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IDC Report: Maintaining Copies for Insurance is Approaching Paranoia and Will Cost Businesses $44 Billion in 2013!

by Hu Yoshida on Mar 20, 2013

One of the trends that I identified for 2013 was the explosion of replicated data; this was trend #3 in my blog on December 13, 2012.

IDC just published an Insight Report #10 entitled “The Copy Data Problem – An Order of Magnitude Analysis” which provides some analysis of the problem and quantifies the cost to businesses in 2012 and projection for 2013.

“IDC estimates that in 2012, more than 60% of enterprise disk storage systems (DSS) capacity may have been made of copy data.”

“Similarly, in 2012, copy data made up nearly 85% of hardware purchases and 65% of storage infrastructure software revenue.”

The report goes on to say that the growth of data is bordering on paranoia.

“Maintaining copies of data both locally and geographically and in an online or offline manner is absolutely essential for maintaining service quality. But at some point, this maintenance goes from being an insurance policy to paranoia. IDC expects this paranoia to cost businesses roughly $44 billion in 2013.”

There are many valid business reasons for making copies, like test and development, data analysis, data sharing, etc; and, as the IDC report points out, while these are growing rapidly, the biggest culprit in data copies is the need for data protection.

When it comes to data protection, I would be in the paranoia camp. However, this should not cost billions of dollars if we focus on efficiencies like active archive for data that doesn’t change, thin or virtual copies that don’t require a full copy every time the primary is updated, and dedupe or single instancing of repetitive data.

Another way to make data protection more efficient is to provide a unified data protection solution. Last year we acquired Cofio, which provides the AIMstor® product, an innovative and intuitive solution for protecting customer data globally.  Sean Moser our vice president of Software Platforms Product Management announced in a blog post last year that the Cofio acquisition is part of a long-term vision for a comprehensive solution that integrates backup, archive, and storage platform-based replication technologies. Stay tuned for an update in this area.

We also need to educate our users and business units on the cost of copies and the tools for eliminating copies. An example is attachments to emails, which could be eliminated by using Sharepoint or other collaboration tools. At Hitachi Data Systems, we use an internal website for sharing information and managing projects.

This IDC report on “The Copy Data Problem” draws attention to a growing problem that many may not be aware of. The good news is that there are tools to address this problem.

Also, see David Merrill’s post on “Calculating the total cost of your Data Protection” which can help to determine the right amount of “Paranoia” you need for rational data protection.

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