Archive. The word means different things to different people.
Some view it as a practice aimed at preserving data for appropriate periods of time (as defined by business and/or regulatory requirements) and in a resilient and cost-efficient way.
Others see it as a huge bother. They note the absence of uniform technology standards or agreement between platform vendors, the infighting between vendors of different storage media types (and their paid analyst mouthpieces), the conflation of archive concepts and processes with those of data backup and data protection, and a myriad of other issues that make doing archiving no fun at all.
The purpose of this blog and the community that it supports is to improve the general appreciation of the value of archiving and to evaluate some of the component technologies that are useful to archivists who are interested in managing data throughout its lifecycle.
Archive should be a retention pool for data that isn't accessed or modified very frequently. In addition to providing a reasonably-priced location for storing inactive bits, an archive should also provide the means for rapid search and retrieval of data as well as appropriate data protection and security/privacy services.
Archiving requires professional discipline if it is to be done correctly. From the decisions regarding what types of technologies to use to create the archival platform, to the choices around who should define policies for data preservation, to the best practices for managing archives over time, controlling access to data, limiting data editing, and many other issues, archive is not simple or easy. Vendors claiming to offer an out-of-the-box plug-and-play solution are pulling our collective leg.
Still, given the current rates of data growth and the on-going evolution of standards on data stewearship, data preservation and archiving best practices need to be defined and vendor solutions need to be evaluated. Here is where the community of interest in archive at DMI will take on the challenge. Please offer your insights and comment (constructively) on the insights posted by others. Together, we can improve the collective wisdom around archiving.