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Getting started with database archiving

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Performance and manageability
Database archiving software may actually provide an opportunity for storage administrators to help database administrators. Some companies are upgrading enterprise applications as recent vendor consolidations have provided opportunities to take advantage of newly introduced functionality, or to avoid the maintenance burdens and potential compliance risks associated with running unsupported applications. Database archiving software can help prepare for and mitigate the risk of an application upgrade by segregating a copy of data. New versions of the application can then be brought online to access the copied (archived) data. Older systems can still use production data, which eliminates the need to take the application down. The switchover to the newer version can happen as the database archives are updated and transitioned into production. In addition, database administrators can improve application performance by segregating historical data into an alternative data store without compromising data accessibility.

In January 2006, ESG asked approximately 500 IT professionals and records managers about their information archiving intentions. Nearly 30% of the respondents had deployed a database archiving software solution and are now realizing many of the compelling benefits of the technology.

When ESG asked early adopters of database archiving software what their deployment objectives were, 60% said they hoped to speed up database backups and 56% sought to improve database performance (see "Who's using database archiving apps," at right).

For many companies, the latest headlines surrounding information privacy are another motivating factor to evaluate database archiving applications. Information privacy breaches, such as the recent disclosure that the personal information of up to 26 million armed services veterans was lost, are creating nightmares for IT departments. With so much data residing in databases, database administrators must find ways to isolate and manage confidential information more effectively. Customers can use database archiving software to identify sensitive information, such as columns or rows that contain credit card numbers. This data can be masked during application testing or archived with suitable access controls when working with the appropriate database archiving product. These measures can reduce the risk of a security breach and facilitate compliance with existing and future information privacy regulations.

This was first published in August 2006

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