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What is mass data fragmentation?

Data is an enterprise’s most valuable digital resource. It should be a competitive asset, but instead data has become a costly and risky IT management headache.

Mass data fragmentation is the ever-growing proliferation of data—across different locations, silos, clouds, and management systems—that prevents organizations from fully utilizing its value.

Mass data fragmentation

The vast majority of an organization’s data—approximately 80 percent—is not actively in use in primary systems. It’s data stored in backups, archives, file shares, object stores, development and test systems, and analytics datasets both onsite and across public and private clouds.

Cohesity has issued a series of global market studies concerning mass data fragmentation and its impact on IT. The first report details the difficulty in managing data across silos. The new report focuses on the public cloud.

Fragmentation across IT silos

IT operations like backup, file sharing/storage, provisioning for dev/test and analytics are being done in completely separate infrastructure stacks that don’t share data or resources, with no central visibility or control.

Fragmentation within silos

Organizations can even operate silos within silos. In backup for example, it’s common to have four or five separate backup products from different vendors, plus a range of appliances, servers, and cloud gateways.

Fragmentation due to copies

It was estimated that up to 60 percent of data storage is taken up by copies that needlessly increase space and cost. This isn’t just user behavior. The lack of sharing between siloed infrastructure operations makes this problem worse.

Fragmentation across different locations

Enterprises have more options that ever to store data in multiple locations—from traditional data centers to private and public clouds, remote offices, and edge locations. Conventional infrastructure can’t easily span across these distributed data islands, making it harder for IT to provide control, visibility, or SLAs.

Mass data fragmentation in the cloud explained

Three major factors add complexity, risk, cost, and compliance challenges.

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What’s killing your digital transformation efforts?

Read the ESG Research Insight Paper to see what 200 IT decision makers said about their mass data fragmentation problem.

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Closing the expectation gap

Learn how to address mass data fragmentation in the cloud with a solution specifically designed to simplify data management across silos.

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Next steps: Learn how to eliminate silos.

Backup and recovery

Do more with your backup.

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Mass data fragmentation in the data center

Simplicity through a software-defined solution.

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Mass data fragmentation in the cloud

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Mass data fragmentation is becoming a problem everywhere, not just in healthcare. Things are getting harder to find and siloed, even things you don't intentionally want in a silo. With regulation dictating more best practice for data handling and storage, organizations really need to rethink their approach to data management.

Derek Sailors Information Systems Director, Community Hospital

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Businesses need to tackle their mass data fragmentation issues and flip it on its head. Understanding your data and where it's located is a critical step in turning it from a headache into a competitive asset.

Mike O’Rourke, Director of IT, Lighthouse Resources


The go-forward strategy for secondary storage and data fragmentation is a key priority. It’s imperative for AutoNation to secure solutions that seamlessly integrate backup and restore with our secondary storage across our entire environment.

Adam Rasner, Vice President, Technology Operations

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Taneja Group Technology Analysts
Taneja Group Technology Analysts

Mass Data Fragmentation: A Problem to Be Reckoned With

Mass Data Fragmentation compared to another globally important issue. Alan Cohen, member of the Forbes Technology Council, discusses.

Tackling mass data fragmentation requires a fundamental shift from how unstructured data was managed in the past.