Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Archiving: When & How?

The question facing the storage manager today is not "Should I archive data?" but "How do I archive data?" There are a range of options, but as with every strategic infrastructure decision, the true solution is a combination of policy, process, and infrastructure.

Current regulatory requirements are driving an ever-increasing burden on businesses to retain vital records. Typically, storage managers are being asked to retain more copies of backed-up data for longer periods of time. This quickly leads to a bloated backup and recovery environment complete with a mountain of tapes and a catalog that cannot be easily searched for key material.

These problems can be solved for most applications. The key to success is to implement an archiving solution, not simply an archiving platform.

The main components of an archiving solution are front-end software and back-end storage. The front-end software component manages the identification, metadata collection, and placement of data. The back-end storage component provides an appropriate storage platform to support the long-term storage of archived data.

As always, use business requirements to drive architecture decisions. Key metrics to consider when choosing an archiving solution are:

  • How long will information need to be retained?
  • Is a chain-of-custody and audit trail required?
  • Is WORM (Write Once, Read Many) storage required?
  • What kind of data needs to be archived (database, email, other unstructured data)?
  • How often will the data be retrieved?
  • 1