The New Rules of Storage

New regulations have IT managers scurrying to make sure their storage systems comply.

It's clear that data storage is more important than ever. Take a look at these factoids (surely headed to a PowerPoint slide near you):

  • Globally, there was a 30% increase in stored information (of all sorts) from 1999 to 2002. Storage on hard disk drives rose 114%. (Source: University of California, Berkeley)

  • "Storage is the fastest growing capital cost within the data center and in many enterprises." (Gartner Inc.)

  • Data centers will double their storage needs every 18 to 24 months. (Gartner)

  • Federal regulators have discovered IT storage, big time. (Computerworld)

Actually, government agencies such as the IRS have been concerned about records storage since the dawn of the Computer Age. What's new is the accelerating pace of records management laws in the past few years. Not only are there the well-known Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act, but the Food and Drug Administration also heavily regulates record keeping in the drug, medical device and biotech industries. And the SEC continues to require broker-dealers to use "non-rewriteable and non-erasable" storage technology .

The general trend -- described in the special report that follows -- is that the new laws require companies to store more data, for longer periods of time and in a form that can't be tampered with.

But don't take my word for it -- or the word of storage vendors that see the new laws as a great sales tool. Instead, work closely with your company's legal department to find out how your storage infrastructure needs to adapt to the new rules of the game.

See our guide to regulatory compliance.

Mitch Betts is Features editor at Computerworld. He can be contacted at

Special Report

The New Rules of Storage

Stories in this report:


Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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