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Managing Data

T.C. Seow | Dec. 2, 2013
The message from the two roundtables held in Hong Kong and Singapore, sponsored by Veeam, is clear: CIOs need to be mindful of what their investments in data backup and replication can bring to the corporate table and where improvements should be made to ensure total recovery when the need arises

Data growth remains a major challenge to CIOs at the roundtable. They all lamented on under-appreciated efforts ensuring ample storage to meet the rapid growth of data storage, and the challenges they faced in backing up and restoring data on a regular and reliable basis.

T. Jayaprakash, Regional IT Director, Asia Pacific & Greater China, STMicroelectronics Asia Pacific, said that in his organisation whose business spans across the globe, standardisation was an issue.

Anderson Teo, Associate Director, Group IT at Meinhardt Group International, also commented about the massive data storage required for archiving engineering drawings that could date back decades, while enabling quick access when necessary. In addition, he was also concerned about data protection and privacy, since such information was considered valuable in the field of engineering.

All participants were keen to explore new solutions that can enable them to do their jobs more efficiently and reliably. 

Data Quality
Aside from backup requirements, one noteworthy issue was that of data quality and types of data to be retained. While there is need to keep all kinds of data, the ability to keep the right kinds of data for quick access or for specific needs is sometimes an elusive goal, which participants feel should be attainable through better tools that can allow them to prioritise data retention and retrieval. 

Steven Sim, VP, IT, with Maybank Kim Eng Securities, said backup and recovery were big issues. Coupled with product replacement cycles, OS changes, software updates, data backups have become difficult to handle, especially when one did not have clear view of what have been backed up and restored.

Charles Clarke of Veeam commented that although data is growing exponentially, one major challenge is a sociological one. The always-on world of today is placing tremendous pressures on organisations to ensure data availability in real-time, because customers now expect access to information round the clock, and at any place.

Backup prioritisation and user policies were also talked about. In particular, participants also exchanged ideas on best practices and what solutions have been deployed in their work environments. 

Business continuity and disaster recovery are two areas the participants talked about in relation to data storage and recovery. One major concern is the "backup window", which seems to be ever shrinking. Participants were keen to learn of tools that can enable them to deal with such needs. 

Data security and protection were also examined. Some were concerned about how new rules and regulations would impact enterprise storage solutions, while others were concerned about preventing data loss. 

When asked which factors-cost, ease of use, and vendor reputation-would be their most important consideration in choosing a solution, Jayaprakash said that cost would top, followed by ease of use (of the solution), followed by vendor reputation.

Others too mentioned cost, but Sim from Maybank Kim Eng also added security as another factor, while Sam Wai Keong, VP, IT of C.K. Tang, said support should be added as another major consideration. 


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