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Everything you need to know about data archiving
In this complete guide, WellData reveals its expertise. We highlight why having a data archiving process is so important. Furthermore, the benefits of doing so and the considerations you need to make when creating your strategy.
Table Of Contents
What Is Data Archiving?
What is data retrieval?
Why is it important?
Choosing Your Software
So, What Is Data Archiving?
Data archiving’s definition summarises the process in which a company moves data from primary storage to a secondary solution, either with a manual process or via a machine learning solution.
The archiving process is designed to be carried out when data reaches the end of data lifecycle management, and the company decides that they no longer actively use the data or it surpasses the agreed long term retention periods.
Why Is Data Archiving Important?
The benefits alone, are enough to justify the process’ importance. But, it is also recognised that companies are increasingly working alongside big data. Archives protect the information, while continuing to keep information accessible, with a cost effective solution. All from a single point .
What Is Meant By Data Retrieval?
The process is not to be confused with data retrieval which reverses the process. However, there are steps you can take to improve data retrieval times.
What Are The Benefits Of Data Archiving?
Archiving data is designed to improve the overall health of your database environment. Similarly, to many other services that WellData can provide, as part of the best practices for data lifecycle management. The key benefits are:
- Storage Consumption Of Your Primary Solution Is Reduced.
- Performance and Health Of The Database Environment Is Restored.
- Prevention Of Data Loss .
- Govern Data and Meet Compliance Requirements.
- Improve Cost Efficiency Of Storage.
- Better Data Integrity and Less Duplicate Information.
- More Data Security and Protection For Your Data Centres.
Equally, there are also some considerations that you need to be aware of.
Considerations For Your Data Archiving Process
To begin operating with an archiving solution, it is vital that you’re choosing the correct software for your requirements. WellData’s consultants can recommend an appropriate provider by assessing your business needs during a discovery workshop. You should also understand, that:
Data archives serve as a way to retain data for regulatory compliance requirements, however it should not be assumed that a data archive will meet compliance. There are certain standards which your company will need to maintain to remain compliant. A data archiving policy is recommended for this very reason.
Data Archiving vs Data Backup
Although, archived data is treated as a secondary data warehouse, it is not to be confused with a data backup. In fact, they hold different value to companies.
Your data backup is a copy of your data, used for the sole purpose of mitigating risk, and preparing for disaster recovery. Backup data is of most value to a company and should be protected, separately from the archive.
An archiving solution is for the purpose of retaining information in the long term but, it is infrequently accessed data. Therefore, it is not considered critical to the disaster recovery process.
Data Lifecycle Management
Finally, data archiving should be created as part of a full lifecycle. One should not assume that data archiving alone, meets the demands of data administration. And, the benefits of improving performance of your database provide much stronger results when there is evidence of good administrative policies throughout the journey of data. From creation until deletion.
These considerations are often misunderstood. In addition, you should be mindful of your storage requirements. And, it is important to archive only the data that you truly need for the minimum time required. Retrieval times can have an impact on business-critical activity. Assess which storage solution meets your needs, and which software will retrieve collections of archival data vs individual pieces of information.
We’ve written a checklist for you to use as a basis for comparison.
WellData specialise in the end-to-end creation of solutions. We fully recommend being aware of the considerations and risks before undertaking the process without good knowledge and/or experience. That said, our resources are provided to enable database administrators to undertake this process with confidence.
Before getting started, make sure you know what should be included in a data archiving strategy. While you can adapt this to your own business operations, the best practices to follow are:
- Inventory Checks
- Time Maintaining Plan
- Regulatory Compliance Audit
- Selection of Tools
These activities should be carried out by a database administrator who understands your business requirements. If you do not have a dedicated DBA to carry out these exercises, you may benefit from our data archiving services.
Choosing The Best Software
While choosing the best data archiving software, will depend very much on business requirements, you should use a list of requirements as your basis for comparison. We recommend researching data archiving software and understanding their market positions.
Most software will provide four key features, as standard; data de-duplication, advanced search, user access control, and retention management. But, you should also consider:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Supported Formats
- Storage Usage
- Storage Cost
Your chosen data archiving solution should also be highly scalable. So, create a plan which has longevity. There is a lot of debate surrounding cloud storage vs flash storage or other on-premise solutions and the hybrid approach. This should be evaluated as a separate process.
Data Archiving Policy
A policy should also be included in your strategy. This is often referred to as a data retention policy.
The policy sets out the rules for your process. It should identify a criteria for which information to archive and highlight which different data archiving tools are to be used. You should include information regarding, which software will store data, where data is to be stored and how long the data remains archived for. Finally, you should also specify any access rules for the data archive. The policy is designed so that anyone responsible for archiving, can answer the following questions.
- Which Information Should Be Archived?
- Which Tools Are Used To Archive Data?
- Where Is Archival Data Stored?
- What Is The Retention Period?
- Who Can Access The Data? And, Under What Circumstances?
Once you have a data archival policy in place, you’re ready to set up your software, and get started.
Only once, you have taken the steps in the strategy, can you begin archiving. If you’re uncertain on anything, WellData can help you achieve your data archiving solution. Get in touch and we’ll discover your deployment options together.
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