Recent changes in the business and technology environment have ignited reexamination of enterprise data backup, extraction, and archiving. It has become clear that there is a compelling need for a strategic alignment of backup and archival processes within organizations. Traditional thinking and paradigms are evolving to more unified, yet granular approaches to data management that leverage Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) concepts. It is no longer sufficient to perform complete backups of production data without consideration for cost and operational efficiency, as this will only lead an organization to a competitive disadvantage relative to more progressively thinking organizations. Regulatory, competitive, and physical limitations have narrowed backup/recovery windows, and government compliance and corporate governance have placed new demands on archiving, such as more extensive archiving with expedient, precisionpoint data recovery requirements.
Although backup, extraction, and archiving remain discrete business processes and technological solutions, there are competitive and strategic advantages to be gained by organizations that align these processes with the value of the business data being stored in order to minimize costs and maximize efficiency across the enterprise. Failure to bring an organization's storage policies into alignment with business value will result in the continuing unchecked and costly growth of the production, backup, and archive data environments.
This paper discusses the current state of backup, recovery, and archiving in organizations today, and offers some definitions and clarity to the often-misused terminology of extraction, archive, and backup. It considers the minimum technological capabilities required by enterprises in order to create cost-effective backup and archival strategies that align the overall cost of data storage with the business value of the data being stored. It also provides an understanding of current backup and archival issues and the expected benefits of a unified backup and archival strategy.
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