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Archive Technology Is More Relevant Now Than Ever Before

Archive Technology Is More Relevant Now Than Ever Before by James Forbes May, Vice President of APAC Sales, Barracuda Networks  

Data Archive. Not the most exciting technology. It’s been around since mainframe time and in the era of open systems we saw archive companies make strong arguments on the ROI of archiving data to IT managers that nodded furiously then simply bought more disk instead of buying into a software archive solution.

As an executive leading a business in Asia, I always push my teams to learn, understand and discuss business benefits of every solution we offer. Whilst we provide technical solutions, being able to understand the benefit each of our solutions brings to a business is critical. Ultimately IT professionals need to justify expenditure and doing so without a business justification is not always possible.

It is interesting to note that when it comes to data archive solutions the business case it very strong, but the attraction of a short term fix – namely just buying more storage – typically ends up with IT managers stalling archive projects and throwing disk at the problem of growing data volumes.

The reality here is indisputable, simply adding more disk is always more expensive. The disk itself may be cheaper and easier than implementing an archive solution but the long term impact is ignored. Increased backup windows, slower application performance, the hidden cost impact of managing the every growing storage management, longer recovery times in the event of failure, security vulnerabilities – the list goes on.

With the case being so clear cut, we need to ask why archive solutions have not been more widely adopted. In my own experience I see three clear reasons why.

1 – Data online always available the fear of not having ready access
Many IT departments react to data growth rather than plan for it, the quick and easy answer is buy more disk.

2 – As vendors we have not done a good job of helping IT managers make a compelling business case for data archive solutions.

Archive solutions were never going to go away, until very recently it would have been fair to assume they would remain at the periphery of IT budgets and plans. However over the last 18 months , the interest in archive solutions has surged. Numerous established companies, Barracuda included have invested in acquiring archive IP, and a spate of new startups with innovative archive technology.

This sudden reinvigoration of interest in archive technology is different from before, it has been driven by large adoption of cloud storage, massive data growth as well as compliance, local government regulatory requirements depending on the vertical sector companies operate in. The sheer volumes of data we create today combined with the fact that we no longer just store data on disk but in storage spread across hybrid cloud means that archive technology is becoming a necessity rather than a long term planning tool.

In short archive has always been about moving data through tiers of storage, but in reality very few IT departments had the luxury, time and resources of being able to have storage organized in tiers. Today, data volumes are enormous and anyone that incorporates cloud into their storage infrastructure is by default introducing storage tiers. The only way to manage this and the monthly bills that come hand in hand with cloud storage is to use an archive solution to put the right data in the right place at the right time.
 
As your cloud and data enable your own business be sure to think about how you manage the data growth that will inevitably happen, be sure to consult with vendors like Barracuda that have the products and expertise to assist you as your IT evolves.

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