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Most organisations could, with proper file archiving tools, reduce the amount of data on primary storage to the extent no new capacity would need to be purchased for at least a year.

Research conducted for BridgeHead Software reveals 60 per cent of IT directors estimate they could remove 30 per cent or more of the data they retain on primary storage if they only knew what they wouldnt need again. With storage volumes growing at a comparable annual rate, such a spring-clean of primary storage could negate the need for hardware purchases for a year.

Forty per cent of all survey respondents report responsibility for more that 1TB of data on primary storage and a further 10 per cent report more than 10TB of data on primary storage. Of all respondents responsible for more than 1TB, the mean volume is 4.37TB.

Almost half of all respondents agree that more than 30 per cent of their primary data store is taken up with unstructured data such as spreadsheets, documents and presentations. Fifteen per cent of respondents say that more than half of their primary data store comprises unstructured data.

Tony Cotterill, CEO of BridgeHead Software, said: The prevailing keep everything attitude is most likely the result of straightforward data overload combined with a perceived lack of effective tools for archiving files. That may once have been the case, but todays reality is that there are plenty of tools to do something about it.

The whole process could even be cash neutral or even cash positive in the first year: imagine not having to purchase 30 per cent more primary disk capacity in your own organisation and buying the right archiving tools instead. It ought to be an easy decision, with the added benefit that primary storage purchases will be down 30% year on year thereafter. Plus the fact an organisation will also be taking steps along the path to better corporate governance and compliance, whether or not it feels the need, he added.

The survey reveals that only 22 per cent of businesses consider compliance or corporate governance to be a primary driver for archiving, and that the majority dont have an effective data migration solution: 15% reported having an HSM solution, 14% have an SRM solution and 8% claimed an ILM solution. However 28 per cent of respondents admit to not archiving at all and, of those that do, less than a fifth use an automated archiving tool.

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