keeping files available for 10 years - is that sensible to have?


My boss want us to delete everything in our shared network folders which is running out of space. the implication here is that Accounts and HR for example needs at minimum 10 years of data in order to it available we they need and by law this is a must?

What should i say to my boss in order to make him understand that what he thinks is not reasonable to do?

Can you please advice
mallonyIT TechnicianAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.


I ran into similar situation the last time we migrated our system.  Having said that, my situation may not be similar to yours because you haven't specify:

1. The size of data you planned to keep
2. How big is your budget/company

On the positive note it's not relatively expensive these days to keep store data from the cost per megabtye perspective.

You can always research then present to your boss the cost of keeping the data for 10 years and he may decided that it's not worth the cost.

Start by estimating how much data you have now and project that by ten years accounting for possible new hires, growth and you want a storage solution that's easily expandable.  In our case, using Raided NAS was the best cost effective solution (we were considering SANs).

DELL has both:

Then you may want to compare it with offsite storage solution like Iron Mountain and compare the cost of the two for 10 years.  The good thing about using the in house solutions is that your data is always there with you and fast access.

The bad thing is that you still need an offsite backup in case of flood, fire, etc.  Having offsite solutions can keep your hands clean and minimal the management on your part but there are trade offs you need to consider.
I have also used QNAP and Synology solution.  Both I find very reliable and each has distinct pros/cons.  For Enterprise environment I find QNAP to be more reliable.

To answer your question whether keeping data for 10 years is sensible or not is not accurate.  A better question would be how much budget you have to accomplish this goal.

Companies offering cloud services and online emails (e.g Google Drive, gmail, Facebook, etc.) keep your data as long as you want them to (if not forever).
The 7 Worst Nightmares of a Sysadmin

Fear not! To defend your business’ IT systems we’re going to shine a light on the seven most sinister terrors that haunt sysadmins. That way you can be sure there’s nothing in your stack waiting to go bump in the night.

It's a bit risky to be housing HR and Accounts historical data from XYZ years ago in shared network folders. Consider offloading some storage requirements to other online storage options as well.. DropBox for Business, Amazon S3 and the like. They are not very expensive.

As to convincing him about the legal requirements, nothing short of providing him with tangible references to legal rule-books and the like will help. However, we've often found a few GB in movies and music tacked deep within folder hierarchies, so a tool like Folder Sizes might also help to point you to folders that you should be investigating. By doing a thorough cleanup, you will probably recover quite a lot of space that is being misused (and you can delaying having to worry too much about those sticky HR and Accounts data files for another year or two :) )
You should say YES SIR, and do it.  I know for a fact that the IRS requires businesses to keep certain records in perpetuity in event of an audit.  Same could be said for H/R.

You do not want to keep them online, you want to find a company to take them off your hands.  You're confusing backup with archiving.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
None of us know your specific locations laws and legal requirements.  So the IRS doesn't care maybe your state and/or local governments do - if you can believe dlethe (and I'm not saying he's lying, but his bio says he's a programmer and not an accountant or IRS agent so while he could very well be 100% correct do you want to trust your legal defense to "they told me on Experts-Exchange it was ok?") you should be telling your boss to speak with appropriate tax and legal professionals in the area.  I would further say, why not just get a couple of external hard drives and move the data off the server and onto drives that are not always online but are potentially available if needed.
Arggh ..
Straight from the IRS -- what you need to keep forever
And here is the IRS publication that details specifics of electronic storage systems  (All the more reason NOT to do this yourself).
Shalom CarmelCTOCommented:
I had this issue a few years ago.
Spent 2 afternoons burning 30 DVDs, and then presented them to the CFO for his safekeeping.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
File Sharing Software

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.