That reduces primary storage costs similar to deduplication or compression, but how does it increase efficiency? Instead of putting more data into the same place like deduplication and compression do, archiving moves this data out of the way and out of the line of direct management by the IT Administrator. Again compression and deduplication are an important function and can be used in compliment to an archive strategy for complete primary storage cost reduction, but archiving is the method that reduces administration time.
In most studies you read this inactive data set will indicate that as much as 80% of data on primary storage is inactive. The typical justification for having this data around is in the event that you need it to respond to a legal action, regulatory compliance or some internal research. In truth however most data is kept around, "just in case".
Archive systems make management of this inactive data set easier by allowing you to move all this data to a single archive volume which is searchable and can maintain various legal hold requirements. Doing so allows you to only manage the data when the event occurs, which for most this data will be never. Imagine removing 80% of your headache and being able to focus on the data that really matters.
One way to do more with less is to have less to do more with. Moving data off of primary storage to a self protected archive that is easy to search to find data when you do need it allows you to archive your way to efficiency.
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George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.