Long-term data archiving strategies

Did you know you can help manage data growth by using a data archiving tool? To help you get started, we've collected our top resources on long-term data archiving in this guide.

Although it's no surprise to storage and backup administrators, according to a recent survey by Gartner, data growth is the biggest data center hardware infrastructure challenge for large enterprises. Forty-seven percent of survey respondents ranked data growth in their top three challenges, followed by system performance and scalability at 37%, and network congestion and connectivity architecture at 36%. What are storage managers doing to address these challenges? Sixty-two percent of respondents said they'd be purchasing a long-term data archiving or retirement solution by the end of this year.

To help you make the right data archiving decision, we've collected out top tips, tutorial and podcasts on long-term data archiving. Whether you are choosing data archiving software, considering cloud archiving, or are a small business, we have the answers for you here.


>> Data archiving best practices
>> Data archiving solutions
>> Data archiving case studies and news


Data archiving vs. data backup storage

One of the first questions admins often ask when getting started with long-term data archiving is: "What's the difference between backups and archives?" In this podcast, learn about why you shouldn't use your backups as archives, the differences between data backup and data archiving products, and the dos and don'ts associated with each technology. Click here to listen to our podcast on data archiving storage.

Choosing the best archive media

When data reaches the point where it is no longer needed on a daily basis but must be retained as an archive for compliance or legal reasons, some of the storage choices aren't always as clear. Read this tip to learn about some of the most common storage archive media available for data archiving, along with the pros and cons of each. Learn what's best for your organization, whether it's tape, disk, optical, or the cloud. Click here to read this overview of archive media options and other data archiving techniques.

Developing an electronic data retention policy

There are essentially three main objectives in developing an electronic data retention policy:

  • To keep important records and documents for future use or reference;
  • To dispose of records or documents that are no longer needed; and
  • To organize records so they can be searched and accessed at a later date.

Other business reasons for a data retention policy may include cost savings through data storage reduction; simplified, less expensive data management; and regulatory compliance purposes. But data retention is a complex task that cannot be taken lightly. In this tip, learn how to get started with creating an  electronic data retention policy.


Choosing data archiving software

Data archiving software is software that allows you to search by different contexts than just server, application/directory, and file name/email. Some offerings in this space include products such as Autonomy Zantaz, Iron Mountain/Mimosa NearPoint and Symantec Corp. Enterprise Vault. There are also many other niche players in the data archive software market. To help you chose the best product for your company, read our tip on choosing data archiving software.

Getting started with cloud archiving

A relative newcomer to the archiving space, cloud archiving has some advantages over traditional archiving solutions. Cloud-based email archiving is designed to address the same requirements as on-premise archiving systems; but potentially, at a fraction of the cost. It's suitable for smaller businesses, as a viable alternative to on-premise especially if upfront costs, infrastructure or expertise is a concern. Read this tip from SearchSMBStorage to get answers to your questions about cloud archiving.


Case study on cloud email archiving

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that face growing email archiving challenges may consider online or cloud email archiving as an alternative to an in-house system. Cloud vendors highlight the low upfront costs, ease of use and unlimited storage capacity benefits these services offer. But how have cloud email archiving services worked in the real world? We talked to a couple of cloud email archiving users to find out. Read our case study on cloud email archiving.

JFK's digital archiving project goes live

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum's digital archive that went live online early this year is the result of a four-year, $10 million project to digitize hundreds of thousands of documents, audio tapes, film, photos and other artifacts collected in the 50 years since JFK's inauguration. And with millions of documents yet to be digitized, the archiving process is likely to continue for decades. The Digital Archive Project team from the JFK Foundation uses storage from EMC Corp. and an Iron Mountain disaster recovery center to archive and protect the data. AT&T provides the web hosting, and Raytheon designed and implemented the system. In this recent news story, learn about the library's digital archiving project.

UMHS uses tiered archiving system to manage medical records

The University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) has a unique tiered approach to its data archiving system. It uses a mix of disk and tape tiers to store more than half a million radiology and cardiology exams. But while tape lets UMHS store and expand its capacity easily and at a relative low cost, the quick recovery capability of disk plays a crucial role in the process. A key aspect of the UMHS data protection system is the ability to quickly produce records stored in its vast archive. To learn about whether or not this type of system would work for your organization, click here to read this new story on UMHS' tiered archiving system.

>> Editor's Tip: For even more information about long-term data archiving, bookmark our special section on  backup and archiving.

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