Proact story on Archiving

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Proact’s view on archiving …

Proact’s view on archiving
Here are some guidelines we use in the design:
Reduce Cost & Complexity
As always use common sense, the more complicated a solutions the more likely it is
to have functional problems and high operating cost. We also focus on using industry
standards and standard components where it is possible. Archiving is a complex task and a
solid implementation plan combined by a step by step approach has proven successful.

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  • 1. Proact StoryProact story on ArchivingWhy archive your information?We are not only seeing the continued rapid growth of information, we are keeping this information forlonger and longer. The reason for keeping it longer could simply be that we have no structured way ofdeleting information, but we are also facing internal, customer and/or government demands that force usto keep it.We are also seeing that the external demands are getting increasingly Bank and financedetailed which require us • Laws and regulations, security, transations, invoices,• to keep the information for extensive time periods (from a few years to • financial advice, phone, email, letters forever) Trade• to guarantee that the information is the same we stored those years ago • Cost and efficiency, transactions, invoices. orders• to be able to read and understand the archived information International organizations• to produce parts of this information in a very short time (based on key words) • Different laws and regulations for same information in • different countries. Relevant for banks,In addition to this are many end users (or probably their sysadmins) • manufacturing‐ transportation industryreaching a point where they can’t just keep all information on disk and do Healthcarebackups; they need to start archiving information. • Laws and regulations, quality controlHere are examples from different industry segments: Telco operators • Fix and mobile phone CDR archivePublic sector and hospitals • Laws and regulations, cultural preservation, • cost savings, researchIndustry • Quality and cost, documentation, hw/sw development, • crash tests, financial systems
  • 2. What is “Archiving”? Archiving of digital information needs a definition, depending on who you ask you will get different answers anywhere from the archivist structured approach to the storageArchiving is a combi- specialists technical view – none of them are wrong they are just different views into the same problem.nation of processes,policies and technical This is our definition of archiving:platform to preserve, Archiving is a combination of processes, policies and technical platform to preserve,protect and make protect and make accessible the selected information for a determined time period.accessible the selected – Archiving is a business decision since it focuses on the information and what it can/shallinformation for a deter- be used for.mined time period. We also differ between “archiving” and “migration”, which we define as:– Archiving is a Migration is to move data between tiers of storagebusiness decision since – Migration is an IT decision since it focuses on where to maintain the digital representa-it focuses on the tion of the information, i.e. the data.information and what itcan/shall be used for. Design of the archiving platform These are important criteria for an archiving solution and needs to be on the checklist: • Scalability, performance, availability, recoverability • Access to information, who can, who can’t • Indexing/Search ability • Efficiency – cost, data reduction, sorting • Reporting/traceability • Open solution /standards • Support all relevant applications, data formats, metadata formats • Encryption • Secure delete • Migration to next platform • Migration to new media • Migration to new data formats
  • 3. One critical part of an archive solution is the technical platform where all the data is stored. Archiving puts specific demands on the storage environment and it is certainly more than ”just storage”. This moves us into the infrastructure and the design of the archiving platform. Since we have a world full of different applications with their own data and metadata formats the de-”As always use com- sign needs to be very specific depending on the end users unique environment. Unfortuna- mon sense, the more tely there isn’t one solution that fits all end everyone so we usually end up with more than complicated a solu- one component for the migration and arching layers. Below you see the overall structure tions the more likely Proact is using when we designing the archiving platform. it is to have functional Proact’s view on archiving problems and high operating cost” Here are some guidelines we use in the design: Reduce Cost & Complexity As always use common sense, the more complicated a solutions the more likely it is to have functional problems and high operating cost. We also focus on using industry standards and standard components where it is possible. Archiving is a complex task and a solid implementation plan combined by a step by step approach has proven successful. Collaborate & Classify Information To find out what should be archived, for how long it should be kept, how we can find the information and if it should be deleted when it is no longer needed are key questions. If we”Create a project group can find an answer to these questions we have a good foundation for our archive project. that covers both IT Don’t expect to get these answers easily; it can be quite hard to find out internal and exter- and business interests nal demands. It is also a risk thatthe answers increase complexity and makes it hard to do the technical design. The best way to address these issues is to create a project group that in the arvchive” covers both IT and business interests in the archive. Store online A good design principle is to store the data online on disk. So far most archives have been stored on tape. Although tape is low cost per GB it has proved to be costly over time. A huge hidden cost for archiving to tape has been the migration between generations of tape formats. It is a time consuming and costly process where we often see that all the data is not readable.
  • 4. This is the real draw‐back with tapes: – you don’t know of the data is there until you try to read the tape. It also very hard to delete a specific piece of information from a tape and keep the rest of the tape intact. We are seeing more external demands that need us to guarantee that the information is deleted – with tape you might have to destroy the physical tape and migrate the information that is to be kept to another tape. New demands also require fast access to the information – having it offline is not good enough any more. New disk technologies, like deduplication, are giving us a TCO that can challenge tape – especially if you consider the cost of migration over time. Try to avoid point solution archive per application, business area etc; it will be very costly over time. Try and build a common archive repository and share it as a common resource. Do not use Backup Backup is quite often seen as cheap archive. This can be a risky approach since backup is not designed to preserve information over a long time with high security demands. We have set the policies to support our backup schedule and not our archive. Very often older backups are stored offline on tape that will create long access times and manual work. In backup solutions we tend to look for data without its business perspective – in archiving we need to find the data with its related metadata – the information. Invest in automating migration In the design put effort into the task of migrating information over time. First is the challenge of our hardware that needs replacement every few years. Build a solution where migration hardware is a process that IT do on a regular basis (as part of IT operations) when the system is up and running – instead of having a huge and costly migration project every few years.Vers 2009-03-27 we secure mission-critical information info@proact.eu | www.proact.eu Denmark Estonia Finland Latvia Lithuania Netherlands Norway Sweden + 45 70 10 11 32 +372 663 0900 +358 9 452 0141 +371 67 819 444 +370 5 2526 140 +31 35 70 70 525 +47 22 89 23 89 +46 8 410 666 00 www.proact.dk www.proact.ee www.proact.fi www.proact.lv www.proact.lt www.proact.nl www.proact.no www.proact.se