Why Archive

Late last year, Gartner published a report that made two large proclamations.  One, that data storage growth was the number one challenge facing enterprises.  Two, that 64% were looking at archiving or retirement (of data we assume!) to address the problem.  According to IDC, storage spending increased in 2010 by 14% and the total average amount of spend on storage is now running at 20% of an IT budget on average.  This does not include costs to power, cool, floor, backup, recover, partition, provision and generally manage that storage.  Estimates have data growth up a factor of 10 over the next ten years.  Other studies show that up to 80% of data, once created, is never, ever accessed again.  And of the remaining data, over 60% of that is accessed twice in the next 6 months and then never again.  Think about what that means.  You are spending money not because you need storage space, but because you are not managing you data.

There is little doubt that an IT director or finance director should insist on at least an assessment of what archiving can to do simplify storage management, to ease backup pressure and to overall reduce the amount of money spent on primary storage solutions.  Some data just frankly fits into archiving; compliance records, old projects, experiment results, etc.  But of the balance, imagine if you only identify 20% that can go to archive, out of the backup stream, off your production storage.

Finally, backup is not archiving.  Backup is an process by which you make multiple copies of data from different time periods in order to recover data to your primary file system, with recover being the ultimate goal.  If you don't remove data from your primary storage, you continue to back it up every week.  If you have backed it up and then removed it from primary storage, how do you possibly know how far to go back to find it?  Archiving, on the other hand is the ability to put your data somewhere safe, where you know it is already storage in multiple physical locations on different storage devices.  It no longer needs to be backed up because it is already safe and protected.  The other attribute of an archive system is to make that data easily available, like storing it in a file system where you manage the naming and directory structure.  Your files, available anytime you need them, but stored at the absolute lowest cost and highest protection level.

benefits of archiving

  • Reduced backup window by reducing the amount of data on primary storage

  • Reduced spending on storage

  • Easily satisfy retention requirements

  • Always have spare capacity to deal with unexpected data blooms

 

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