Data Management Glossary
What is Data Archiving?
Data Archiving, often referred to as Data Tiering, protects older data that is not needed for everyday operations of an organization. A data archiving strategy reduces primary storage and allows an organization to maintain data that may be required for regulatory or other needs.
Benefits of a Data Archiving Solution
Data archiving protects older information that is not needed for everyday operations but which users may occasionally access. Data archiving tools deliver the most value by reducing primary storage costs, rather than acting as a data recovery tool. Unstructured data archive tools are in high demand because they can drastically reduce overall storage costs; most data is unstructured and resides on expensive, high-performance storage devices. Archive data storage, meanwhile, is typically on a low-performance, lost-cost, high-capacity data storage medium.
Types of Data Archiving
Some data archiving products only allow read-only access to protect data from modification, while other data tiering and archiving products allow users to make changes.
Data archiving take a few different forms:
- Options include online data storage, which places archive data onto disk systems where it is readily accessible. Archives are frequently file-based, but object storage is also growing in popularity. A key challenge when using object storage to archive file-based data is the impact it can have on users and applications. To avoid changing paradigms from file to object and breaking user and application access, use data management solutions that provide a file interface to data that is archived as objects.
- Another archival system uses offline data storage where data archiving software writes the data to tape or other removable media. using. Tape consumes less power than disk systems, translating to lower costs.
- A third option is using cloud data storage, offered by Amazon, Azure and other cloud providers. Cloud object storage is a smart choice for cloud tiering and data archiving because of its low-cost, immutable nature. This is inexpensive but requires ongoing investment.
New requirements for secure data archiving have resulted from more sophisticated cybersecurity and ransomware threats. Encryption of sensitive archives and multi-factor authentication for access and object lock storage (such as AWS S3) are a few ways to protect archival data from modification, corruption and theft.
The data archiving process typically uses automated software, which will automatically move cold data via policies set by an administrator. A popular approach is to make the archive “transparent” so that users and applications can access archived data from the same location as if it had never moved. (See Native Access)