I’m back with the next installment on ideas for helping you to reduce the amount of storage capacity you need for an ever-increasing amount of data, and the amount of time you spend managing it. The last chapter covered transparently automating the migration of data from primary storage to secondary systems. An extension of this thought is archiving.
Archiving is another important data reduction technique for certain types of data. One example of this would be financial reporting data (such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual data), that needs to be retained for future trending, requirements or auditing, but does not need to consume valuable disk space where live data should reside. Historical medical records and customer statements also often fit into this category.
Archiving is for long-term record retention. It differs from backup in that it keeps files for a specific amount of time (where backup keeps a certain number of versions of a file) while removing the data from the primary production storage systems completely.
Key features of IBM archiving solutions include:
- Long-term storage on cost-effective media.
- Point-in-time copies that provide revision history and enable auditability.
- Data deduplication to remove redundant copies of data.
- Retention period and “retention hold” policy enforcement.
- Fast expiration processing.
Using IBM archiving solutions for records retention can help you:
- Speed file-server recovery times by moving archived files and file archive copies to a hierarchy of lower-cost storage.
- Reduce backup times and resource usage by focusing on active files only.
- Locate historical information easily using archived files that are indexed with descriptive metadata.
IBM offers a choice of solutions for archiving, depending on customer preferences and the applications involved.
Tivoli Storage Manager 6 includes an archiving capability directly integrated into its client backup software. It is policy based, allowing the administrator to set retention times. If the requirement for how long a file must be retained changes, all the administrator has to do is update the policy, and the solution will retroactively update the already archived files; there is no need to restore and re-archive, as some competitive offerings require. Tivoli Storage Manager also offers the option of integrating data from many different applications into your archive repository, and the archive repository can be a virtualized pool of heterogeneous storage systems.
IBM Information Archive, which contains a specialized version of Tivoli Storage Manager called IBM System Storage™ Archive Manager, is a standalone archive appliance that ingests data directly from more than 40 applications including messaging, healthcare and medical imaging, design and engineering, document management, and others.
Database archiving with IBM Optim and Tivoli Storage Manager
IBM Optim™ Data Growth Solution is a unique database archiving solution that transparently migrates unneeded records from database tables to secondary storage. Like Tivoli Storage Manager’s space management and archive solutions, Optim provides database and storage administrators with a range of cost and performance benefits.
There are also benefits to using Tivoli Storage Manager in conjunction with Optim, which works seamlessly with Tivoli Storage Manager’s application program interface (API) to move archived database records directly into Tivoli Storage Manager’s storage hierarchy.
Optim can also be used with other file-based backup/restore products; however, this involves a two-step process to first archive the data and then back it up. When used with Tivoli Storage Manager, Optim automatically archives database records and then uses the API to store/archive data in a Tivoli Storage Manager storage pool hierarchy. With any other file-based backup/restore product, Optim uses standard file operations to store/archive data in a disk-based file system, and then the backup product can backup the file to supported backup media.
Using Optim and Tivoli Storage Manager together allows you to:
- Archive data directly to disk or tape or have Optim use Tivoli Storage Manager to automatically migrate it to tape.
- Back up Optim archive data incrementally to a Tivoli Storage Manager storage pool that can be managed by Tivoli Storage Manager for local availability, disaster recovery or remote vaulting.
To learn more, please visit the Data Reduction Solutions web page and stay tuned for chapter 7, where we’ll talk about data deduplication and compression as the next options in an effective, holistic approach to reducing your overall data storage footprint.
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