Understanding Archiving
It’s important to note that archiving is not the same as performing backups. Each requires a different strategy and technology, yet 57% of respondents to a recent IDC study still use backup methods to meet long-term archival requirements. Backups provide copies of data
files in the case of system failures and disasters. Most backup systems create multiple copies of files, eventually loading the system with multiple copies of the same files. Backups should only be used to address short-term (less than 90 day) needs. Archiving, on the other hand, takes inactive or less frequently accessed data and moves it to a more cost effective storage device for long-term retention. By offloading data from the backup system, you free up storage resources and shorten backup windows. As your business continues to accrue new data, a long-term storage solution will be needed. Here are some key advantages for archiving your large data sets.
Improved Efficiency
Data archiving allows your business or organization to do more with less. Nearly 62% of organizations are using their primary storage systems to store inactive data. As your system accumulates more and more data, it puts a strain on your system. A proper data archiving solution can alleviate these strains. Nearly 80% of stored data goes unused after 90 days. Archiving allows you to move infrequently needed files from your system, freeing up valuable primary storage space by off-loading unused data. Digital tape storage is an integral part of a tiered solution. It provides the least expensive, most scalable storage medium for that 80% of data that is unused, but must be preserved. In addition to freeing up space, having the right archiving solution for your system will allow your data to continue to grow, while leaving your system’s existing backup capabilities unaffected in the future. Archiving also provides environmental efficiencies. Magnetic tape storage has no moving parts, and no power-hungry storage system. Studies show that the power and cooling costs for disk (HDD and RAID systems) alone exceed the total cost of archiving with digital tape. Your backup systems will run more quickly, your disaster recovery services may become more cost-effective, your application response times will improve, and your archive solution reduces the carbon footprint of your business. All of these improved efficiencies mean less stress on your system, helping you stay within your SLA boundaries.
Lower Costs
Having a long-term archiving solution for your data helps lower storage and backup costs as well. Utilizing complementary archiving and backup system can help reduce overall costs by upwards of 82%. System automation is one of the key components in this cost
reduction. With a “set and forget” archiving system, businesses have the opportunity to reduce administrative overhead. Time previously spent migrating data between storage systems can be better spent on administrative tasks that directly affect the business’s bottom line. Total storage costs are further reduced through tiered storage systems. Tape, which makes up the foundational layer of tiered storage,
is not only environmentally friendly (as mentioned above), but it’s also twenty-six times cheaper than disk space. A properly tiered, joint archiving and backup strategy can be had at a fraction of the cost of traditional backup strategies alone.
Lastly, a long-term archiving strategy allows you to maximize the performance of your existing systems. Simply freeing up space on the system you currently have will allow your business to run more efficiently for longer.
Availability – Now and for Years to Come
Regulatory compliance in a number of industries – from finance to healthcare – will continue to drive changes in data retention. Having a simplified strategy to archive data can ease compliance and keep your business ahead of changes in archival technology. Archived data is typically still important for future uses (or needs to be retained to meet federal compliance), so it is designed for easy retrieval. This is handy in the instance of an audit or data mining and analysis purposes. But as technology changes, it’s important to be assured that your data will remain safe and retrievable years from now. This means you’ll need assurances that storage methods will not become obsolete or corrupted. This makes magnetic tape, the foundation of most archival solutions, ideal.
Leverage Data to Grow Your Business
Archived data contains immense value to future products and services offerings. Specific industries, such as media and entertainment, may find themselves needing to repurpose, re-release, and resell video and film data from prior decades. A robust data archiving
solution allows businesses to retain all data, without the need to consider what should stay and go, allowing future access to all data. . Data that is archived means it is also readily available for mining and analysis. In a Gartner study, “Top 10 CIO Business Priorities in
2013,” opportunities for collaboration, global sharing, and expansion into new markets were among top priorities for CIOs. Archiving provides opportunities to achieve all of these. With the proper archiving solution, businesses will be able to unlock more value from their
data through intelligent mining and analytics of centralized archival repositories. Archiving equips you to identify and analyze critical day-to-day data through classification, index, and search capabilities opening up new and unlimited growth opportunities.
In Summary
Businesses that invest in proper data archiving strategies will not only achieve regulatory compliance, lower costs, and mitigate risks, but will also meet operational goals and achieve long-term viability.