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24. March 2021

Active Archive, Active Retention, for Today and Forever

We recently released the Aparavi software-as-a-service platform for archive and retention management, with data protection built in – a long-winded way of saying “active archive.”

We recently released the Aparavi software-as-a-service platform for archive and retention management, with data protection built in – a long-winded way of saying “active archive.” Why the wind? Because active archive is a distinct, unique application that is often not well understood, unless you are one of the unlucky few who understands it all too well.

If you understand active archive, it’s likely because you’re dealing with massive unstructured data growth. Unstructured data – office documents, PST files, images, videos, any files not tethered to a typical database application – represents the majority of data being stored today, and is projected to be 90+ percent of all data within just a few years. Organizations handling this massive unstructured data growth the same way they always have, with the same legacy tools, may not encounter significant challenges today, but they will soon. In fact, George Crump of Storage Switzerland just wrote about this challenge. Why IT Needs a New Data Protection Strategy for Unstructured Data.

Storing, protecting, retaining, and retrieving these files in an economical, easy, and effective way is imperative, and is what active archive is all about.

Aparavi’s active archive will protect your unstructured data wherever you want it, on premises or in any cloud, as well as providing long-term retention, and policy-based archive. This is all on a SaaS-based model that allows you to start small and scale over time, and without vendor lock-in so your data is yours, now and forever.

By “yours,” we mean yours, without vendor lock-in. Don’t get me wrong, we love our cloud vendor partners, but they stay in business by collecting as much data as they can, and they can be a bit inflexible about you taking it back and giving it to a different vendor. If you have two dogs and one squeaky toy, you probably know what that’s like.

With our software you can switch vendors whenever, for any reason, but we suspect the usual reason will be cost. If a different service offers better value, tell the software to move the data, and we take care of it in a methodical way that does not involve duplicating files (because that costs more) or moving files back to local storage first (because that is a potentially bigger disaster than inflexibility or lock-in).

Regardless of vendor, managing overall capacity is also critical to reducing long-term storage costs. This is why we’ve created a data pruning feature that can automatically remove unnecessary data: we keep only the minimum amount of data needed to recreate a given data point. Over time this reduces the footprint and slows secondary storage growth by as much as 75 percent, for significant long-term savings, while data still remains available. Forever.

Why “forever?” Because active archive is about maintaining access to that data you don’t think you’ll need but you’re probably wrong and you probably will. Research shows 85 percent of archived data is accessed more than once a month, if not more frequently. If a file was created within the last two years, there’s an 80 percent chance someone will need to access it again.

In modern infrastructures that include cloud, multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, cloud to cloud, plus the standard local storage, data is going to be distributed across many locations, but you shouldn’t have to keep track of where that two-year-old file lives now in order to access it. Remember it’s not about the file is gone and we must restore it, it’s about fetching the file from its current location, wherever that may be. We’ve trained our software to fetch perfectly every time, no matter where the ball is thrown. (Sorry for the dog analogies; our office is big on dogs.)

Compliance-loaded organizations in heavily regulated industries also understand active archive all too well. Being subject to complex governance can be costly, yes, but the big picture is using the most strategic resource that is still cost-effective. Most retention regulations provide clear, granular requirements for data security and privacy, so Aparavi software allows you to set policies to meet those retention requirements along with built-in data protection processes. These features, along with the mobility between clouds and/or on-premises storage, means the data will be moved to the most strategic location.

And by “forever” we also mean “in the future when technology changes radically.” We’ve used an open data format so your data will always be readable and accessible. It’s yours. Forever.

We hope you’ll give us a try and see how we’ve made active archive in a modern IT environment as simple and stress-free as possible. I look forward to any feedback, or hey, just send us a picture of your dog.