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Mar 26 2021

Part II - Modern Archiving - Use Cases and Best Practices

In today’s business world the value of archiving is greater than ever, and enterprises recognize the need to make the most out of the growing volumes of data they hold. However, in order to fully exploit that data, organizations need to have a number of IT technologies, operational processes and business policies in place. Read below to find out more on modern archiving, and where it might make sense for you to use it as an integral component of enterprise data and information management.

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The drive to improve customer services, optimize business processes and improve the top line is almost universal. Companies need to take full advantage of the vast amounts of data they have in their possession. As shown in a recent research report by Freeform Dynamics, becoming a data-driven business – namely one that is able to rapidly and fully utilize the information it holds – has significant benefits. While easy to overlook because it has an intimate relationship with other data protection and governance technologies, enterprise archiving is key to fully exploit that data.

 

Benefits and Use Cases of Data Archiving

Continuing in old habits, most companies have petabytes of data which are not necessarily organized, easy accessible, retrievable and intelligently retained in reliable and simple ways. Since the access to that data is crucial today, unstructured and archived data have now become the lifeblood of data-driven organizations. Aside from its compliance use case, archiving is currently also becoming important for data analysis, data mining and artificial intelligence.

Modern data archiving has the potential to meet many business requirements, but what are specific use cases that could trigger investment?

 

  • Cost reduction

ImageData archives reduce overall storage costs. Archiving moves data from primary storage to a lower storage tier, and frees up space on more expensive primary storage hardware. Primary storage arrays, whether hybrid or flash arrays, are typically more expensive than archiving hardware because user read/write activities and production applications require a high level of IOPS to meet operational demands. The offloading of old and inactive data also removes primary storage data that will otherwise participate in the daily backup stream and cause an unnecessary burden for the overall backup process. Data archiving solutions store the data on lower-cost media such as nearline SAS drives, tape or optical storage, or they move data into the cloud, mitigating data growth and saving money for capacity upgrades of primary and backup storage.

 

  •  Compliance, governance, data discovery and classification

ImageCompliance: Governmental requirements and legal liability are key reasons to implement a data archiving strategy. Data archiving helps businesses meet compliance regulations by storing information long-term and with immutability.

Governance: In many ways compliance is just a different way of looking at good governance in general. But to be able to manage governance and compliance effectively, it is essential to have good data discovery and automatic classification capabilities.

E-Discovery: The need to quickly find information from systems holding live data and historical information can be a business-critical matter.

Data discovery and classification:A collateral benefit from such capabilities and effective governance is the ability to ensure that any part of the business can find and use data effectively and securely, on demand.

 

  • Risk mitigation

ImageGeographical separation and disconnection of networking (“air-gaps”) can mitigate the encryption or destruction of data by attacks from ransomware etc. Data archiving can provide both forms of separation. The use of WORM technology (Write Once, Read Many) for archiving data protects from ransomware attacks by making the data immutable. Administrators can set specific retention periods depending on business requirements. Besides WORM, archives offer a so-called air-gap between live and archived data keeping the data securely offline until it is needed.

 

  • Hybrid cloud adoption, data access

ImageMany enterprises have started using hybrid cloud approaches to support their IT operations. The idea is to place systems and information in the most appropriate location for its use, considering issues such as cost, security, performance and availability. The use of archive systems will likely prove significant, since sophisticated archive solutions can hold information from any source, be this within the organization’s own data center on-premise or as private cloud or in one (or more) public cloud services.

 

  •  Data analytics / real-time analysis

ImageWhether it is for periodic analysis or near real-time decision making, it is critical that the data used in the analysis are comprehensive and can be rapidly accessed and utilized. In the most different areas like medicine, scientific research, manufacturing, entertainment, etc., digital archives are very important to keep us safe, to help us understand the world we live in, and to allow us to get the best out of it. Take a look at an article published by NASA - Earth-Size, Habitable Zone Planet Found Hidden in Early NASA Kepler Data - to further understand how and why organizations are creating archives, breaking every previous record for size and demand.

 

Summary

The need for effective, comprehensive enterprise archiving solutions will grow, as will the range of data they need to hold. It is also probable that traditional “cold archive”, i.e. offline solutions, will become less attractive as businesses move to take a more rounded view of all data when making decisions. 

Today and in the future, the growth in active archive solutions will continue, as more organizations understand the wide range of business benefits they can deliver. Archiving of some data is no longer only an obligation; it is ready to become an enterprise resource to be exploited.

For more details about modern archiving, read the white paper from Freeform Dynamics: The importance of modern data archiving.

 

Helga Eppig

 

About the Author:

Helga Eppig

International Product Marketing Storage, Fujitsu

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