Best Practices for Communicating About Your Data

Best Practices for Communicating About Your Data

Communicating about your organization’s unstructured data has always been a much greater challenge than it would appear to be from the outside. Lack of communication impacts everyone from application owners and end users, to IT senior management and storage team engineers. Receiving accurate information is critical for understanding everything from proper capacity planning and data lifecycle characteristics to IT-planned yearly expenditures.

How is it that we have unstructured data accessed over file protocols that are roughly 40 years old, and yet we still have no clear way to communicate meaningful details about this data?  Storage teams manage the platforms and are the stewards of data for numerous stakeholders in the organization, but they do not own the data.  Traditionally, unstructured data management is left to the end users and application owners, who will rarely, if ever, manage the data. The end result is that no one manages the data. What other area of IT blindly makes decisions about their platform and leaves it up to their end users to manage a large portion of it?

When you think about how unstructured data management has been historically performed, what comes to mind? Free tools that slowly scan a file system, provide capacity, and file count details for planning might be the first thing. Then, with every new selection of the file tree, these tools start the archaic scan process over again as you wait potentially hours (or longer) for it to complete on large file systems. This is followed by spot checking the time stamps on a handful of random files. At best, these combined processes provide a murky view of your unstructured data. In some cases, in-house tools available from a storage vendor may provide a little more clarity, but even these provide limited detail on the data. This is furthermore complicated in environments where storage platforms from multiple vendors exist. Finally, if a decision is made to archive or remove data with these systems, it is followed by a rarely successful search throughout the organization trying to identify who owns the data. If we are all being honest about the status of unstructured data management, the truth is that no one knows what is in the junk drawer, and no one is responsible for it. The bottom line is that a lack of visibility and reporting has made it virtually impossible to communicate across the organization, and without communication, data will continue to proliferate without being proactively managed. The good news is that there is a solution!

Datadobi’s StorageMAP provides you visibility into your unstructured data, so that every level of your organization can get visibility and reports relevant to each constituent.  StorageMAP not only provides visibility, but it also allows you to organize and act on your unstructured data. The StorageMAP platform allows IT teams and management to start implementing life cycle management strategies for unstructured data by quickly gaining details about the age of data, orphaned data sets lurking in the environment, top users and groups’ consuming capacity, the cost of each dataset, the associated CO2 emissions, and more. There is also the ability to tag your data, so that your teams can start to organize and assign ownership to datasets, while custom reporting allows you to create complex queries on the metadata collected and on your assigned tags.

The power of StorageMAP will allow your organization to start communicating about your unstructured data, so that your data owners, storage team, compliance team, security team, and IT management can all see the pertinent information they require. This allows for a larger, more educated discussion to be held about your data.

The power of Datadobi’s products is that they are designed from the ground up to function in the enterprise, at scale, and no matter the vendor StorageMAP provides a single platform to assess, organize, and take action against your unstructured data, whether it is on-premises or in the cloud. StorageMAP allows teams across your data center to begin to communicate about your unstructured data, which is the first step in allowing you to manage your unstructured data — rather than the data managing you.

Please reach out to Datadobi sales, and we would be happy to show you the power of what we can deliver.