Why Backup is No Substitute for Archiving


Thanks to cheap hardware and abundant bandwidth, users are now creating, copying and distributing more data than ever before. And although storage costs are also dropping steadily, the rate at which we’re producing data is growing much faster.

It’s now common for companies to see storage growth doubling every year.

This is further compounded by the fact that new regulations are forcing companies to retain older data for several years, and harsh penalties are imposed on organizations that fail to comply with these laws.

Since IT budgets aren’t also growing at exponential rates, this kind of data management problem requires a new way of thinking.

Backup is no longer enough. You now need to make archiving part of your overall data management strategy.

Too often, companies will try to use their backups as an archiving tool. And this is where some serious problems can arise.

  • It’s common for companies to report data storage growth doubling every year. Also, most of this growth consists of duplicate files and underused “junk” data that simply clutters up expensive storage while slowing down the server.
  • Deleting inactive or low-value data is no longer an option, since new regulations require longer retention periods of all electronic business documents. This further increases the costs associated with data storage, and the rate at which data storage is growing.
  • Although a large portion of corporate data storage consists of similar or duplicate content, these records and documents all have associated meta data which must be preserved. For this reason, deleting duplicate data is not an option when it comes to reducing overall data storage costs.
  • Servers and systems change a lot over time. When restoring very old data, you must also restore the original legacy systems on which they were created. This makes the archival search and recovery process much more expensive.
  • One solution would be move low-value data to cheaper secondary storage for long-term retention, and free up space on the live production server. Although this secondary storage is less expensive, it’s also growing at an exponential rate that will eventually surpass the provisions of the IT budget.

With an archiving service, older data can be automatically taken off of production equipment based on an archiving policy that suits your company’s needs. But unlike with backup, archives take this unstructured data and structure it in such a way that data can be quickly searched and retrieved, while also saving expensive storage space.

Because of its ability to retain and track multiple point-in-time versions of files, backups are very good at protecting small amounts of frequently changing data. But it’s poorly suited to storing large quantities of static or rarely accessed data.

Archives – on the other hand – are a powerful, practical and cost-effective way of storing, handling and retaining this data.

Data backup and data archiving are 2 powerful tools that – when used together properly – can help you protect your most important data and meet your compliance obligations while also helping you keep up with exponential data growth.

If your company would like more information on how to save money while managing rapid data growth, please contact Storagepipe today to learn more.

Leave a Reply