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Vol. 6 No. 5 July 2007

Best Practices: The ultimate archiving challenge

An archiving deployment requires long-term retention management while avoiding vendor lock-in. A data management paradox exists today that, if unresolved, portends serious consequences long into the future. We have more information available to us than ever before. If you fast forward 50 years or 100 years, how much of this information will be accessible and in usable form? Given current data management practices--in terms of both physical storage and logical data representation--it's questionable whether electronic information created and stored today will be usable even 10 years or 15 years from now. This stands in stark contrast to all previous periods in human existence when data was recorded in visual form with symbols like cave drawings, cuneiforms and hieroglyphics, to modern alphabets. While all data representations involve some degree of decoding and interpretation, the extent required with electronic information is such that it can be rendered entirely meaningless without the one or more layers of meta data that are ...

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