If I asked you to make a bet with me and then told you the odds were greater than 1 in 2 that you’d lose your money, would you take that bet? Companies take it all the time: it’s called ‘file archiving’, and there’s a greater than 1 in 2 chance that when you spend your money on an archive, you won’t even be able to recover a given file when you need it. There's a better way!
The problem comes from people deciding that the best solution for old files is to go as cheap as possible. However, down the road, the problems this creates become even more expensive. If you can’t produce the proper files should there be an audit, the fines alone can be devastating.
In general, people look for something that will compress their data, keep it somewhere cheap, and then pat themselves on the back on a job well done. But the reality looks different:
After a file becomes inactive (after 6-12 months of disuse), it will have a 1-3% chance of being needed again. While a small number, that is not trivial: for every million files, that is one to three thousand files. So during the inactive stage of a file’s life, you need to make sure that the file, while being kept somewhere cheaper, is still readily available.
After about two years of being inactive, the chance of recall drops to nearly zero, and then the reasons for keeping a file change: it may be specifically for compliance or for big data analysis. The problem is that if you can’t discover an archived file, you aren’t compliant. And you can’t perform analytics on most archiving systems. That means you need to think about storing files differently.
The solution to the problem isn’t file archiving, but file tiering. Tiering creates a seamless environment while allowing you to move files from primary to secondary, tertiary, and beyond. Discover the difference between backup, archiving and tiering with this whitepaper.
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