Should You Be Archiving? Here’s How to Know for Sure

By David Cerf

Active archiving is centered on the convergence of various storage technologies to create a balanced, accessible and affordable method for storing data long term. But, what if you don’t know how much of your data belongs in this “archive” category?  The truth is: the seemingly easiest method of use what you have, fill it up and buy more gets unnecessarily expensive. This is especially true if you’re using a high-performance storage array for data that doesn’t need those performance capabilities.  

While each company may define archive differently, here are a few common criteria for “archival” data:

  • Data is not accessed regularly
  • Data was created more than 1 year ago and has not been accessed in more than 90 days
  • Data has not been modified or accessed in more than 90 days

Sometimes companies simply don’t know how much data they have that should be archived. Fortunately, there are free tools like the storage assessment at that can help you answer this question by showing dynamic reports  and transparent views into the state of your storage environments.  

With detailed results on the active state of storage and the file make-up of active/inactive data,   assessment tools can help organizations understand how to free up their storage and avoid unnecessary upgrades and over-provisioning. It can help organizations save thousands of dollars each year and reduce operating and capital expenses.  

Why should end users think differently about their storage?

The Active Archive Alliance thinks there is a better option to meet the growing demand for storage. Data is growing faster than budgets, driving a need for more cost-effective storage and protection. While high-performance storage keeps line-of-business data and applications quickly available, up to 80% of data on primary storage is often inactive and doesn’t need to claim expensive storage capacity. Storage needs to be intelligently balanced between active and inactive data, on-site and off, and must meet both performance requirements and budgets. Active archiving can deliver intelligent storage management that combines tuneable, user-defined policies for capacity optimization (no more over-provisioning) and will:

  • Simplify nearline and archival storage management
  • Free up storage capacity 
  • Reduce backup
  • Simplify data protection
  • Protect long-term content
  • Improve storage costs by over 50%

Discover the benefits of reduced primary storage cost with automated data movement into an active archive solution that best fits your needs. Be sure to choose one that can transparently move files to your archive from primary storage like NetApp, Windows, Isilon and any CIFS/NFS or object storage.

Get started at for a free assessment to help you take control of your storage.