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Backup & Archive: Not Synonymous

Do you know your backup from your archives? A slew of recent vendor-sponsored surveys shed doubt on whether you do -- or if you do, whether you're actually doing either task correctly.

A survey by Enterprise Content Management Association of the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), indicates storage consumers are basically ignorant when it comes to archiving.
"Most organizations confuse email backup -- being able to reconstruct a system from a specific point in time in the event of a failure -- with email archiving," the report says. "Email archiving points to the need to identify what needs to by saved, why it needs to be saved, and putting in place the technology resources necessary to archive email and be able to reproduce it in the event of an inquiry or litigation."

The survey report states that 45.9 percent of the 1,000 organizations surveyed consider email archiving the responsibility of individual employees. Another 25.5 percent consider it part of an overall information management strategy, compared to 8.4 percent who see it as a standalone application. AIIM's report on the survey says most organizations consider archiving a collection of massive .pst backup files.

In another survey of 533 securities companies conducted by compliance management firm Orchestria and data protection vendor Iron Mountain, 62 percent of respondents said they have no way to efficiently identify and search for emails in their archives.

Yet another survey, this one by archiving software vendor BridgeHead Software, found most companies at least paying attention to archiving. (See Compliance Ranks Third.) 52 percent of the companies surveyed by BridgeHead said they would look at email archiving and 67 percent would look at file archiving over the next year. But BridgeHead CEO Tony Cotterill suspects many of the archiving planners are merely considering tape backup without search and indexing features.

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