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What is a genuine data archiving for business to practice?

DataArchiving

Many IT professionals tend to regard “archiving” as a process related to tape storage and to activities tied to migration (in this case, the grooming-out of old or unused data). But probably the most useful and accurate explanation of what “real archiving” is concerns the creation and leveraging of a retention container.

Real archiving happens when an organization stores its data according to the contents or attributes of the data itself (i.e., based on how a file applies to a business process or how a particular e-mail message falls under a regulatory condition) rather than by arbitrary criteria such as when it was created or last accessed.

Real archiving manages data in a thoughtful way, similar to how paper records slated for long-term retention historically have been treated. For example, organizations preserved their most important financial hard copies under a standard of care that was far more rigorous than their standards for keeping routine petty-cash invoices, old cafeteria menus, or similar ephemera.

In contrast to that philosophy, IT-centric backup of digital data usually involves copying/moving data based on some time- or date-specific retention policy. Qualitative considerations regarding the nature of the information may not factor in at all, other than perhaps regarding what storage volume or directory it is in.

Archiving boils down to choosing to store some subset of data based on an aspect of the data itself, whether it applies to an operational process, a regulatory condition, an internal mandate, or something else. It does not boil down to, “I’m storing this data because I made a copy of it, and that copy will expire in seven years.” Rather, it boils down to, “I’m storing this data because it is in some way important to our business or because it will keep us operationally or legally compliant.”

Modern-day archiving moves today’s digital record keepers (i.e., the IT pros) beyond the “commodity” attitude of treating all data as essentially equal bits moving through a tiering process defined by date or some equally simplistic vetting process, to preserving data using an approach that is sensitive to the data’s value.

E-mail, file data, and databases all do receive varying degrees of archiving-related attention today. According to ESG research, file data is currently being archived most often (more than e-mail). But ESG expects that over the coming months and years, all three content types will level out regarding archiving rates and eventually become nearly equivalent. According to survey, following was the response recorded

  • Yes, we currently have processes and technologies in place to store this type of content on a long-term basis
  • No, but we plan to implement processes and technologies to store this type of content on a long-term basis within 6 months
  • No, but we plan to implement processes and technologies to store this type of content on a long-term basis within 12 months
  • No, and we have no plans to implement processes or technologies to store this type of content on a long-term basis

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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.

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One comment on “What is a genuine data archiving for business to practice?

  1. StellarPhoenixS
    August 6, 2014

    Reblogged this on Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

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