Enterprise archiving software is designed to assist in storing a company’s structured and unstructured data. By incorporating unstructured data (e.g., email messages and media files), enterprise information archiving software provides more complete archives of business data across the board. Data can be stored on premise with local data servers or on cloud servers, or using a hybrid of the two. These solutions are used throughout a business by any employee, since all teams should be archiving their data for, at minimum, auditing purposes. Data archiving software are typically implemented and maintained by a company’s data team, and they can be used by companies of any size.
While similar to a backup software solution, archiving solution handles the original data as opposed to a copy of that data. To qualify for the data archiving solutions category, a product must:
- Store both structured and unstructured data
- Provide data management options for archived data
- Protect access to archived data
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F.A.Q. about Archiving Software
What is Archiving Software?
Archiving Software supports enterprises in retaining and rapidly retrieving structured and unstructured data over time while complying with security standards and the like. File archiving may include images, messages (e.g. IMs, social media posts, etc.), emails, and content from web pages and social sites. Compliant data retention may require retaining data in its native form and context so that it can be understood.
Also called Enterprise Information Archiving (EIA), archiving software is designed to meet discovery requirements. That means that the archive must be searchable so that all stored data can be retrieved with context intact.
Archiving software is most commonly a requirement for banking institutions and governments. More stringent privacy laws means that EIA has become a concern for private corporations as well. Archiving software will contain features overlapping Enterprise Search, Data Governance and eDiscovery, and some features in common with ECM.
What’s the Difference: Backup vs Archive
Backups and archives serve different functions, yet it’s common to hear the terms used interchangeably in cloud storage.
A backup is a copy of your data that is made to protect against loss of that data. Typically, backups are made on a regular basis according to a time schedule or when the original data changes. The original data is not deleted, but older backups are often deleted in favor of newer backups.
The goal of a backup is to make a copy of anything in current use that can’t afford to be lost. A backup of a desktop or mobile device might include just the user data so that a previous version of a file can be recovered if necessary.
On these types of devices an assumption is often made that the OS and applications can easily be restored from original sources if necessary (and/or that restoring an OS to a new device could lead to significant corruption issues). In a virtual server environment, a backup could include.
An archive is a copy of data made for long-term storage and reference. The original data may or may not be deleted from the source system after the archive copy is made and stored, though it is common for the archive to be the only copy of the data.
In contrast to a backup whose purpose is to be able to return a computer or file system to a state it existed in previously, data archiving can have multiple purposes. An archiving system can provide an individual or organization with a permanent record of important papers, legal documents, correspondence, and other matters.
Often, archive program is used to meet information retention requirements for corporations and businesses. If a dispute or inquiry arises about a business practice, contract, financial transaction, or employee, the records pertaining to that subject can be obtained from the archive.
An archive is frequently used to ease the burden on faster and more frequently accessed data storage systems. Older data that is unlikely to be needed often is put on systems that don’t need to have the speed and accessibility of systems that contain data still in use. Archival storage systems are usually less expensive, as well, so a strong motivation is to save money on data storage.
Archives are often created based on the age of the data or whether the project the data belongs to is still active. Data archiving solutions might send data to an archive if it hasn’t been accessed in a specified amount of time, when it has reached a certain age, if a person is no longer with the organization, or the files have been marked for storage because the project has been completed or closed.