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Selecting database archiving tools

What factors should I take into consideration when selecting database archiving tools?

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The type of data stored in the database and the business drivers for archiving have a definite influence on the tool selection criteria. If database tables are being archived to keep the database "lean and mean" for performance reasons but archived data still needs to be accessed occasionally, you probably want to look at a solution that is as seamless as possible. This means that the archived data can be transparently accessed or queried without requiring special manipulation or restore operation.

If data is archived based on an ILM policy because it no longer accessed but must be kept to meet certain legal requirements, a more basic package-based archival tool can be considered. However, you must carefully consider your ability to access the data in the future. Database independent, data extraction and content management tools might be better suited for very long-term archives. This helps ensure data access without depending on a RDBMS version that is no longer available.

Finally, one feature that is worth considering is the DB archiving tool's ability to integrate with a backup solution. This can offer simplified, centralized data management.

This was first published in October 2004

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