Monday, February 5, 2007

Archiving Appliances and Systems

How to comply with the archiving regulations without paying an arm and a leg
Archiving Appliances make it easy to protect your data

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 economical systems available that make it easy to get the job done. They are called Archiving Appliances and they 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 DVD optical 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. Then you can store the discs off-line in a drawer or cabinet until you need to read them. You can read the discs using the same appliance by placing the discs on the spindle. If you need faster access to the data, you can use a jukebox or library system instead of the archiving appliances. The jukebox or library is more complex and provides not only archiving (writing), but also easy on-line accessing (or reading) 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 performed regularly, the 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. But, it is not archival media. Archiving means you will copy data to media that will last for over 20 years. Optical discs are the only media that is rated for this long term storage. Experts agree that optical media is the most rugged and reliable backup media available. Its archival life is measured in decades — not just years.

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. In this case, Jukeboxes or libraries are used. Not only can they be used to archive your data, they can also be used to easily retrieve the stored data.

Archiving Appliances
There are number of different systems available that provide automatic data archiving. For example, the ArcEmail Archiving Appliance makes it easy to archive Microsoft Data Exchange E-mails. The ArcBackup appliance archives your general computer data to optical discs, and the ArcPoint archiving system adds more sophisticated rules for transferring data to optical discs.
Here’s a summary of the systems available:

E-mail Archiving
The ArcEmail Archiving Appliance backs up and quickly recovers all e-mails that are sent, received or deleted through Microsoft Exchange, including attachments. It operates unobtrusively in the background of your Exchange server, reliably backing up all emails on optical media. The discs can be kept save and then recovered easily when needed.

The system writes to DVD discs and then prints a label on the disc so you can find it. When you need to recover emails from any mailbox for any date range the system finds them on the appropriate backup discs and restores them automatically.

The system provides the following functions:
  • Provides an E-mail Archive Appliance for Microsoft Exchange
  • Automatically archives to DVD optical media
  • Uses Write Once Read Mostly (WORM) media that prevents overwriting and lost data
  • Has a 25 Disc capacity
  • Allows you to Archive over 100GB per set of discs
  • Automatically labels discs
  • Provides easy retrieval
  • Connects to your PC through USB 2.0 port
  • Includes EMC® Retrospect® for Windows
Data Archiving Appliance
The ArcBackup archiving appliance is a simple device that transfers data to a set of DVD discs. The data set is very much like a tape backup except the data is written to optical media. The discs are labeled so they can be stored off-line and retrieved when necessary. The set of data on the discs can be recovered by placing them back on the input spindles and running the recovery software. With this system you can:
  • Schedule backups
  • Creates a backup set of discs
  • Compresses files
  • Easily restore the data
  • Supports disc spanning: Large backups will be automatically split to several parts and stored on several disks
  • Print labels
  • Supports encryption for added security
There are currently two models to choose from. The 25 disc and the 300 disc units provide a range of capability.

Hierarchical Data Archiving Appliance
The ArcPoint appliance is a more sophisticated version of the ArcBackup appliance. It uses the same type of duplication mechanism, but the PoINT Archiver software provides much more functionality.

ArcPoint includes a Windows Server application providing a secure and cost effective process to identify, monitor and archive relevant data in a network. It provides a central “console” from which you can manage the archival of data throughout the network. Archiver periodically monitors network folders and copies or moves files to removable optical media according to Administrator defined filters. Additionally, criteria can be defined to identify and archive multiple versions of the same named file.
Point Archiver provides the security and authenticity of information which is required to fulfill the constantly rising number of compliance regulations. Archive jobs monitor existing data folders and files. An intuitive Wizard interface provides step by step procedures which allow the administrator to specify:
* Name for the Archive
* Media type and Target Device
* Data source folders, files & extensions
* Archiving conditions
* Migration Rules

No comments: