Snapshot: Do you have a data archive?

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ARCHIVING IS A well-established discipline among Storage readers, with more than two-thirds reporting that they archive some form of data independent of their backup process. And they aren't newcomers to the archiving game. Forty-eight percent began archiving data in the past four years, while 52% began archiving data five or more years ago--well before the fear of regulatory compliance came into vogue.

When it comes to archiving, e-mail gets most of the attention; however, Storage readers are more often than not archiving files (72%), database records (57%) and then e-mail (43%). The most popular target media for data archives is almost evenly split between disk and tape (54% vs. 56%), but optical media is used by a respectable 33% of data archivers.

Readers are also grappling with some pretty lengthy retention times. Seventy-seven percent of respondents have archived data with retention periods of at least five years. Of this figure, 28% report retention periods of 20 years or longer. One respondent in the military has a retention period of 67.5 years on all personnel data.

The 32% of readers who don't have a data archive in place tell us that won't be the case for much longer. Of these respondents, 61% report that data archiving will be in place in the next year, with file data (77%) and e-mail (74%) at the top of their lists. Only 11% of respondents have no data archiving plans whatsoever.

(The following charts apply to respondents who answered "No" on question one.)
6. Are you considering data archiving?
7. What kinds of data do you plan on archiving?

This was first published in April 2006
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