Copy Data Management (CDM)

Nicole P. data protection

In this article, Nicole Preston discusses Copy data management software solutions in very simple terms.

Why copy data management software?

Due to the shear volume of data being generated and stored on a daily basis, many companies are simply drowning in excess copy data. Copy data management has become problematic because it leads to numerous productivity, security and cost issues. Additionally, since many organizations use copy data as a reliable means to safeguard their information, the amount of copies can quickly become unmanageable [1].
Although strategies to copy data management vary amongst vendors, the fact that keeping numerous copies of data can result in an array of problems to organizations is indisputable. Copy data management is one solution to the mounting issue of copy data [4].

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What is Copy Data Management Software?

Copy Data Management (CDM) is software that works to stop the unnecessary replications of production data [1]. Production data is the information that organizations use to conduct daily business whereas copy data is all of the data in an organization that does not serve a productive purpose. Often times, the volume of copy data is much larger than the production data. Large quantities of copy data are problematic because it creates a variety of issues such as large storage fees and difficulties with data recovery and backup [7].

How does CDM software work?

CDM software collects all production data from various locations and maintains a sole replica of the data in one comprehensive information network [2]. If/when other replications are needed, “snapshot technology” is utilized to generate a virtual replication of the information [3]. CDM eradicates repetitive information and offers a single administrative resource for managing replication rates and retention periods for all kinds of information [2].
This technique of data management is useful because it allows information to be accessed on-demand while preventing unintentional changes to the backup copy. CDM also permits organizations to have an identical copy of their production data without storage being squandered on redundant information [3].

Why is copy data management software important?

Creating duplicates of information serves a variety of business and technological purposes in any industry but the main goal behind copied data is data security and data protection. By producing copy data, companies safeguard their data from theft, disaster and/or accidental loss [8].
Besides being essential for data protection, copy data is useful to organizations for numerous applications such as analytics, testing and development. Furthermore, by having a secondary copy, it shields the primary copy from both usage issues and performance problems [8].

Why is copy data management an issue?

Copy data is an issue that many industries currently face and it is only estimated to grow [1]. For example, an International Data Corporation (IDC) study that was released in April 2016, found that 45-60% of businesses’ overall storage capabilities were devoted to holding copied information and that 82% of surveyed companies had 10 or more database copies [5].
The study’s findings are especially troubling because by 2018, the fees for storing copied data to the information technology community are going to be over $50 billion. Moreover, when surveyed, less than 20% of businesses have properly tackled their copy data issues. In essence, it increases costs, wastes storage capacity and reduces productivity speeds, however, very little is being done to rectify it [5].

What are the benefits to CDM?

Despite the evident consequences copy data generates for businesses, few organizations are implementing CDM. The usage of CDM use would be advantageous to organizations due to the following benefits [5]:
CDM speeds up retrieval of and by applications

  • There is no downtime
  • Managers are able to spend less time on issues
  • It lowers storage fees
  • It generates faster profit turnover
  • It helps to maintain compliance
  • It improves client approval
  • It leads to quicker growth
  • It creates better and quicker decision-making
  • It helps quality assurance solve issues faster
  • It eliminates data loss.

What are the major concerns/downsides with CDM application?

While it is apparent that replicated data causes a variety of problems to businesses and the use of CDM software would be valuable, there are a number of concerns and downsides connected to the utilization of CDM [5].

  • Disadvantages to using CDM are:
  • High costs associated with CDM employment [5]
  • Quality of service (QoS) concerns
  • Virtualization and on-demand access is valuable but it also means that numerous divisions of an organization are operating from a sole copy of the data which creates an increased usage demand [6]
  • Security issues
  • If corruption occurs, the use of CDM has the potential to cause a substantial loss of data [6]. However some products such as EDpCloud from EnduraData combines replication with CDM and archives to guard against such as scenario.
  • The huge increases in information copies [5]
  • The upkeep of a second system solely for copy information is a drain of resources [5].


Although the evidence greatly supports the use of CDM, only a small amount of businesses utilize CDM. Of the businesses that use CDM, they save money and experience improved operational outcomes rather than the ones who merely recognize the problem and the consequences that come with it. Furthermore, CDM is essential to the success of a business because those who utilize CDM increase their market lead. Lastly, CDM creates better productivity, decreases costs and simplifies tasks [5].

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1. “Develop copy management systems for streamlined production”. TechTarget. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
2. “Copy data management”. PCMag. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
3. Posey, Brian (July 2014). “How copy data management differs from traditional backup”. TechTarget. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
4. Kerns, Randy (July 2016). “Make copy data storage a vital part of your storage strategy”. TechTarget. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
5. “Copy Data Management”. IDC. April 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
6. Posey, Brien (February 2017). “What are the downsides of copy data storage management?”. TechTarget. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
7. “Copy data”. PCMag. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
8. Kerns, Randy (28 August 2015). “Drilling down into copy data management”. TechTarget. Retrieved 4 March 2017.

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Copy Data Management (CDM) was last modified: September 25th, 2020 by Nicole P.

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