Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Data and E-Mail Archiving Appliances

Here’s a completely new technology we just started to work with. It solves one of the major problems in trying to conform to the new regulations about data storage.

So you are being dragged kicking and screaming to archive your e-mails and data. What can you do that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Well, there are some new systems available that make it real easy to get the job done as well as being economical. The Archiving Appliances take advantage of the same robotic mechanisms used in automatic duplicators. With these systems you can archive e-mail data or general data to a stack of discs. This is a batch process where a set of blank discs are placed on a spindle and written one-at-a-time and placed on an output spindle. The discs are stored off-line and can be accessed by reading them back in using the same mechanism. The jukebox or Library systems are more complex and are the only devices that provide easy on-line retrieval of the discs.

The Difference between Backing up and archiving

Most people can’t recover emails from even a year or two ago. Why? Because even if system backups are being performed, emails are often deleted from servers during routine tape rotations. Tape can also break, wear out and become demagnetized. But what happens when some of those emails or files are needed in a lawsuit? Or what if a regulatory agency asks for specific emails and you can’t produce them? The liabilities to an organization can be substantial.

Tape backups are relatively short term storage of data. It protects your data from inadvertent erasures, system crashes that destroy the data or catastrophes that damage your data center. Tape is usually used because it’s fast and relatively automatic. It is not archive media. Archiving means you will copy data to archival media that will last for over 20 years. Optical discs are the only media that is rated for this long term storage.

WORM (Write Once Read Many) is Non-erasable, non-rewritable optical media that can be stored off-site. This is a critical specification for publicly-held corporations, healthcare, brokerage and financial institutions and others who must meet the strict email, data and document retention requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC 17-a, HIPAA and a host of other government regulations.

WORM technology is also highly desirable for any organization that needs to be able to quickly and reliably retrieve data and files of all types without overburdening primary storage devices or media. Jukeboxes or libraries are used for easy retrieval. Experts agree that optical media is the most rugged and reliable backup media available. Its archival life is measured in decades — not just years.

I will post some more details in a few days. If you need some more information check our web site. or just contact us using our form

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