Whether you like the idea of the GDPR (and the new California law), I’m sure you agree that these laws will likely change our data handling in business. Even if they are weakened through legal challenges, many companies have already started to comply and change some of their practices.
I’ve written about the GDPR plenty of times this year, and I like the law. I hope the law stands strong and resists most challenges. While I’m sure there will be plenty of spurious or silly requests and complaints, I do think these laws are asking for the good data handling practices that most data professionals have advocated for years. These include not only security but also integrity. How often have many of us advocated for corrections to problematic data and been told no? How many times have we complained about security practices?
One area that I think has been neglected too long in most industries is the area of retention. Most companies I’ve worked for have retained data indefinitely, without any thought or policy. In my mind, we ought to explicitly think about how long we hold data, and remove older data that isn’t needed for our organization’s operation. I feel more strongly about this over time as we find that data beaches become more and more prevalent.
Azure has started a preview of immutable storage, essentially WORM (Write Once, Read Many) drives as an Azure container. I’ve used WORM storage, but it’s often been viewed as a way of keeping information forever. that can change with this new Azure storage, as you can set a lifecycle management period. The blobs will be removed after this time, which removes one management headache from administrators.
I could see quite a few uses for this type of storage. If it’s inexpensive enough, what about storing backups here? We could have policies set to remove files after some limited period. I’m sure there are plenty of other uses for storage the is immutable, but also contains lifecycle management options. What creative use would you have for this type of expiring WORM storage?