Data Archival and Data Retention


Data archival and data retention are the two most important phases of the data management lifecycle. Data archival is the process of storing that part of your data, which has not been in use for a very long time, but it is important to keep a track of that data so that you can refer to it in future whereas data retention is the process of keeping or retaining any data for a specified amount of time. In this article, we will talk about the need of data archival and data retention, the comparison between data archival and data backup, the benefits of data archiving and finally, we will talk a little about Virtual Tape Library.

What is the Need for Data Archival and Data Retention?

Every IT organization has its own rules and regulations regarding data management. However, at times, it is incorporated in the official policies of an organization to keep a record of the unused data so that you can refer to it whenever it is needed. The archived data is mostly kept on a low-cost storage medium. In this way, it reduces the overall storage cost. Moreover, separation of archived data from the frequently used data also reduces the backup costs of your important data. Data retention refers to the time period for which the archived data is kept by an organization. The retention period should be sufficient enough to meet the archival regulations of the organization.

Comparison between Data Archival and Data Backup:

Many times, data archival and data backup terminologies are confused with each other and people often use them interchangeably. However, these two terminologies are quite different from each other. Let us try to draw a distinction between them. As already stated in this article, data archival is the process of keeping a track of the data that is not accessed frequently whereas data backup is the process of making a copy of your important data so that you can restore it in case the original data is lost or corrupted.

Benefits of Data Archiving:

The benefits of archiving the data are as follows:

  • Reduced Size of Data: When you keep your frequently and infrequently accessed data separated, then the size of your database will automatically reduce.
  • Lesser Backup Time: You only need to back up your frequently used data so backup time will also reduce because of data archiving.
  • Quicker Response Time: The response time of any server or website is directly related to the amount of data that resides there. When there will be lesser data, the response time will reduce proportionally.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Since data is archived over a low-cost storage medium so overall storage cost will reduce.
  • Prevention of Data Loss: You can escape data loss because of accidental deletion if you have already archived your data.  

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