Unstructured File Data Management – Understanding the Numbers

We all know that unstructured file data is growing out of control and needs to be managed.  But what is the best approach? It really comes down to understanding the numbers behind the file data so you can make the right decision for your storage environment. 

Based on industry averages, your unstructured file data may be consuming up to 80% of your expensive primary storage – and that’s a big number! This file data may include stale or obsolete files, duplicate information or non-business files. 

To bring structure to your unstructured file data, we recommend you:

  • Gain a baseline understanding of your data file types

Do you know how many MP3s are consuming your file data space? Are you storing more documents, photos or multimedia files? Are they all necessary for your business? One method of saving space may be to simply remove unnecessary JPEG files.

  • Know how much space each type is consuming

Beyond just the type of data files, it is critical to run an assessment so you know the amount of storage that is being consumed. In this assessment, we learn that the client’s JPEG, MOV, and TIF files consume almost 20% of the storage space. These numbers provide good information for scoping out a cleanup project.

  • Review when the file data was last accessed

Data files that have not been accessed in a long time are prime targets for archiving. Generally speaking, if a file is inactive for 6-12 months, there’s only a 1-3% chance that it will ever be needed again. Here’s a snapshot of the same assessment revealing that 60% of file data had not been accessed in six months or more.       

  • Manage file data growth for future planning

Given that file data grows by an average of 45-60% per year, understanding your unstructured file data now will help you manage it better in the future.  File blocking and quota management software can give you the power to implement business policies on your file data for effective management. 

Want to learn more about your unstructured data numbers and how they impact your storage environment? Get your copy of Finding the Risks and Opportunities in Your Storage to get started! 



Topics: unstructured file data


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