The Details on Data Retention

Any worthwhile data backup should address data retention. Specifically, how long should archived data be maintained?

When your business suffers a disaster but has a good data retention policy, it can mean the difference between maintaining normal operations and not being able to recover from a disaster.

In large companies, there’s always a chance that a file will get corrupted or go missing. The smart and prepared companies ensure that their data retention policy protects against that.

Other companies keep their backups available on certain servers for several months before they’re allowed to be written over. This sort of policy can help to keep the company’s users happy without putting too much stress on the backup solution.

It’s also helpful to know that the most common restores result from people losing their data. Luckily, the data is often quickly located and relatively easy to restore (often within minutes to an hour).

So why should organizations create and follow a data retention policy? There are several reasons.

First, companies need to ensure that important data can be brought back whenever it is lost or deleted.

Second, because there will be times that the organization may be required to produce documents or data as evidence, such as during an audit or legal challenge.

Third and finally, with a retention policy in place, IT staff will find it easier to determine which documents can be deleted and when — allowing them to free up space and reduce storage costs as a result.