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Microsoft Virtualization Secrets by John Savill

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Understanding Data Virtualization Technologies at Work

While protecting data at home is important, protecting corporate data can sometimes be the difference between success and failure, or even between relaxing at home and sitting in jail. Numerous regulatory requirements affecting companies today require data to be kept for a certain period of time, and failure to produce this data is a criminal offense. When a company has to perform data discovery for auditing or legal proceedings, it needs to be done as efficiently and swiftly as possible to avoid prolonged legal issues (after all, lawyers are not cheap). Following are three common regulatory requirements that affect data retention:

  • The Basel II Accord: Many financial institutions must retain data for seven years.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX): U.S. organizations retain audits for seven years.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): Typically, healthcare providers must ensure the privacy and retention of patient records for six years.

On the flip side, to simplify the discovery process, should it ever be required, many organizations don’t want to keep data longer than necessary. Indeed, sifting through Zip drives with information from 10 years ago isn’t the most efficient use of time.

Separating the user data and profile from the operating system is important in an environment where users typically work from multiple machines, meaning their configuration and data need to always be available. For example, consider ...

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