launch a new workshop that delivers a customized analysis of existing legacy backup data environments to determine the optimal tape to disk mitigation plan that reduces risk and lowers costs associated with maintaining access to legacy backup data.

LAS VEGAS and HOLMDEL, N.J.– Information management company Index Engines has teamed up with EMC to launch a new workshop that delivers organizations an intelligent analysis of their legacy backup tape data and assists in the development of an information governance strategy to migrate sensitive data required by legal and compliance to disk for improved management and access. Index Engines is a Select partner in the EMC Business Partner Program for Technology Connect.

The Workshop for Legacy Tape Data Access Service, delivered through EMC® professional services, leverages Index Engines’ Catalyst software for the ingestion of legacy tape catalogs, metadata analysis and reporting on the content and a disposition strategy that cost-effectively restores data required by legal and compliance to disk allowing tapes to be remediated.

“Through this workshop, EMC can deliver knowledge of legacy tape data along with an intelligent disposition strategy that supports clients’ information governance needs,” said Jim Clancy, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, EMC Data Protection Solutions.

This new workshop provides the data necessary to make an informed decision on migration options given a customer’s actual circumstances and provides solutions for two key pain points including:

– Offering clients who have significant pain around legacy tape data, including costs associated with managing, archiving and restoring data in support of legal, compliance and regulatory requirements a simplified access point and disposition options.

– Providing clients who are managing multiple non-production backup environments a more effective means for validating the optimal method for maintaining access to legacy tape data.

During the workshop, Index Engines’ Catalog Engine will directly ingest TSM, NetBackup or CommVault backup catalogs. The Index Engines solution delivers full reporting and analysis of the content along with direct restoration of files and email without the need for the original backup software.

This EMC-run workshop will provide details back to the customer to enable them to make an informed decision regarding how to mitigate challenges associated with maintaining legacy data access.

Then, EMC will develop metadata level reports on the tape contents along with a disposition strategy recommendation, focusing on migration of valuable data to disk-based archive and retirement of the legacy platform and remediation of tapes.

“Legacy tape content has become a legal and security risk, especially for highly regulated organizations including financial services, healthcare, government, and energy firms,” said Jim McGann, Vice President, Index Engines.

The workshop is available this week through EMC. Please contact your EMC or EMC Partner Sales representative for more details.

About Index Engines

Index Engines provides unprecedented file-level knowledge to manage the growing costs and risks associated with unstructured user data.

EMC is a registered trademark or trademark of EMC Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

All products mentioned are trademarked by their respective organizations.

Index Engines Announces Support of CommVault Catalog Ingestion and Management

The latest release of Index Engines’ Catalyst software enables companies to search, report and maintain access to data on tape without the need for the original CommVault software

HOLMDEL, N.J., April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Index Engines, the leader in enterprise information management and archiving solutions, announced streamlined access to and management of CommVault backup catalogs and tapes Thursday with its latest version of its Catalyst software.

The added support of CommVault backup data helps control costs and risks associated with legacy data on tape. Catalyst manages the legacy catalog and delivers a search view into the tape content allowing individual files and email to be found and extracted without the original backup software, enabling the retirement of legacy applications and providing transition to a new backup platform.

“The latest Catalyst release gives organizations more freedom to manage their backup software environment and make migration decisions without feeling locked into their current provider,” Index Engines Vice President Jim McGann said.

The software, which also supports IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager and Symantec’s NetBackup, manages the legacy catalog and provides search and reporting of the backup catalog metadata and policies. Restoration of content is also supported, including mailboxes or individual email, without the need for the original backup software.

Index Engines also provides direct tape indexing that captures deeper metadata from tape content or, optionally, full text of unstructured data and email including Microsoft Exchange and IBM Notes databases.

Since its release, Catalyst has been enabling data centers to:

– Ingest catalogs allowing for metadata level reporting and classification of data in order to understand what exists on tape archives.
– Retire non-production instances of backup software while maintaining access to legacy tape data.
– Support corporate data governance policies with respect to legacy tape data, developing policies and strategies for defensible disposition of sensitive files and email.
– Migrate data of value from tape to archives for long-term preservation to support eDiscovery, and information governance policies, and remediate tapes from offsite storage.
– Simplify backup infrastructure inherited through upgrades, mergers or consolidations, and still maintain access to the tapes.

“Our goal is to allow clients to control costs associated with managing legacy tape archives, and allow clients to easily make a change in backup strategies without losing access to data on legacy tape archives,” McGann added.

Catalyst starts at $10,000, which includes the engine and ability to process up to 2,500 backup tapes.

An Intelligent Approach to Managing Risk and Liability of Legacy Backup Data

How eliminating tape as a long-term archive mitigates legacy data risks

The most significant expense and pain associated with stockpiling legacy data on backup tape or disk archives is the risk of the unknown. Backup images are archives of all user data, including email, text documents and PDFs from the CEO, to contracts from legal and manufacturing, to documents from research and discovery.

