Stop Talking about Backups Tapes!!!


Bookshelf of backup tapesThis isn’t a rant against backup tapes in IT infrastructure. This isn’t a rant about how backup strategies need to change. It is a rant about all the people that depend on backups for managing information.

Stop it!

Backup tapes are to restore your system when things go wrong. Period. If you have to keep something, don’t use tapes. There are other ways. There are several archive vendors out there that will gladly take your phone calls.

Tapes are even worse for this than other backup methods. Tapes degrade. Tapes become corrupted. Tapes are easy to lose. Tapes get out of order. Tapes take up space that we are trying to save by going digital.

Tapes take information offline and away from people.

Tapes hold redundant information. When you are creating a collection of information, and you restore those tapes, the cost is going to escalate. If you are lucky, you will find 20% more new information to the total collection of information.

Running out of storage in your systems? Move storage to the cloud.

Want a more managed collection? There are hosted archiving services that will meet your needs that won’t create duplicate data.

Is Email the problem? Move your entire email system to the cloud. Most have HUGE amounts of default storage and have archiving capabilities to protect users from themselves.

What about the tapes?

Do what I did when I was a CIO. Take incremental backups every night. Take full backups every weekend. Keep 2 weeks of backups and then re-use the tapes. Every few months, replace tapes before they wear out and destroy the old ones.

Or better yet, move your backups off of tape.

If someone accidently deletes something, backups are not the answer. If a system dies, backups are the answer. If a storage array dies, backups are the answer.

Backups are for protection against catastrophe. They are not for retention, archiving, or compliance in any form. Stop using them that way.

If keep using backups this way you deserve every headache that you get.

Why Should We Get Out of Email?


Moses from History of the World Part 1Last week I had the privilege of having dinner with a brilliant gentleman from my college days, Alex. Some may know of Alex as he the person who is responsible for my moniker, “Pie.” We had a great conversation that was mostly devoid of ‘remember when’ threads.

Alex is an independent lawyer in a city in the southern US. He has been practicing for quite some time and after delving into what I do for a living, he went into a rant on legal discovery, both paper and electronic.

He flat out accused many law firms of making large discovery requests in order to make money reviewing the results. Regardless of the outcome of the case, the billable hours accrued can turn a tidy profit for a law firm. He even shared a story of one case when the amount of discovery turned out to be very small and the firm dropped the case as they wouldn’t be able to make money from it.

While not all firms are like that, it does trigger certain behaviors and advice that in the grand scheme should not occur. We should be working to do what is right for our organization without being scared of ‘what if’ scenarios.

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Box Just Threw Down the Gauntlet


Clint Eastwood as Dirty HarryLast week, Box held their annual conference. Many announcements were expected and the announcement of Workflow coming to Box in 2015 was quite exciting. If you want a high-level look at everything that happened, check out Chris Walker’s quick thoughts on BoxWorks.

None of that is why I am writing this post.

Buried in the wave of tweets were two game-changing announcements. Box announced Retention Management and Auto-Classification of Content.

That’s right. Information Governance behind the scenes on an application that people actually use AND a way to get content in the right retention bucket without people having to intervene.

All in the cloud.

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Executing on Information Governance


I had the pleasure of attending the Information Governance Exchange in Washington, DC last week. It was a different conference from many that I have attended in the past. Attended by senior people that own Information Governance at their organizations, there were a lot of discussions about how to execute strategies to making Information Governance work.

This was not theory, it was hard advice and grounded discussions. In fact, it was the most BS free Information Governance event I had ever attended.

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The Two Sides of Information Governance


Sometimes things just fall together. This past weekend, I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark with my sons, reveling as they experienced all the quirks for the first time.

Then on Monday, I had a conversation about Information Governance with a fellow practitioner. They remarked that there were two pillars of Information Governance. At first I agreed, Value (Information Management) and Risk (Records Management/eDiscovery) are the two dynamics at play in Information Governance.

I then realized that they were really two sides of the same coin. They are not as separate as two pillars might be. They are intertwined. After a little thought, I decided that the headpiece to the Staff of Ra from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark was actually the perfect paradigm.

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The IGI Tackles Information Governance for All


The Two Bobs, Office SpaceThe Information Governance Initiative (IGI) released their 2014 Annual Report this week. I was actually sent a preview copy, but I was at the beach and it took me a while to get to reading the entire report. I could have readily written a simple write-up based upon the great executive summary, but I wanted to dig deeper.

I am glad that I did. It is easy to argue with the conclusions but without reading the facts behind them, it is wasted effort. That is one thing that I really like about the report, there was real thought into what the results of their surveys and conversations meant. That is something that you don’t see in many of these reports.

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Joining the Practitioners at the Information Governance Conference


The Information Governance Conference LogoLast week I talked about my upcoming visit to the Information Governance Exchange, which is an event filled with business owners and decision makers. The next week in September, the 8th through the 10th, I will be winging my way up to Hartford, CT for the Information Governance Conference (InfoGovCon).

The InfoGovCon will be filled with practitioners participating in an agenda filled with different perspectives on Information Governance from multiple industries. There are also training sessions from ARMA, the Information Governance Initiative, and many others.

While there, I am presenting on Removing the “Work” from Information Governance. Sounds interesting but what does that mean?

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