Don’t keep squandering one of your greatest storage assets: metadata

Storage has long been one of the biggest line items on the IT budget. Rightly so, given that data is valuable asset and the lifeblood of every business today. Critical applications consume data as quickly as they get it, and many companies are also using their data to find new insights that help them develop novel products and strategies.

Regardless of how hot a file is when it is created, in time, its use cools. As a business matures, more and more cool, cold and even frigid data continues to pile up. With analytics now offering new insights on old data, however, no one wants to delete old files or send them to offline archival storage. This means buying more and more capacity is a given, just as death and taxes.

The cloud is rising as a cost-effective fix for data sprawl, but the challenge remains that IT doesn’t know what data is truly inactive and a candidate for moving to a slower, cheaper store. Even then, actually moving the data without affecting the application is a whole other problem to tackle, and traditional migrations take planning, downtime, plenty of money, and time.

It’s nice to be noticed

The irony is that the information needed to identify data activity has been there all along, in the metadata, the data about your data. Metadata is created alongside a file, offering salient information about when it was last opened, by whom, its size, when it was last modified, and so on. This information is sitting latent with every single file in your enterprise, but until now, there was not a way to analyze it to better manage data across an enterprise storage ecosystem. It’s one of IT’s greatest assets, and it’s been ignored.

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