When these highly-sensitive records are not managed properly – archived, encrypted or even purged – they could be requested to support litigation and regulatory compliance. These potential “smoking guns” could cost your organization millions in fines along with even more in embarrassment and loss of public trust.

Managing legacy business records properly will allow mitigation of risk and control of future potential expense.
In the past, data on old backup tapes has been difficult to access. As tapes age they become more and more inaccessible and if you need to know what is on these tapes, or restore files and emails in support legal and compliance requirements, it can be extremely complex and expensive.

Index Engines provides an intelligent method of managing and restoring content from legacy backup tapes. By eliminating the need for the backup software that created the tape, Index Engines can ingest legacy backup catalogs and provide reports and analysis of the contents in order to determine a disposition strategy.

Additionally, Index Engines can scan tapes and provide deep intelligence, including content metadata, so individual files and mailboxes can be extracted without the original backup software. Leveraging this new approach towards backup data access, Index Engines eliminates traditional tape restoration and intelligently manages legacy data using a more cost-effective approach.

With intelligent knowledge and access to legacy backup data there is no need to maintain non-production backup software. Additionally, tape and disk archives can be analyzed and a disposition strategy can be defined that secures sensitive data and eliminates what no longer has value to the business.

As a result, the number of data center inefficiencies can be reduced and wasted costs can be recovered and reallocated to other critical initiatives.

The process of determining what legacy backup content has value and what is redundant, outdated and trivial is not as complex as one may think. If you can develop a policy of what should be preserved, which requires input from the legal and records management team, this would result in restoring less than 1% of the legacy backup content.

Even if you haven’t determined the policy of what to keep, a single instance of legacy tape data can be restored to a disk based archive and then retention policies can be defined. The right scenario is dependent on how sound your data retention policy is.

Some organizations can be very specific as to what should be preserved (based on content type, owner, and date range), others may not have a detailed policy or a “save everything” policy. Either way a solution exists to migrate and secure data of value online and eliminate the use of tape as a long-term archive.

Developing a Data Disposition Strategy: A Case Study in User Shares

Join us for a 30-minute Tech Break
Jan. 29 at 1 pm ET/10 am PT

One international financial services company discovered that 34% of their data was duplicate, 68% of the data had not been touched in over 3 years and they had nearly 17,200 individual files containing PII on their main network.

While most organizations share similar network profiles, what this company did next reduced their costs and mitigated untold millions in risk.

Leveraging metadata and the latest technology, discover how they developed a data disposition strategy and reclaimed 54% of their capacity and implemented a value-based archive.

Join us for a 30-minute tech break Thursday, Jan. 29 at 1 pm ET/10 am PT to see how they did it and what you can learn from their user data mistakes.
Register now

Index Engines Backup Migration Solutions Now Available through EMC

As a Select Partner in the EMC Business Partner Program for Technology Connect Partners, Index Engines today announced its Catalyst platform is now available through EMC and its channel partners.

Catalyst enables EMC clients to seamlessly transition to EMC®’s Data Protection Suite featuring NetWorker® and Avamar® solutions while still maintaining access to their legacy backup data without the need for the original software.

Catalyst offers a range of solutions including catalog management, data restoration without the need of original backup software, and single instance migration of tape data to disk to support retention requirements. Intelligent management and access to legacy backup data supports information governance and compliance requirements, while controlling data center costs.

“We’re thrilled with our enhanced partnership with EMC and the value we’ll jointly be able to deliver to customers,” Index Engines Vice President Jim McGann said. “Companies are no longer forced to maintain non-production backup environments out of fear of a compliance or eDiscovery requests. They can now maintain easy, searchable access to backup data while transitioning to state-of-the-art EMC technology.”

Catalyst enables clients to deploy EMC’s Data Protection Suite, retire their existing backup vendor and still maintain access to legacy data without the need for the original backup software. The Catalog Engine searches, manages and generates reports on legacy data with the Catalyst Tape Indexes utilized to deeply index the content so it can be searched and restored.

Catalyst also delivers comprehensive metadata search and migration tools in order to restore a single instance of tape data to disk without the need for the original backup software. This allows clients with risks and costs associated with utilizing tape as a long-term archive to efficiently migrate this sensitive data to EMC disk for long-term preservation and management. Once this migration is complete, the legacy tapes can be remediated recouping offsite tape storage expenses.

“EMC is pleased that Index Engines has joined EMC Technology Connect as a Select Partner, demonstrating its commitment to excellence in technology innovation for data protection and migration,” said Don Lamburn, Director, EMC Technology Connect. “We look forward to working with Index Engines to ensure that our mutual customers have the highest level of support possible for their information infrastructure initiatives.”

10 Mission-Critical Unstructured Data Projects To Control Costs and Streamline Operations in 2015

Everyone’s talking about unstructured data lately – the cost, the risk, the massive growth – but little is being done to manage it.
Analyst group IDC estimates unstructured data growth at 40-60 percent per year, a statistic that is not only startling, but puts a great deal of emphasis on the need to start managing it today or at least have it on the schedule for 2015.

