Friday, April 04, 2008

Data Retention

It turns out because of certain portions of the organization I work for we are required to retain some records (payroll and accounting) for nearly 200 years which can cause real headaches when it is ignored for too long. In discussions with the Accounting manager I found out that some records (nearly 10 years of them are currently only available on one single desktop machine running windows 3.1.

Someone made the decision sometime ago that it wasn’t a priority to migrate this to a platform that was sustainable, and as such it is on a machine that no one is sure will power on. If something isn’t assigned a priority, then it is guaranteed to fall of the horizon of IT folks. My predecessor never mentioned the situation to me, I assume because he had dismissed it as unimportant. Thankfully I was assured that the data was safely backed up on a disk somewhere, but it doesn’t stop that I need to come up with some way to preserve that data in an accessible format for 200 years. So far I am thinking hello virtual machine.

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