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Archiving: The Secret Sauce to IT Transformation (Part 3)

Lady Backup closes the 3rd part of this series by looking at archiving solution requirements.    I’ll frame this in the context of the key archiving benefits discussed in the last blog.

One important differentiation is whether your archive solution can handle multiple content types.  There are lots of solutions out there that specialize in one content archiving type but an integrated content archiving approach eliminates even more silos in your IT environment.

Another consideration is the archival storage footprint.  Here a combination of single instancing and deduplication can shrink the archival storage requirements.  When we think about retention in years, decades or longer, this is a key consideration.

Benefit 1: Archiving increases operational efficiency.

You want an archiving solution that can provide a phased approach to keeping your production environment lean.

Take an example from email…. After 90 days, you might want to replace attachments with a pointer to content stored in the archive – seamlessly available to your users.  And then after 2 years you might want to completely remove the content from the production environment but still allow users to search the archive  (until its retention period expires).

The same concept can be applied to file systems, for example, if you have an integrated content archiving solution.

Benefit 2: Archiving improves end user productivity. 

When it comes to users, simple is better.  So here, an intuitive, easy to use search interface is important.  Search functionality should include basic searches (e.g. date based) or more granular searches (e.g. keywords).  You may also want to allow users to restore files as a result of an archive search.

But you will probably also need to support more sophisticated administrator searches. When I say “discovery search and holds”  – I am not only talking about litigation.  There are many examples where internal teams need to do investigative searches, say for HR, intellectual property, and even finance related situations.

Your archive should support both search requirements – for business productivity but also to securely hold content that is subject to any type of audit, investigation, etc.

Benefit 3: Archiving consistently manages retention policies.

Your archive should be capable to execute as simple or complex rules to collect, store, retain and ultimately dispose of content that meets your corporate policies and/or comply with regulatory obligations.    Your archiving solution should give you the ability to treat all content the same or to allow for different policies by different groups/users and/or different content types.

Finally, many people still confuse their backup with an archive.  Let’s be clear – your backup is NOT an archive.  I’ll have much more to say on this topic in future posts…

LB

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