Compliance only ‘third priority’ as archiving driver

By | October 4, 2006

Regulatory compliance has been reduced to third place as a priority driving archiving plans. The top two priorities are now data growth and disaster recovery/business continuity, the second annual BridgeHead Software Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) Audit shows.

To the question ´Which factors are driving the need for archiving in your organisation?´, 58% of respondents cite ´regulatory compliance´, compared to 62% for data growth and a whopping 70% for disaster recovery/business continuity.

Average primary storage data volumes have continued to grow, with 7% more respondents reporting volume of more than five terabytes (TB), and a corresponding fall in respondents reporting volumes less than 5TB. At the top end, almost 60% more respondents than in 2005 report primary storage data volumes of more than 15TB – up from 7% to 11% of all respondents. It seems likely that the need to deal with such increases explains why ´data growth´ has been a greater driver for archiving than compliance.

Such results from 2006 bear out predictions from the 2005 research. Then, respondents gave the strong impression that archiving was on their agenda and the benefits in terms of compliance and other regulations were being recognised: 49% agreed they would be looking at email archiving over the coming twelve months and 43% at file archiving. In 2006, these figures have risen to 57% (up 8%) and 55% (up 12%) respectively.

The choice of archiving media highlights some interesting statistics. In the UK, tape as an archive medium is used by 72% of respondents (down1% from 2005). In the US, however, tape shows a new lease of life with 77% of 2006 respondents citing its use, up 16% from 2005. Disk remains unchanged at 48% and optical rises 4% from 22% to 26%.

An almost universally held opinion is that archive data volumes will continue to rise, with almost no one predicting a fall. In 2005, ´don´t know´ was the response of an astonishing one third of respondents, a figure that has now fallen to just over a fifth.

Archiving and backup address different business problems. The purpose of backup is to create copies of the online environment that can be recovered rapidly in the event of failure or data loss. Backup is oriented towards storing and moving large amounts of data and it does not purport to make data in backup savesets immediately available. The purpose of archiving is to provide an alternate, secure place for data that must be kept for long periods of time.

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