Data Management (archiving) looks good on the IT whiteboard. It is the process of moving old data from existing primary storage systems to an archive system. The process should free up primary storage capacity, simplify the data protection process and provide the organization with a better data retention strategy. Often though, what looks good on the whiteboard doesn’t execute well in the real world and data management can be one of those situations.
Data management suffers in several areas. The first is acquiring the hardware and software to manage the data. The problem is the cost of the hardware and software is so significant that when factored correctly into a return on investment calculation, it can take years to generate a positive number. While 80% of an organization’s data may qualify for archiving, that data is sitting on storage that it already owns.
Buying a new, complete archiving storage system to store data moved from already paid for primary storage doesn’t provide the organization with savings. Organizations need a way to buy the archive storage system incrementally so they can purchase only the capacity they need and move data to it as the primary storage system runs out of capacity. The savings comes from avoiding buying new primary storage capacity.
The second challenge for data management is that the majority of data management solutions only handle a couple types of data, typically unstructured data (files) and email. The problem is that organizations have data in many different applications such as Sharepoint, databases, legacy applications and Software as a Service (SaaS) clouds. The organization has to either ignore managing data in these formats, which reduces the ROI, or use a separate data management solution for each, which increases complexity as well as cost.
Archive360 – Onboard – Validate – Manage
Archive360’s Archive2Azure is a data management solution that leverages Microsoft Azure for storing the archive data. In doing so, Archive360 solves the first problem that breaks backup, the lack of a gradual cutover. The customer can implement Archive360 and move data to Azure at a pace that it is comfortable with and makes sense for its business.
Archive360 also addresses the second problem, lack of support for various data formats. Archive360 can now manage data in messaging applications (supporting 80+ messaging applications), files, database/legacy applications, SharePoint, OneDrive, Salesforce.com, media files and medical images (DICOM). Each of these connectors supports moving or copying data to Azure to reduce their on-premises footprint. In the case of Salesforce.com Archive2Azure can archive attachments added to customer or contact records, to Azure for cheaper storage than Salesforce.com storage.
Once data is in Azure, Archive2Azure provides organizations with all the expected data management capabilities like search/discovery, auditing, analytics, and disposition.
Data management is no longer just a cost savings practice. In this era of increasing regulations on data retention and compliance as well as new initiatives like data privacy, data management is an absolute necessity. The challenge is getting the organization to a fully managed state. The upfront costs of hardware and software, as well as the operational challenges of making sure it is continuously managing data, are stumbling blocks for the organization. Companies like Archive360, through the use of the cloud and by providing support for many data sources are paving the way to a data management future that is easy to transition to and easy to maintain.