Data Archiving: The Complete Guide

By Annette
7th December 2022

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
Getting Started

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
  • Policy

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.

Getting 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.


Get In Touch


<< Back to resources

Join Our Newsletter

Contact Email  *
First Name 
Last Name 
*Required Fields
I agree to the  Privacy Policy and  Terms of Use 

Here's what other people think

Google Rating
High standard, professional service. I've worked with Welldata for a number of years and always found their DBA's to be knowledgeable and proactive. Throw any question at them and it will be resolved, it gives real peace of mind knowing you have a partner you can rely on from emergencies to general questions. They also like a challenge and we do throw a few curved balls at more
Paul Miller
Paul Miller
12:34 27 Aug 21
The support I receive from Well Data is extremely responsive. Richard Parsons is my contact and keeps me informed daily on the health of our SQL Databases. Whenever I ask for assistance from Well Data it is quick and more
Kay Riley
Kay Riley
13:41 19 Aug 21
Really know their stuff and their response times are very good. They provide us with a vital service.
Andy Cole
Andy Cole
13:36 19 Aug 21
The guys at WellData really know their stuff. We wanted a quick route to doing something complex and they sorted it for us very quickly and to a high standard. Very professional, no ego, just excellent and to the point more
Steve Goacher
Steve Goacher
11:31 14 Nov 19
I have worked with the WellData team for many years now and they have always delivered.I would highly recommend them to any business looking for best-value outsourced Expert DBA’s.Being able to offer a rolling contract on the basis that if they don’t deliver you can leave shows their confidence and commitment.Their professionalism and knowledge is second to more
Petro Bartoszyk
Petro Bartoszyk
08:51 18 Oct 19
A very dedicated team of extremely professional and knowledgeable experts
Giulia Iannucci
Giulia Iannucci
14:08 16 Nov 18
We use Welldata for SQL support and are very happy with their service.
David Sadler
David Sadler
09:40 15 Nov 18
Really know their stuff and their response times are very good.
Andy Cole
Andy Cole
11:45 06 Nov 18
Our partnership with WellData has enabled us to resolve critical database problems. Their attitude and service makes them a natural extension to our own technology team, which extends our capability in a critical area of our more
Steve Fenton
Steve Fenton
10:56 05 Nov 18
Having worked with the team at Welldata for approaching 17 years, my company and I have always found them professional, reliable and generally a great firm to work more
John Lynes
John Lynes
14:00 04 Oct 17
WellData provide an excellent level of support and their team are very knowledgeable and always go the extra mile. I would wholeheartedly recommend more
Stefan Parrott
Stefan Parrott
13:12 19 Sep 17