Data Lifecycle Management

Planning for the long term can help your organisation to avoid risks.

The explosion in data volumes means data lifecycle planning is vital

Ever-larger volumes of data and large storage implementations present multiple IT challenges and business risks. While many data warehouse or storage solutions and architecture choices exist, all approaches pose several common challenges.

Data lifecycle management (DLM) is a policy- and process-oriented approach to the efficient flow of data throughout its lifecycle. DLM policies include ensuring optimal application performance and archiving historical data to manage data growth while ensuring access to both production and archived data.

Good data and record management are critical elements of an effective digital data lifecycle management system. A systematic approach for data management provides a high level of assurance that, across the longitudinal data lifecycle for all records, the data is accurate, consistent, accessible, trustworthy and reliable.

Cost of ownership

The impact of exponential data growth of data on traditional storage infrastructure, or on-site archives can result in huge costs, often taking up most of an organisation’s IT budget and causing severe spikes in management time. Large storage infrastructure and storage area network infrastructure generally require bigger servers and appliances, which may also increase software licensing costs for the database, database tooling, integration or business intelligence (BI) tools.

Large volumes of data and varying workloads can put a lot of stress on storage and data (SAN) warehouse systems. With a majority of production data typically in an inactive state, the performance and system availability of data warehouses suffer greatly as a result of unchecked data growth.

In addition, IT departments must factor in the costs of a mirrored disaster recovery system, the LAN overhead of moving the data, the data backup infrastructure, processes to copy large data sets within the SLA window and the production of replicas of the raw data and database across test environments.

Building a suitable digital archiving and DLM solution in-house can be a very expensive and time-consuming effort. As it is not feasible for an in-house team to develop an entire platform, the alternative approach may be to produce scripts to automate data checking, replication and migration activities. However, this requires very specific skills and the overhead of the management is very high, the risk of mistake or failure is equally high.

Archiving and purging inactive data helps to improve query performance by reducing the amount of data and the number of indexes and table scans that must be processed. Archiving makes performing periodic maintenance tasks easier and faster, and it streamlines restoration from backups in the event of a failure for better system uptime and user productivity.

Private cloud, hybrid and multi-tiered digital active archive solutions enable services to be scaled up or down to meet variable data usage and access demands. This approach eliminates both the idle storage volume issue, and affiliated on-premise archiving costs such as power, cooling, floor space, storage and network infrastructure, and IT personnel for management and maintenance.

Streamlined risk and compliance management

Data archiving helps organisations to comply with data retention and purge policies while providing queryable archives for audit or e-discovery requests into historical data. Meeting corporate, industry, and regulatory compliance obligations is paramount for many institutions.

Though it may appear that maintaining data within a company’s firewall would best support compliance requirements, most organisations do not possess the requisite security certifications, which report on a business’s controls as they relate to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of a system. Without certification or audit of a company’s compliance procedures, the responsibility is on the company to prove they are compliant.