Explore The Untapped Value Of Data Archiving

Topics: Data Backup and Archiving

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Are You Maximising Your Archived Data?

Can Your Current Data Storage Strategy Meet Your Future Business Needs?

What’s your baseline for how long you store data? Like other organisations – and depending on your sector – you could be archiving large quantities from two to seven years or more. When it comes to data storage, for however long, there’s a cost to be taken into account. A cost that you need to manage.

You may have experienced some of the drawbacks of archived data yourself:

  • It isn’t easy to access.
  • It has to be restored before its contents are truly searchable.
  • It presents large and variable costs to your business.

IT departments have typically used backup data as their primary reference archive copy. As this couldn’t be tampered with easily, it became legally defensible. For example, journal archiving of original emails sent and received has become a strong defence against litigation.

Technology To The Rescue?

Many Organisations Are Trying To Move The Majority Of Their Data To The Cloud To Make It More Easily Accessible.

Yet despite the benefits, questions still remain:

How can an organisation successfully migrate old archive copies to new formats and software? And should they even attempt it?

However, disk and Cloud can’t address the legacy data that lives on your old tapes. So organisations still have to rely on their earlier backup data as archive. To reduce the cost of storing too much legacy data on costly primary disk, they may opt to archive all legacy data on their networks.

The result? Reduced storage costs. Less wastefulness when the data Is not being accessed.

Lower risk of data corruption or tampering. And they can expect to have a better handle on the quantity and quality of data they’re storing.

Archiving legacy data can also help you prepare for long-term storage and data migration to future technology.

Hoarding Data Is Easy, But Finding And Restoring It Is Hard (And Expensive)

When It Comes To Long-Term Archiving, We’ve Found That Using Legacy Tape Backup As An Archive Presents Two Key Challenges:

  1. It isn’t easy to search.
  2. It can span multiple generations of media and environments (or systems).

Before you can effectively access or search the contents of backup tape, it needs to be restored. Access must be through the catalogue created by the software that originally wrote the data to tape. Compare this to how easy it is to search files or messages online or in a digital archive.

Beyond search, older generations of backup media pose other potential roadblocks:

Did you know...

That Up To 90% Of Total Legal Preservation Costs Come From Non-Legal Employees Attempting To Locate Data In Response To Litigation Holds (Also Known As Data Preservation Orders)?

  • LTO (magnetic tape data storage) technology is only backward-read compatible two generations. For archives spanning 16 years or longer, you may need to consider earlier tape generations (and many other widely used formats).
  • Companies spend too long trying to find data in response to a sudden eDiscovery or legal data preservation request.

Watch how costs rocket when IT teams, unfamiliar with eDiscovery or older backup formats, need to search for data in legacy data sets. According to a survey commissioned by the Civil Justice Reform Group,this translates into a startlingly high, variable cost. Worse still, organisations don’t often consider this when they budget for the price of long-term archives.

Tape Systems And The Cost Of Diy

Organisations are getting smarter about what they archive and how they do it. Many are moving away from tape as their primary backup/ recovery method. However, if, as discussed by Forbes they rely on tape storage for longterm retention of aging and infrequently accessed data, they face variable costs which may include:

  • Rental of data centre floor space
  • Maintaining software and hardware licences to keep relevant tape drives alive
  • Recreating or managing older systems to access outdated data sets
  • Power and cooling of storage devices.

These are just some of the potential hidden costs of data management and the keep-everything culture.

To find out more, download:

The Hidden Costs of Data Management.

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