With more attention being paid to data centers, and the huge amounts of energy required to keep them operational, a new report from NetApp has quantified just how much data we’re storing “for no reason.”
The company’s research cites a drive for sustainability and a circular economy as its foundation, finding eight in 10 (83%) of IT professionals doubt their department’s sustainability initiatives.
The study’s headline figure is that two-fifths (41%) of data is being stored for no reason due to poor data management and unnecessary data collection, adding a £3.7 billion drain to the private sector each year.
The problem with cloud storage`
Keeping data off-prem adds an additional step between the client and their information, often blurring the lines and making it hard to keep tabs on storage. NetApp also discovered that many IT professionals fail at basic housekeeping, with around one-quarter (26%) cleaning up their data estates once a year, or less.
The majority (61%) of the 100 data storage and data management decision-makers predicted that their footprint would increase over the next year, however many of those are also subject to cost-cutting pressures to keep them operationally efficient.
NetApp Chief Technology Evangelist, Matt Watts, likens data to oil: incredibly valuable, but hugely damaging when handled wrongly. Watts summarizes:
“What this research shows is that UK organisations are creating a landfill of data, and as volumes continue to increase it businesses will only pay a higher cost, both in monetary terms and to the environment.”
As we look ahead, not only are we faced with reducing our data estates and removing data that is no longer required, but the industry also needs to tackle the huge problem of efficiency and energy usage which may later have knock-on effects to the consumer.