Here is a checklist of functions and capabilities to look for in a file archiving solution:
Mark Mulcahy – Waterford Technologies
- Comprehensive file storage reporting – This should provide reports on age of files, last modified date, ownership and file duplication. The reports should offer a consolidated view of all of the organisations file storage devices and also provide granular reports at the file server and file system level.
- Transparent access to archived files – A pointer or smart stub should be placed at the original file location to redirect file access to the new location. In effect the archive and primary store are virtualised into a single logical file store.
- File archive policy setting – the IT department should be able to set policies for an automated archive to detect, delete or capture less active and unwanted files, place them in an archive and retain them there until they reach end of life.
- Schedulable file archiving activity – Primary storage should be regularly and automatically inspected for files that can be taken away and retained in the archive or deleted. The schedules for this should be user settable.
- Automated policy implementation – file archiving actions should be automatic to increase efficiency and reduce the likelihood of human error.
- File archive reporting – The IT administrators should have clear and full information pertaining to archive contents and activity so that the archive and its users can be readily managed to increase the organisation’s efficiency and the optimise the efficiency of the archive
- File archive retention and deletion facilities – The archive should be an actively maintained store for the secure and reliable retention of needed reference information.
- File archive security – Encryption of the archive’s contents to prevent unauthorised access to data.
- File archive space efficiency – Use of single file instancing and compression to avoid storing duplicated data needlessly.
- File archive management capabilities File archive management capabilities – Reporting facilities and archive management functions to optimise its size and efficiency.
- Storage medium independence – The ability to use any chosen storage medium in one or more archive tiers of SAN, NAS, direct-attached disk, optical disk and/or tape to store information on the most cost-effective medium for its current value to the organisation.
- Fast searching – The ability for authorised users to search the entire archive, or relevant sections of it, quickly and effectively so they can carry out their tasks effectively.
- Reduced administration cost – The saving of IT management cost through enabling fewer administrative people to manage more data in a much more effective way.
- Reduced storage costsReduced storage costs – The saving of disk storage cost through migrating substantial amounts of less actively-needed data to less expensive storage, providing good access to it but not using expensive primary storage to do so.
A good file archive product
A good file archive product will remove up to 80% of the under-accessed files on an organisation’s primary drive arrays and delete or migrate them, removing duplicated files en-route, to more cost-efficient secondary storage. The migration and deletion will be carried out using IT department set policies. The file archive will implement retention policies also guided by pre-set policies and will deliver comprehensive reporting facilities. It will be storage-agnostic
Overall organisations will be able to place a firm grip on the deluge of unstructured information they are facing and store it in the most efficient way that suits their individual needs and the legal and regulatory frameworks they operate within.