How To Keep Your Data From ROT-Ing In The Cloud

It’s a brand new year and while it’s not yet the time for “spring cleaning”, you should still consider cleaning up your data. While we can easily brush this time-consuming task aside, understanding and cleaning up your data can save you cloud storage space. Simon Jelley, General Manager for SaaS Protection, Endpoint and Backup Exec at Veritas Technologies, shares an article on Forbes of the importance in managing and keeping necessary data in the cloud. At some point every bit of data was of importance to your company. But as years pass and data retention and compliance comes into play, a lot of that historical data is useless. Jelley coins the term “ROT”, an acronym to describe the three types of antiquated data you may still be storing – data that is redundant, obsolete, and trivial. “Just as rot often takes hold in organic things due to neglect, ROT data results from neglecting good data management practices. As much as a third of enterprise data can be considered ROT (and another 52% is dark data with unknown value, at least a portion of which is almost certainly more ROT),” says Jelley. ROT data can pose many risks to your business such as security, compliance, and liability. Not only that, having unnecessary data means you’re paying for high storage sizes. Below are four steps that Jelley outlines for rooting out your ROT data.

  1. Create a data taxonomy or classification system: “This is a set of definitions, labels and groups to organize your cloud-based data. This will help you identify ROT data.”
  2. Establish a single source of truth (SSOT) location for each category of your cloud data. “This is where the “right” version of each data asset is saved, reducing the chance that ROT versions exist elsewhere in the cloud.”
  3. Define policies for managing the ROT data you’ve identified. “These are rules and procedures you set for purging the ROT from the cloud.”
  4. Remember that this is an iterative process. “Continually update your data taxonomy, manage your SSOT location on an ongoing basis to ensure it’s being used properly, and regularly execute on your ROT data policies with the procedures you’ve established to get rid of it.”

While this process may be a huge project, Jelley concludes how necessary it is and it promotes good organizational management for your business.


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