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Storage Administrators Face a Multitude of Compliance Issues
There are many different types of regulatory compliance issues facing storage administrators today, and Mehran Hadipour, vice president of marketing for Kashya, Inc., says one of the most pressing concerns is that organizations are in need of a cost-effective solution that provides synchronous levels of protection with no distance limitations and with no application degradation.
“These organizations also need a solution that is flexible, providing the ability to adapt to changing business requirements,” says Hadipour. “They also require a solution that will integrate with their current infrastructure, so as to minimize disruption, leverage existing investments, and minimize costs.”
Some of the specific regulatory compliance issues organizations have to contend with are the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for all public corporations, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for corporations in the healthcare industry, and SEC regulations for retention of all electronic correspondence with clients. “For storage administrators, these responsibilities are now being piled on top of everyday storage issues,” says Wayne Lam, vice president of professional services at FalconStor. The bottom line, according to Lam, is that effective management of storage is crucial to meeting compliance issues and day-to-day operations.
Although the compliance issues are now in place, there are still many folks out there who are not even sure what regulations they need to comply with, let alone how to get it done with technology. Hadipour sees three major factors contributing to this difficulty. One is the lack of clarity and understanding where data is placed across the enterprise as well as how to protect and retain it.
The second problem is due to the fact that much of today’s technology solutions are based on specific storage or server platforms, which makes deployment of consistent data protection and retention solutions across the enterprise extremely complex. The third issue, says Hadipour, is the cost. “The cost of solutions for data protection often exceeds the reach of many mid-sized organizations.” What is needed, he says, is a network- based solution that supports heterogeneous servers and storage that protects data at a fraction of the cost.
Lam agrees and says that compliance can be a complex beast. He points out that different and multiple compliance regulations are applicable to many businesses already, and even though the easiest way to comply with all of the compliances is to securely maintain and retain all corporate data, that represents a very tall order. “Knowing where and how to start tackling the beast is the [most] difficult part for many organizations, and here’s where the storage sales potential fits in.”
“Important operational data is most likely stored on a premium disk, and businesses do not want to pay premium prices to store this data,” Lam continues. “Recovery from tape may not be rapid enough for some businesses, so there’s a market now for secondary or very cost-effective storage, as well as storage appliances designed for very specific business needs in order to meet the federal requirements.”