Storage managers usually witness the issue on accommodating and storing an ever-expanding dataset. The issue is due to primary storage that tends to be expensive and has a finite capacity. A majority of organizations archive the legacy data. This practice helps to make room for new data.
The Archiving criteria are: search, automation, and flexibility.
There are a number of data archiving products available in the market, ranging from backup applications with built-in archival capabilities to full-blown dedicated archive management applications.
Search is the first essential capability. E-discovery process examines huge amounts of archived data. An efficient search engine can help to minimize your search times. The software’s search engine should be flexible enough that it allows you to perform granular searches based on the following:
- Data type (Word documents, pdfs, email and so on)
- Data sources (searches should be supported across data platforms. For instance, a single search might contain results from Exchange, SharePoint and a file server.)
- Document author
- Key pieces of data (bank account numbers, social security numbers and credit card numbers);
- Data that matches a specific data structure rather than a specific piece of data (i.e., any data containing a social security number, rather than a specific social security number).
Audit tracking is another important feature. For reasons related to litigation holds and e-discovery, an audit trail can tell you which custodian has accessed the archives, when they were accessed and what specific data was accessed.
You should also pick a data archive product that supports as many data platforms as possible. While there’s no such thing as a universal archive product, there are archival products on the market that are designed to work with a number of popular applications and platforms.
Data deduplication engine is also an essential feature. Archives, can grow to be large. Fortunately, almost every modern archiving product supports deduplication.
Your archival product should be flexible with regard to data sources and data targets. Just because an organization is archiving to tape today doesn’t mean it will still be doing that tomorrow. A good archival product should allow you to write archives to disk, tape, the cloud or any other medium.