How Backups Differ from Archives
If you asked most people in a business how you preserve and protect the data on their computers most people will respond by saying that you need to back it up. But while this is technically correct, it is also too simplistic.
Backing up data is a way to ensure a level of short term security of your data. It covers unexpected events such as the failure of some hardware, communications link or user interaction that corrupts or deletes data.
It is designed to be a means to enable a short term recovery to allow a system to get back up and running in a finite time scale.
Backups have a couple of general characteristics; they are usually expensive and time consuming to manage. There are, or should be, complex discussions on what data is critical and how much current data you can afford to lose, if any.
Once you have decided how close to the incident you want to be able to restore data, such as 1 minute before the event, one hour or one day, you need to decide how long you will be willing to be without your systems.
The most basic tapes systems may leave you out of action for a week or more and the most complex virtualized replicated systems can be almost instantaneous. The trade-off is that these systems come with a huge cost.
But this all misses the point. 80% of the data on a network has, on average, not been accessed for more than a year. So why pay for huge tape or storage systems to replicate at great cost something that has never been looked at?
A file archiving solution moves unused and redundant data into areas outside the nightly back up, except for a small increment that represents the most recently archived data. Consider your huge tape and disc storage system that replicates data into the cloud for a true belt and braces cost of £x per TB.
Removing this redundant data and only backing up the data you actually need can represent a huge saving. File archiving also needs an analyzer that will allow you to instantly identify files to be put outside the nightly back up.
But file archiving does not mean losing or deleting data. There may be vast amounts of business intelligence in old data. Archived data remains accessible, and retrievable. It just really doesn’t need to be in the instant restore capability of a backup solution.
Do you really want to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds to instantly recover and restore files that have not been used for 5 years? We don’t think most people do and we have a simple answer to this backup and file archiving issue.
See How File Archiving Can Help Your Business
Our free tool FileAnalyzer Lite provides you with a snapshot of how your storage is being used, the average age of your files and which file types are dominating your storage system. The tool can also show you just how much storage space you could save by implementing a file archiving solution.