In some ways, archiving online data is easier than archiving paper records. The storage is more compact and the data is more easily searched. Yet online archival still presents challenges for organizations. Without proper management, searching the data can be a lengthy, expensive process. Plus, the data can simply continue to amass, with records kept long after they're needed, adding to the cost and complexity of maintaining the archives.
Cloud archival services offer an alternative to the massive data dumps maintained on tapes and kept in off-site vaults. Cloud archives are easier to access than those tapes, allowing faster, more complete retrieval that meets compliance requirements while providing data security.
Most cloud archival services don't just load data and file it away, as offsite tape backups do. They build a database of metadata about the archived files, meaning they can be easily searched. The metadata and the data itself are secured from unauthorized access and unauthorized alteration. The services also ensure that the data is backed up and covered by a disaster recovery process.
General and Special Purpose Cloud Archival Solutions
Some vendors offer cloud-based services for archiving specific applications, such as email. With some vendors, the entire email service may move to the cloud. Other vendors let the client keep their local email infrastructure and use journaling to copy the messages and metadata.
Veritas Enterprise Vault.cloud offers cloud archiving with sophisticated search features and isn't limited to email. The service archives multiple sources of data, including Office 365, Skype, SharePoint. Search and workflow features provide support for e-discovery, and retention policies ensure that data isn't stored longer than legally required.
Data can also be archived in general-purpose cloud environments, like those from Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS storage solutions include Glacier, which offers low-cost storage. Retrieving data can require several hours, though expedited service enables retrieval within minutes. Amazon's Simple Storage Service provides another option for archiving data.
Choosing Your Cloud Archival Strategy
There are several factors to consider when selecting your cloud archiving vendor. The security of your data in the cloud is of critical importance. Data should be encrypted; encryption is even more secure if you, and not the vendor, manage the encryption keys. Regulatory compliance is critical.
Other major concerns are the ease of getting your data into the cloud and the ease of retrieving it when you need it. This means exploring the tools for data discovery and the tools for data migrations.
Lastly, of course, cost can't be ignored when making your decision.
Make a Smart Decision About Cloud Archiving
dcVAST can help you evaluate all the factors to help you successfully archive and manage your data in the cloud. We have expertise in all the Veritas products, and offer managed Enterprise Vault services to ensure data is properly archived. We also offer managed Amazon Web Services and can help you make sense of the many services available on AWS to choose the right solutions. Contact us to talk about the challenges you face managing your archived data and how our services can help keep you in compliance.