Archiving is the Rodney Dangerfield of IT process. In fact, in a recent poll performed by Storage Switzerland, a terrifying 67 percent of respondents indicated that they counted on the backup process to be part of their archive.
How Are You Storing Archive Data Today?
Archive should never be part of backup. Actually, a well defined archive process can make backup more efficient and disaster recovery significantly easier.
How can archive simplify the backup and recovery process? To answer that question let’s look at the fact that in most data centers less than 10 percent of data is active on a day-to-day basis. In fact, after examining data use, organizations will find outside of databases, most of the data the organization is created, modified and then goes dormant within a single business day.
If somehow, that data is removed from primary storage then suddenly almost all of the organization’s backup challenges go away. Why? There is simply less data. Given that 10 percent rule, a 100TB data center really only has about 10TBs a day that needs to copying and managing. Backing up 10TBs of data is vastly easier than 100TBs. What process should remove that data? Archive!
The real impact though comes to recovery, specifically disaster recovery. In a disaster there is never a request for all the data to come back (at least initially). Instead what needs to be recovered is the data and applications that users were working on moments before the disaster hit. The problem is most data protection applications have almost no ability to identify this data. But if this data is not there, because it has been archived, then a full recovery works perfectly. Watch the StorageShort below as Storage Switzerland and Panzura discuss how the 90/10 rule works.
The 10 Percent Challenge
The challenge with an aggressive 90/10 archive strategy though is like a more classic archive where only very old data is archived, is that a higher percentage of data it stores likely will be recalled at some point. This means that the 90/10 archive, also called an active archive, needs to seamlessly and rapidly recover data so it will not impact the user or application experience. In our on-demand webinar, “How to Use Cloud Storage to Overcome The 3 Challenges to ACTIVE Data Archiving“, we discuss what an active archive design should look like and how an archive strategy that leverages the cloud may be the best way to deliver it.