top of page

Windows File Servers and Data Discovery

Updated: May 31, 2023

A Data Discovery Audit involves running a passive scan of your Windows file servers to examine and catalog all the unstructured data and classifies it according to age, date last accessed(?), file size, and type of file[BT1] . This includes an assessment of the amount of data that has not been accessed (inactive data) as defined by a custom policy and projections of your data growth for the next five years based on historical analysis.

This file server information can then be used to make informed decisions about how to manage your data, including:

· Reducing server and backup storage costs

o Employing HSM/Cloud storage strategies

· Mitigating ransomware risk of data loss

· Reducing recovery downtime

· Improving data management for compliance, eDiscovery, and FOIA

· Reducing Server and Backup Storage Costs

By identifying inactive data, you can free up valuable enterprise storage on your file servers. This can lead to significant cost savings for hardware, software, and IT personnel. For example, if you have a 4TB Windows server on AWS that is currently 75% full, you could reduce overall costs by downgrading the server to only 2TB and archiving inactive data to a less expensive form of storage. Shrinking the size of you’re primary sever means smaller local backups and recovery times.

Mitigating ransomware risk

Ransomware and extortionware attacks are devastating to businesses of all sizes and are on the rise, constantly leapfrogging new defenses and causing companies to play catchup continuously. By identifying and migrating inactive data out of your enterprise resources, you reduce the risk of a debilitating ransomware attack. This is because ransomware attacks typically target data valuable to the victim, such as personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, and intellectual property (IP). When you don't have any valuable data directly attached to your file servers, there is nothing for a ransomware attacker to encrypt or copy and hold you for ransom. Furthermore, smaller enterprise backups can be restored quickly, ensuring you can get back to business as soon as possible.

Reducing recovery downtime

In the event of a data loss from a hardware failure or a ransomware attack, the faster you can fully recover your data, the less business disruption and revenue loss you will experience. By identifying and removing inactive data from enterprise servers, you can reduce the size of your backup sets by as much as 80%. This makes it faster to restore your data in a crisis.

Improving data management/governance and compliance with Data Discovery

Data governance is the process of managing data throughout its lifecycle. This includes collecting, storing, using, and disposing of data in a way that complies with applicable laws and regulations. You can significantly improve your data governance practices by identifying and removing inactive data from your enterprise servers mainly because you can focus more of your valuable resources on managing the data being used.

Ongoing data hygiene, including defensible disposition, data minimization, and storage tiering, are all essential requirements for effective data management.

A restorVault Data Discovery Audit is a valuable tool for businesses to discover the size of their inactive data problem. By identifying inactive data, you can reduce server and backup storage costs, mitigate ransomware risk, reduce recovery downtime, and improve data management and compliance. If you want to improve your data management practices, start with a free Data Discovery audit.


bottom of page