Data-aware Storage is the Force that Defeats the Dark (Data) Side

If you’re a Star Wars fan, then you know the great struggle between darkness and light is coming back to the big screen. “There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it,” the movie trailer asks. “The dark side. And the light.” In those few, choppy sentences, the George Lucas promotional machine shows that we are, as we have always been, intrigued by the challenge of illuminating darkness.

That challenge exists in a galaxy far, far away, and it exists much closer to home, too, in our enterprises, data centers and business units. The dark data problem stems from the amount of data companies are now generating, keeping, maintaining and administering. Gartner says that data goes dark when we fail to use it for any discernible purpose, such as monetizing it or analyzing it to learn something about the business. Often, businesses hang onto this data solely to comply with industry regulations, but the fact that they can’t fully delve into it threatens the very compliance goals they hope to meet.

Storing and securing dark data can incur expense and risk, and companies need more than The Force to alleviate those burdens. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t even know what’s lurking in their data storage. Are you one of them? Take this test:

  • Can you quantify how much dark data you have in your storage assets and virtual machine infrastructure?
  • Do you know how much of that data is dormant, or has been untouched for a year or more?
  • Can you pinpoint how much your company is spending to back up, protect and replicate that data between sites?

You don’t need to train with a Jedi master to beat back the dark side of your stored data. Data-aware storage capabilities allow you to find answers and gather insights into the data you’re storing and maintaining. You can get a quick glance at the demographics of your data and then drill down for more detail.  By doing so, you can quickly produce a full list of the data at a granular, file-level, which you can then search, export or drill into even further. You can see file owners, sizes, types, readers and writers. You can see how much dormant data you have by share or by virtual machine (VM). And you can spot security risks, such as improperly stored personally identifiable information (PII). With visibility into dormant data, you can better use your storage assets and defeat the power of the dark side.

Want to shine a light on your dark data? The file analytics capabilities of the DataGravity Discovery Series is a great place to start.

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Gabe Maentz

Gabe serves as a Systems Engineer for DataGravity and is committed to helping our channel partners and customers succeed. Gabe brings over 15 years of Information Technology experience working for leading companies like Dick's Sporting Goods, Kimberly-Clark Corp., and Epic Systems. He was recently recognized as a vExpert for his contributions to the IT community.