Data Archiving: Efficiently Managing and Storing Historical Data 

March 26, 2024

Iterative data management is essential to maintain a well-performing, dynamic database that helps you achieve your goals. Data archiving is an aspect of data management that is often overlooked and has powerful implications. When performed consistently, data archiving can aid in enhancing efficiency, decreasing cost, and improving database performance.  

In this blog, develop a deeper understanding of data archiving techniques and potential solutions to improve your environment. Looking for other optimization techniques? Read our blog on minimizing downtime with proactive strategies.  

What is archived data? 

Archived data is no longer essential data that can be moved into storage systems and out of production. Should the need arrive, the data can be brought back into service. Curating data sets by managing historical data supports a high performing database. Database optimization is affected by a variety of factors, including strong data archiving practices.  

Common Challenges 

While essential data differs from company to company, similar challenges arise from improper data archiving. Work with your team to define what data is essential and when data can be archived appropriately for your database needs. An efficient data management solution can address common challenges, which include:  

  1. Appropriate Scalability: Failure to implement regular data archiving practices can result in databases being improperly scaled. Extraneous historical data that has accumulated without proper archiving can cause databases to become bloated with extraneous historical data. leading to inefficiency. Ineffective scaling can negatively affect system performance, inflate storage costs, and hinder your business’ ability to quickly adapt.  
  1. Confronting Compliance: Organizations who fail to implement effective data archiving practices may struggle when faced with regulatory compliance requirements. Industries that are subject to strict data retention polices that mandate secure storage and timely disposal of sensitive information are especially impacted by compliance requirements. Failing to adhere to these regulations can result in legal penalties, reputational damage, and loss of customer trust. Implementing robust data archiving techniques better ensures remaining compliant with relevant laws and industry standards, safeguarding sensitive data and mitigating compliance risks. 
  1. Performance Issues: In addition to reduced scalability and compliance risks, inadequate data archiving can lead to performance issues within database systems. As databases accumulate large volumes of historical data over time, query processing and data retrieval speeds may significantly degrade. This can impact critical business operations, causing delays in decision-making, reduced productivity, and diminished customer satisfaction. By implementing effective data archiving techniques, organizations can optimize database performance, streamline data access, and maintain responsiveness even as data volumes grow. 

Benefits of Data Archiving 

Improving your data management strategy can help combat some common challenges that plague databases. While data archiving is a powerful technique to support strong performance, database health is a complex puzzle with many factors that affect performance. Explore potential benefits data archiving can have for your environment: 

  1. Performance Improvement: Performance issues arise when database systems experience degraded speed, responsiveness, or reliability due to factors such as inefficient data storage, excessive data volume, or suboptimal query processing. Data archiving plays a crucial role in optimizing database performance by removing obsolete or rarely accessed data from active systems. By offloading historical data to secondary storage, organizations can improve query performance, reduce storage overhead, and maintain the responsiveness of their database systems, ensuring efficient data access and retrieval. 
  1. Reducing Unnecessary Costs: Data archiving enables cost savings by optimizing storage resources and reducing the infrastructure requirements associated with maintaining large volumes of historical data in active databases. By offloading infrequently accessed or obsolete data to secondary storage tiers, organizations can minimize the storage footprint of their primary databases. This reduces the need for expensive high-performance storage solutions, lowering infrastructure costs and total cost of ownership. Organizations can free up valuable storage space on their primary databases by archiving historical transactional data that is required for compliance purposes but rarely accessed. This adjustment can help to potentially avoid the need to invest in additional storage hardware or cloud resources. 
  1. Increasing Informed Decision Making: Data archiving enhances visibility into historical data assets, enabling organizations to analyze past trends, patterns, and performance metrics to inform strategic decision-making. By maintaining access to archived data in a structured and easily retrievable format, organizations can gain insights into historical business activities, customer behaviors, and market dynamics. This facilitates data-driven decision-making, allowing stakeholders to identify emerging opportunities, mitigate risks, and optimize business processes. Armed with these insights, the organization can adjust strategies to maximize profitability and increase customer satisfaction.  

Exploring Data Archiving Solutions 

The importance of data archiving for your database perfomance cannot be ignored. Discovering the right solution for your environment can be a daunting task. Explore a few potential solutions that could benefit your data strategy: 

  1. Tiered storage: Tiered storage involves categorizing data based on its frequency of access and importance, then storing it on different tiers of storage media accordingly. Frequently accessed or critical data resides on high-performance storage tiers, while less frequently accessed or less critical data is moved to lower-cost, lower-performance storage tiers. Tiered storage is beneficial for organizations with diverse data access patterns and varying storage requirements. It allows them to allocate resources more efficiently by prioritizing high-performance storage for mission-critical data and leveraging cost-effective storage solutions for archival purposes.  
  1. Automated Archiving Processes: This technique involves the use of software tools and scripts to streamline the archival process, from identifying eligible data for archiving to migrating it to designated archival storage repositories. Automation can help to reduce manual intervention, minimize human error, and ensure consistent adherence to archiving policies and schedules. Automated archiving is ideal for organizations dealing with large-scale data environments or complex data retention requirements. It benefits organizations where massive volumes of data are generated continuously, and stringent regulatory mandates necessitate timely and accurate data archiving. Additionally, organizations with limited IT resources can leverage automation to efficiently manage their data archiving workflows with minimal manpower. 
  1. Integration with Cloud Storage Solutions: Integration with cloud storage solutions involves leveraging cloud-based platforms and services for data archiving purposes. Cloud storage can provide scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. These benefits allowi organizations to offload archival data to secure, offsite cloud repositories while retaining accessibility and data integrity. Integration with cloud storage is advantageous for organizations seeking scalable and cost-efficient data archiving solutions. Organizations with distributed or remote workforce can leverage cloud-based archiving to ensure seamless access to archived data from any location, enhancing collaboration and productivity. 

A robust data management strategy should include appropriate data archiving protocols for your environment. From efficiency to customer satisfaction, data archiving can have wide-reaching implications for your business. Ready to talk strategy? Reach out to our expert team today.