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Howard Marks
Howard Marks
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All Archive Data is Not Alike

Just because we call all the data users aren't changing on a daily basis archival, that doesn't mean it's all the same. The 31-day old email that's been replaced with a stub in the user's mailbox and the 15 year old X-ray HIPPA requires you to keep don't need the same SLA and may be better served by different storage systems.

Just because we call all the data users aren't changing on a daily basis archival, that doesn't mean it's all the same.  Depending on its source and usage patterns, different types of archival data can be best served by different storage techniques and media.

The most common type of archival data is made up of email messages and files that have been put into the archive and may need to be accessed by users transparently. Realizing that object access rates fall off dramatically as objects age, system administrators set up policies to migrate objects over 30 or 60 days old to an archival storage system and replace them with some sort of pointer or stub so the user can still access the data from its current location in their mailbox or home directory. Organizations with strict regulatory requirements like SEC 17a-4 require that some data be retained, and will archive objects as they're created and/or published/finalized and then replace the original files with stubs as they reach the 30-60 day age.

Howard Marks is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage ... View Full Bio
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