Backing Up Archived Files

Archiving and backing up data are different operations:

  • Archiving is when you make a copy of a data set for long-term preservation of the system, with no regard to the state of the system.
  • Backing up is when you make a copy of a data set with the express goal of system recovery in case of failure.

Preserving the integrity of archived data and the corresponding indexes is critical. Like all electronic data, archived data is subject to risks unless properly managed with respect to integrity and recoverability. Indexes can be rebuilt from the source data (i.e., archives), but if source data is destroyed, it cannot be regenerated from the indexes.

The following four data types have to be backed up:

  • Indexes, stored as .XML
  • Email, stored as .XML
  • Attachments, or ATT, stored in their native formats
  • Audits, or ADT, stored as .XML
  • System configurations, stored as LDAP

When considering the various data backup solutions available for protecting archived data, you must consider the following:

  • Data type
  • Volume of data
  • Required backup frequency
  • Recovery requirements.

For example, audit files consist of millions of small documents and require an appropriate tool designed to handle them. The average user sends and receives approximately 7,500 messages per year, and in a company with 1,000 users, this amounts to over 7.5 million messages per year. This all needs to be taken into consideration.