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The Need for Archiving in Enterprises

By CIOReview | Thursday, August 11, 2016

Every time one feels nostalgic, the immediate reaction is to search for the black and white copies of childhood photographs. Even after indulging in a deep search, we realize that the photos are missing or might have been misplaced.  Later, we recall that a backup was stored in the archives of the personal computer. If an individual needs a backup of personal files, consider organizations generating vast amounts of valuable data every day.

Glimpse about Archiving:

Today, almost every organization archives its data to comply with federal regulations. It helps companies reuse their existing data and monetize their digital assets.

Archiving software allows organizations to optimize storage by offering transparent end-user access. It stores files in compressed format and enables efficient storage and transfer. Data archiving involves the movement of unused data to a separate storage device for further use.

Archiving in the Current Scenario:

Archiving data comes with both offline and online methods making it convenient for the enterprise to create a backup. Tape storage is a highly reliable storage medium which provides a very low cost per gigabyte of storage. Alternative storage medium includes; using on premises storage spinning disks to store archived data, through SAN or network attached storage device.  

Cloud-based storage is another medium that offers less expensive storage to enterprises compared to on-premises disk storage.

Enterprises follow archiving policies to locate, offload, clean, and store files. It also enables organizations to retrieve and restore files immediately without the assistance of IT.

Benefits of Archiving

• Increase Server Performance

The data demands have increased the need for maintaining high server performance in today’s computing world. Organizations started applying file stubbing technology to convert large portion of files onto a single file archive server, thus reducing the file data volume, while increasing server performance. It further provides a transparent experience to users by providing them with shortcuts to view and use these files.

• Reduce Storage Requirements

The archiving process also involves compressing and offloading historic files from primary storage devices to secondary storage. The seamless movement of files reduces storage management costs while increasing scalability, and reliability. In addition, for hierarchical storage optimization, archiving helps administrators to even assign multiple repositories.

• Access Corporate Intelligence

The use of powerful archive search engine allows organizations to meet the compliance requirements and electronic discovery deadlines through easily locating and restoring files. Enterprises can even deploy additional technology to enhance search features including full text keyword, key phrase, and proximity searching. The file search in archives is user-friendly with compatibility over mobile devices, desktops and also offline archive access.

• Increase Productivity

Managing storage volumes in enterprises requires frequent monitoring by IT administrators and staff. Admins may even spend hours managing old files which delays the whole business process. The fully automated archive provides an alternative solution to enterprises through transparent file archiving process. In addition, archiving facilitates effective use of time and eliminates the need to manually manage corporate intelligence.

• Reduce Backup Window

Continuous data growth requires frequent backup of data stretching 24 hours. Archiving data eliminates the need of old historical data by discharging Tier 1 storage. This in turn, slashes the need for media backup costs and improves RPOs and RTOs.

Even after offering a myriad of benefits, there are certain negative aspects of archiving. The first and the foremost is the retrieval of data from secondary storage. In order to increase the availability of space in primary storage, archived data is usually transferred to the secondary storage device and used only during emergency situations. If archived data is needed during emergency, it has to be located, fetched and reloaded back into the primary storage or the computer system, which can be time consuming at times.

Another scenario may arise wherein the archived data that is stored for a long time might become obsolete. For example, the data archived using legacy applications decades ago can sometimes be unrecoverable with the latest tools. To avoid such circumstances, it is important to archive the copies of installation media for the specific applications that created the data. Archived data is stored for the sake of backup, in case a need arises in the future. If archive data is stored in a DVD or CD format, it may lead to loss or theft which can turn out to be catastrophic.

Archiving as a process involves a significant amount of time, money, and effort. It is not a tedious process; but an evolving process that allows organizations to retain data and make it readily accessible when required. Information being a vital organizational asset should be archived and secured.