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Storage Management & Disaster Recovery

If you don't have a plan in place for data storage in the case of a natural or man-made disaster, you're putting your business at risk. Storage management for company data is central to a disaster recovery plan. You have many ways to protect your data and increase the chances it will be accessible after a disaster, but you have to follow basic disaster recovery principles.

Data Retention

The purpose of a data retention policy is to ensure you store the records you need while deleting or putting a time limit on the retention of all other data. Companies generate so much data that putting everything into your backup and disaster recovery system indefinitely may just waste resources. Implement policies to reduce duplication, identify key files and records and program the system to delete other data after a specified time. If you are in a regulated industry, make sure you keep records for the legally required period.


While you may keep a local backup for short-term purposes, such as to recover data when employees accidentally delete or overwrite files, data storage management for disaster recovery is long term and off-site. Some companies still use the legacy systems of sending an employee home with the daily backup on tape or optical disk. Many others are using online backup, and cloud infrastructure providers offer backup as a cloud service for remote, off-site data storage. The service automatically backs up the data you want to keep over the Internet and stores it in a data center. The advantage of this system is that your data is available over the Internet from wherever you want to access it after a disaster.


You don't know that you have a valid backup of your data unless you verify it periodically. Depending on the kind of service you have, you may be able to access individual files or you might have to go through a restore process. Ideally, you carry out an extensive verification soon after you start using the service. You then perform frequent spot checks of critical files, making sure the backup file you access is the latest version. Occasionally, you have to simulate an actual disaster by doing a full restore on a new computer and checking whether the backup is fully functional.


You have to assign responsibility for storage management and disaster recovery, but you also need a chain of responsibility for the recovery itself. The person responsible for managing your data arranges for retention and backup policy implementation and sends you periodic reports on the results of the verification. For disaster recovery, a series of employees have instructions on procedures to follow to ensure that at least one employee can restore your data to a functioning computer system and start supporting business operations.

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