A Smarter Way to Archive

Michael Vizard

Let's face it, while archiving data is important, few really want to do it.


Part of the problem, of course, is just putting all pieces together to build an archiving system. After all, pulling together all the archiving tools for files and e-mail, coupled with some e-discovery tools, can be daunting. So most IT departments would rather just skip it. After all, it's not like the archiving system is contributing to the company's bottom line. But archiving exists because of compliance requirements imposed by outside agencies and government.


To address this issue, IBM has been pushing a turnkey archiving system, called Smart Archive, that pulls all the components together in a single system that is easy to deploy. According to Laurence Leong, program director for archive and governance in IBM's Enterprise Content Management group, rather than addressing only a piece of the archiving puzzle, customers need to take a more holistic approach to the problem. Only then can they not only reduce the amount of time it takes to deploy an end-to-end archiving solution, they can start thinking about automating the whole process. In addition, Leong notes that an end-to-end approach also creates a more cohesive process for data deduplication. So rather than relying on backup and recovery software to create an archive, IBM argues that a dedicated archiving system is the best and least-painful way to go about it.

Leong argues that while there are many best-of-breed point solutions that can add a lot of interesting nuances to the archiving process, the primary job at hand for many IT organizations is just finding a simple way to get the job done. Of course, there are many integrators that will happily build you a state-of-the-art archiving system. But IBM is bettting that its system is just as good and a lot easier to buy and deploy. So Leong says the real question is whether you really want to spend your time building an archiving system or to use that time to find more ways to automate the archiving process so you can get on with more interesting things that add value to the business.

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