With budgets tightening – often to pay for storage costs – data center managers are struggling to find the highest impact projects that will see an immediate ROI. While there’s no one project that will reclaim all of the unstructured data rotting away in the data center, there are 10 crucial projects that will help streamline and control costs in the data center.

1. Clean up abandoned data and reclaim capacity: When employees leave the organization, their files and email languish on networks and servers. With the owner no longer available to manage and maintain the content it remains abandoned and clogs up corporate servers. Data centers must manage this abandoned data to avoid losing any valuable content and to reclaim capacity.

2. Migrate aged data to cheaper storage tiers: As data ages on the network it can become less valuable. Storing data that has not been accessed in three years or longer is a waste of budget. Migrate this data to less expensive storage platforms. Aged data can represent between 40% of current server capacity.

3. Defensively remediate legacy backup tapes and recoup offsite storage expenses: Old backup tapes that have piled up in offsite storage are a big line item on your annual budget. Using unstructured data profiling technology these tapes can be scanned, without the need of the original backup software, and a metadata index of the contents generated. Using this metadata profile relevant content can be extracted and archived and the tapes can be defensibly remediated, reclaiming offsite storage expenses.

4. Purge redundant and outdated files and free-up storage: Network servers can easily be comprised of 35 – 45% duplicate content. This content builds over time and results in wasted storage capacity. Once duplicates are identified a policy can be implemented to purge what is no longer required such as redundant files that have not been accessed in over three years, or those owned by ex-employees.

5. Profile and move data to the cloud: Many data centers have cloud initiatives where aged and less useful business data is migrated to more cost effective hosted storage. Finding the data and on-ramping it to the cloud however is a challenge of you lack understanding of your data: who owns it, when it was last accessed, types of files, etc.

6. Audit and remove personal multimedia content (ie. music, video) from user shares: User shares become a repository not only aged and abandoned files, but personal music, photo and video content that have no value to the business and in fact may be a liability. Once this data is classified reports can be generated showing the top 50 owners of this content, total capacity and location. This information can be used to set and enforce quotas and work with the data owners to clean up the content and reclaim capacity.

7. Archive sensitive content and support eDiscovery more cost effectively: Legal and compliance requests for user files and email can be disruptive and time consuming. Finding the relevant content and extracting it in a defensible manner is the key challenge. Streamlining access to critical data so you can respond to legal requests quicker, not only lessons their time burden but saves you time and money during location efforts.

8. Audit and secure PII to control risk: Users don’t always abide by corporate data policies. Sharing sensitive information containing client social security and credit card numbers, such as tax forms, credit reports and application, can easily happen. Find this information, audit email and servers, and take the appropriate action to ensure client data is secure. Some content may need to be relocated and moved to an archive, encrypted or even purged from the network. Managing PII ensures compliance with corporate policies and controls liability associated with sensitive data.

9. Manage and control liability hidden in PSTs: Email contains sensitive corporate data including communications of agreements, contracts, private business discussions and more. Many firms have email archives in place to monitor and protect this data, however, users can easily create their own mini-archive or PST of the content that is not managed by corporate. PSTs have caused great pain when involved in litigation as email that was thought to be no longer in existence suddenly appears in a hidden PST.

10. Implement accurate charge-backs based on metadata profiles and Active Directory ownership: Chargebacks will allow data center to accurately recoup storage expenses and work with the departments to develop a more meaningful data policy including purging of what they no longer require.

There are a number of ways companies can approach these projects, but to maximize impact a number of file-level metadata tools, sometimes referred to unstructured data profiling, exist.

Through the file-level information date, owner, location, file type, number of copies and last accessed information can be determined, which will help data center managers classify data and put disposition policies in place.

The benefits of managing unstructured data include reduced risk, capacity and reclaimed data center budget. With finances already tight and data growing rapidly, don’t leave these projects off the schedule in 2015

Legacy Backup Catalog and Data Management

Catalyst from Index Engines unlocks content in IBM and Symantec backup formats (with Commvault support coming in 1H2015) allowing access and management of the data without the need for the original software.

Clients that currently use IBM’s TSM or Symantec’s NBU now have a cost effective and intelligent migration strategy to best of breed backup platforms. If a non-production TSM/NBU instance, resulting from a merger or acquisition is maintained in order to provide access to legacy tape data, these environments can be retired and replaced with a single solution that provides simplified access to the data going forward.

Additionally, clients who have large volumes of legacy backup tapes in offsite storage vaults (Iron Mountain, Recall, etc.), containing data required to support legal and compliance, can now intelligently restore this data and extract the records that are relevant to disk for simplified access and management. This is typically a small portion of what is contained on tape, which differentiates Catalyst from a migration tool where all data is moved from tape.

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