Even though the "cloud" occupies much of the dialogue about transformative processes in IT, the place of archiving in that transformation is still poorly understood by many IT organizations and needs to attract more attention. Therefore, we should welcome any light that can be shed on the subject, and ZL Technologies' unified archiving approach is particularly luminous. Let's examine what the company is doing, but first, we should discuss the need for active archiving in general.
Frankly, for many IT managers, archiving is not a top of mind issue. Operationally, IT tends to do today what it did yesterday. If a new problem arises, such as how to provide the information required for eDiscovery, the tendency is to hive off the necessary data to a separate copy that can be managed for that express purpose. That way, the IT operational production train can continue to run uninterrupted.
However, that train is headed down tracks that are more and more likely to break down (even though expensive fixes may keep it from total derailment). From an IT storage management perspective, explosive data growth creates issues from budget bloat to how to do weekly backups in the time allotted. And for businesses, a onetime quick fix is inappropriate for critical processes like eDiscovery.
Compliance is another complex issue that requires careful thinking, planning and management controls on the part of IT. On top of this, add the issue of data retention. Keeping information important to organizational and regulatory processes is obviously critical, but so is getting rid of data that has no further legal or business use, resulting in a reduction of fat storage and eliminating potential legal exposures. It must be done properly, however, as eliminating data that should not have been destroyed can have serious negative legal or business consequences. To work correctly, these issues all require effective information governance that manages the data through all the stages of its life-cycle.
And that is where active archiving comes in, providing an overarching software management platform in which information governance processes, such as single policy management, can do their thing. Yet achieving this requires IT to create a new operational train (active archiving) with its own separate tracks that connect to those for discreet processes like data migration and ongoing active production operations.David Hill is principal of Mesabi Group LLC, which focuses on helping organizations make complex IT infrastructure decisions simpler and easier to understand. He is the author of the book "Data Protection: Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance." View Full Bio