In the last week I have been in numerous meetings with many of our ISV partners; some are huge IT companies and others smaller, yet no less important to our industry. Sharing thoughts, ideas and observations has been a key component of these sessions; and one topic came out in almost all the sessions. Deleting a file is not easy!

It seems strange to say that when so much effort goes into data protection. Backup, replication, RAID, redundant links and security all exist to protect information. In the last few years the rise of CAS for archiving further preserves data, often over emphasis on compliance leads this data stores to be considered as storage forever. This suggests that losing data is likely and we have to take care to look after it.

Yet when information is no longer useful and perhaps the data it represents an unnecessary cost; the obvious answer is to delete it. Maybe strict process is needed to ensure this is done correctly; but how can you be sure if it’s really gone? What happens if the backup still contains for the retention period? Indeed, maybe retention periods were too long due to over caution, how can they be reduced and so reduce cost?

Over the last few years the difference between backup and archive have become very well understood, separate techniques with different requirements. Now, maybe the time is right to consider the way they interact and how data destruction can be realised.