The Art of Custom Tagging: A Vital Component of a Successful Data Management Strategy

by | Feb 5, 2018 | Uncategorized

With the increasing number of files and growth of your data, wouldn’t it be nice to add your own metadata?  Something that you control and adds information about the file?

The answer is custom tagging.

What is Custom Tagging?

Custom tagging allows you to quickly and easily create custom information about a file or document, and then apply it to a dataset or the object being created.

For example, you may wish to associate files with a certain project or department.  Custom tags enable you to type in a keyword and quickly have a listing of thousands of matching documents.  With custom tagging, research time shortens from days—or sometime months—to a matter of seconds.

The Data Dynamics StorageX Management Portal enables you to scan and gather information about your unstructured files—using tags to categorize the results based on your business needs.  By combining tags and scans, you can assess and evaluate across:




In turn, this information enables you to create policies that convert files and documents to S3 object files for archival. StorageX stores your custom tag(s) in the S3 object when it does the file-to-object conversion. No matter where the object resides, the custom tag metadata is available to help with your search and discovery.

The Business Value of Custom Tagging

It’s OK to admit: maybe you don’t know what all company data and files you’ve got. Custom tagging empowers you to classify your data using details, like where it is, how it’s being used, and who’s accessing it.

Activate Your Data with Business Analytics

Knowing what you have is a great start, but the real value of custom tagging is how it enables your business analytics. After you move data into S3, tagging improves the quality of how you search for files in the data lake (all in natural format).

For example, one of your lines of business might have files on critical storage assets and not even know it—creating an unnecessary expense. In this case, business analytics could tell you which files, where they are, and to which line of business they belong. From there, you could recommend which files might be better to move into a less-costly archive. And if you can move them in only one third of the time and without tying up your expensive engineers, you’ll look like a rock star.

How to Apply Custom Tags

The StorageX Management Portal enables a simple workflow:

  • Discover
  • Analyze
  • Archive


Here, you create and apply custom tags that are associated with the dataset you are building. The custom tags will be associated with any file in this dataset.


Use scan-name or custom tags to define which datasets you want to evaluate. Your tags might represent: country, data center, organization, or legal status. You can gather information based on these tags and then apply queries to quickly create a list of files that are candidates to archive. The output of this is an Analysis Set.


During Archive, you use the previously created Analysis Set. This contains all the tags associated with each file’s dataset, which you established in the Discover phase.

An example of an Analysis Set might be:

In this example, the common tag is Finance, but the other tags will follow the files into the object archive.

StorageX automatically creates a tag with the date and time of the archive. You might wish to add others, like:

  • Legal or Confidential Status
  • Governing Business Unit
  • Deletion Date or Policy

These archive tags give clarity on the data archived, and a way to recall that data based on searches that mean something to your business. While other solutions may want to hide your data, StorageX allows you to access it—even if our software is no longer present. This empowers your business to:

  • Find the information you want quickly
  • Access archived information when and where you want
  • Respond confidently to discovery or investigation requests
  • Meet business and regulatory information retention requirements
  • Make informed decisions about which information to keep while deleting the irrelevant
  • Simplify migrations by reducing your storage footprint beforehand
  • Target what’s most meaningful to your organization by classifying all archived content

At Data Dynamics, our mission is to help you control your data and manage your future.  Custom tagging allows you to always have access to S3 Object custom metadata, without risking vendor lock-in or vendor obsolescence—a vital requirement for file archives that may span many years.

If you would like to learn how StorageX and custom tagging can benefit your file archival strategy, contact us to find out about our resource saving solutions.

Microsoft has made the cloud migration journey easier than ever before by creating the Azure File Migration Program – zero license cost migrations into Azure with Data Dynamics’ StorageX, sponsored by Microsoft. To know more, contact