Getting vendors to agree to a standard in terms of minimum technology lifecycle would certainly prove to be a challenge. As a particular technology got closer to the end of that minimum life-span, customers would be naturally drawn to newer technology when making a purchase decision. After all, who buys a loaf of bread posting an expiration date that is tomorrow! Then remains the question of backward compatibility of the business application that wrote the data and the operating system on which that application was running; the list goes on.
We have to change the way we use archives which for many, have become a way to avoid having to make informed data retention decisions. When companies are uncertain about how long they should retain data, they simply archive it. The questions now become: Did we really need a petabyte of data archived to tape in the first place? Or, is archive data in its native format the right idea?
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