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How does Archiving All Business Data Benefits more than Just E-mail

Data archival


Some IT professionals assume that archiving is mostly related to e-mail and that it is done mainly to support regulatory compliance. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a data management process, archiving yields a wide variety of operational benefits beyond regulatory adherence. Furthermore, other types of data—files and database records specifically—can benefit as much if not more than e-mail when it comes to having a solid archiving process in place.

The term “archive” has at least three definitions in the IT industry right now—definitions that span the tactical to the strategic. They are:

  • “Archiving equals tape storage.” Backup-industry professionals may be most familiar with the common wisdom that “you back up to disk, and you archive to tape.” In other words, disk serves as the rapid, granular recovery medium, and tape is the long-term retention tier. Fundamentally, that presumption may be technically correct, but it is actually not quite as true today as it was even just few years ago.
  • “Archiving equals grooming/migrating.” IT pros also associate the term archiving with the act of grooming data to clear out old, no-longer-needed bits, and then migrating those bits from expensive production arrays to less-expensive storage media. This activity reduces the burden that stagnant data puts on primary storage, allowing the capacity to be occupied instead by newer data with more business impact. Removing old and unused data from primary storage also improves the performance of production servers from a caching perspective, and it enhances the backup environment as well—because it’s no longer necessary to continually back up data that hasn’t changed. Grooming definitely has its place, but it still falls short of explaining why everyone needs to archive.
  • “Archiving equals data preservation.” Then, there’s the truer definition of archiving—archiving is the act of preserving data (as opposed to simply scrubbing it and moving it to another spot). This definition doesn’t necessarily negate the first two bullets; it just ties more tightly into the actual value of the archival information: Tape plays a role in long-term retention. Grooming and migration are important archiving-related best practices. But by themselves, they don’t do much to explain why archiving should be done.

To one degree or another, the performance of the underlying storage will affect most applications. Poor storage performance constrains them, but with a good archiving strategy in place, primary storage performance almost certainly improves. As a result, application performance increases.

Some applications see substantial performance improvements because the data they generate/use is being groomed more frequently, with the stagnant data being removed. And of course, if the stagnant data is no longer on the production storage, then it will eventually roll off of the secondary (backup) storage, lessening its burden and improving its performance as well. Copying data is a “preservation” effort, while moving data is a “grooming” effort

According to survey, 61% use data compression on primary storage; 53% use grooming; and 50% have implemented data across the environment. Those steps are quite acceptable operationally, but from an archiving perspective, by themselves, they are not comprehensive enough.

In case of any disaster occurring at a firm’s office, it’s a good idea to keep a backup copy of the data stored offsite. But when it’s onsite, it also needs to be protected. That’s why an encrypted hard drive can be a sensible way to safeguard the files from tampering.

Backup solutions can vary enormously and it is important to be aware of the consequences of choosing one solution over another. While many services provide excellent protection, some cover just data while others cover entire systems. Some enable faster recovery of your systems in the event of a major problem, while others ensure that your systems are safe from physical risks such as fires, floods or theft.

Good records management includes both backup and archiving. However, while these terms are often used interchangeably, it is important to distinguish between them when considering a records management process.

Backup is used for data recovery, while archiving is used for preserving and retrieving data in the event of a disaster, inquiry or litigation. In simple terms, think of backup as short-term and archival as long-term. Data protection policies and legalities also need to be considered as some cloud backup solutions may not be suitable for US businesses due to where the data is ultimately stored.

At easySERVICE Data Solutions, we focus on building and designing the most appropriate infrastructure to meet the unique needs and characteristics of your individual business. Your data is too precious not to be protected by the best, most affordable and highly efficient data storage solution in the industry. Our solution is suitable for Modern Data Protection – Built for Virtualization and Private cloud solutions, without a big price tag.

If you’d like to discuss any of the above best practices or lessons learned with us or to learn more about how we are partnering with companies just like yours to ensure the availability of mission-critical applications, please contact us at (855) US STELLAR.


One comment on “How does Archiving All Business Data Benefits more than Just E-mail

  1. StellarPhoenixS
    July 17, 2014

    Reblogged this on Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

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