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Survey Says Nearly Two-Thirds of Files on Primary Storage are Stale

A recent storage assessment survey conducted by NTP Software® revealed that 61.6 percent of file data stored on primary storage systems had not been accessed in more than 6 months, leading to inefficient storage use, ongoing cost expenditures and potential compliance issues, according to experts at the worldwide leader in File Data Management.

NTP’s storage assessment scanned nearly half a billion files totaling more than 300TB of customers’ data across a variety of storage environments. Among the information collected during the assessment was data growth over the past 5 years, last file access dates, consumption by file type and size, duplicate files, monthly activity, empty and corrupt files and directories, and security anomalies. Results of the survey indicate that implementing a tiering solution can lower costs and increase system speed, while archiving stale files will decrease file and directory density and increase hard disk performance.

Other key findings of NTP’s storage assessment include:

  • 49 percent of files have not been accessed in more than a year
  • One third of storage is consumed by less than 0.1 percent of files
  • Multimedia files (i.e. MP3s, AVIs, etc.) make up 24.2 percent of total file data
  • PDF files consume the most space
  • 19.1 percent of data is consumed by duplicate files
  • There were more than 14 million files with zero file size and nearly 900,000 empty directories
  • Average growth rate for file data is between 45 to 60 percent over the past 5 years
  • The average annual cost savings from a well-designed archiving strategy is 67%. This is of Total Operating Costs (TCO), which are, on average, 5 to 7 times acquisition cost, not just price per gigabyte

“It’s staggering to see just how many stale, duplicate and empty files are being kept on expensive primary data by organizations of every size across a variety of industries,” said Bruce Backa, CEO of NTP Software. “Files that have not been accessed in 6 months or more are prime archiving candidates. Performing an assessment like this can help companies gain insight into understanding details across their entire storage environment – from storage composition to usage trends; the amount of duplicate, abandoned or temporary files are consuming network resources; and potential problems that otherwise might be unknown. Understanding file usage provides important information about storage types and helps improve the efficiency of a tiered storage implementation.”

A solution like NTP Software File Assessment™ can provide an overview of storage environments and identify ways to optimize storage use by giving the insight needed to understand the critical details across the entire storage environment. Advanced analytics summarize and prioritize the data, telling companies exactly what to focus on. Additional information, including a free download of the software, is available at

About NTP Software
Founded in 1994, NTP Software is the worldwide leader in the management and control of unstructured data. Every day, more than 20 million users work with storage resources managed by NTP Software’s technology. NTP Software gives organizations control of their file data by providing the solutions needed to understand, manage, move, and secure file data completely. NTP Software delivers a single, cross-platform solution across a customer’s entire file data storage environment: from managing individual files and users to an entire global enterprise with hundreds of systems and dozens of sites. For more information please see