Executing Data Migration & Data Restoration Best Practices

Topics: Data Backup and Archiving

Restoring data in the wake of a disaster or other sudden loss poses several challenges. Legacy data, in particular, is often spread across the organisation in multiple formats. Over time, as data moves from format to format and one storage site to another, the risk of mishandling, theft and compliance violations increases.

As you address these potential obstacles to data restoration, you still need to ensure that you can access the data you need on demand. This is where data migration and data restoration best practices are important. These initiatives can help an enterprise juggle the dual priorities of high security and easy access.

Here's how to keep your data secure and accessible:

Step #1. Consolidate: Too many archives muddy the waters.

The amount of worldwide data is growing at a rate of 40 percent per year. To keep pace, most businesses are maintaining more than six archives, according to an IDC and Iron Mountain archiving report.

Adding to this data management mayhem, 88 percent of businesses surveyed lack a consistent archiving format. Given these conditions, it's a challenge for these organisations to quickly track down the data they need ASAP.

Your solution: consolidate archives, standardise formats and gain control of your data. This may require the help of a storage expert.

Step #2. Go Hybrid: Find your data's sweet spot.

Effective data management requires a hybrid approach. Place data on the most appropriate storage medium with a tiering scheme.

Example data tiering scheme:

  • primary data resides on fast (and expensive) servers
  • backups go to onsite data appliances and to the cloud
  • archives live in the cloud and in offsite tape vaults.

Tape archive is cost effective, meaning a hybrid approach will likely boost efficiency and reduce storage costs, while reducing your IT department's stress levels considerably.

Step #3. Migrate: It's time to standardise data formats.

Several pieces of global litigation require that you create and store records for set lengths of time, in specific formats and under strict security parameters. Consider migrating and encrypting data to comply. A storage expert can help with:

  • Data encryption: Ideally, you can store legacy backup tapes — and encrypt and migrate the data to a new media format simultaneously.
  • Chain of custody: Secure unencrypted historical data from point of pickup through completed migration with one documented process.
  • Offsite tape vaulting: Store your legacy source media and newly migrated archive tapes in your vendor's secure facility.

Step #4. Restoration Assurance: Gain the benefit of access with no strings attached.

Litigation and regulatory challenges are on the rise. Maintain legacy backup media, even after upgrading your data backup environment.

To ensure hassle-free data recovery, seek a supplier that can provide on-demand restoration and extraction of data from tape, even if the media is damaged. Using deduplication techniques, your provider should be able to restore your data promptly and accurately, ensuring that it provides you with only single instances of each targeted file or email message within the requested volume.

Step #5. Letting Go: Dispose of your expired data.

Keeping unneeded data is costly. It's essential to develop consistent data management best practices, from the creation of a file until it's destroyed. A third-party storage expert can help your IT team identify data ready for secure destruction, while also helping you dispose of old equipment (e-waste) in a secure, socially responsible way. As part of these services, your vendor should provide you with certification of a secure chain of custody. With this documentation in hand, you can always prove that your organisation has adhered to all compliance and environmental protection regulations.

Gaining control of your data archives will most likely call for significant changes throughout your organisation. But despite any temporary inconveniences, the transition to a more secure and accessible data archive brings valuable peace of mind.

Are you feeling stressed about integrating data encryption, offsite tape vaulting and IT asset disposition into your data management plan? Learn how Iron Mountain Data Restoration Services can manage all of your assets securely across the data lifecycle.