back to article You must remember: An archive isn't a thing, it's a strategy

The biggest asset your organisation has is its data. And since IT is a world of compromises and paradoxes, the thing you have to work hardest to manage is...your organisation's data. The task of data management is a big one. First you have to purchase or rent somewhere to put it – buy storage or run up a cloud repository. Then …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SQL database dumps…

    I trust nothing less than a plaintext SQL script dump of the database.

    Something of the style generated by mysqldump or pg_dump. Then you've got the data in a format that the database is likely to natively understand, or failing that, you should be able to restore with some mild tweaking with regular expression search-and-replace.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Well, I'm a bit old fashioned and I start with requirements"

    Me too ("Well, I'm a bit old fashioned and I start with requirements")

    Many moons ago the Roman army had a policy of "decimation" for major failures. This meant that 1 in 10 soldiers were chosen by ballot and killed. Nowadays the term decimation is generally misused, especially as "decimated".

    In my company I decimate documentation areas when I see them getting bloated and inappropriately used. I don't know what the correct term for 100% is (unimate??) but that has been applied as well.

    I'm old fashioned as well but I apply fixes to problems and not sticky plasters.



    1. fandom

      Re: "Well, I'm a bit old fashioned and I start with requirements"

      Nope, they had a policy called "decimatio", "decimation" is a English word that means something else.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Restore your archive?

    It seems you agree that treating archives like backups is fundamentally bad, yet you speak of restores and backup files as the solution. This implies the value of the data is severely low and your only keeping it because your required to before deleting it.

    Data does have value, but sometimes we're not entirely sure on what to do with it right now. Removing friction to access data is paramount and bothering ye olde storage admin to restore an "archive" each time a data scientist wants to extract some value isn't "frictionless".

    You're on to something regarding the use of open formats, but imagine if that "index" was full-text searchable and all of the data was immediately accessible (not bungled in some proprietary backup file). This removes friction to use the data and at the same time liberates staff from tending to 10+ year old legacy hardware and software stacks "just in case".

  4. Anonymous Coward

    #1 Asset

    I must respectively disagree as I've found that the people, and their "human capital," are an organization's most valuable asset. Even with the finest knowledge stores (e.g. wikis, documents) in the universe, you'll take a significant, more probably fatal hit to the organization. As an example, part of any real DR plan includes ways of protecting your workers in the face of epidemics and similar threats.

    With that out of the way, great list! Definitely something to drag out at least once a quarter to make sure you aren't going to sandbag either yourself or, especially, your successors. Everywhere I've worked my eventual rotation to another site, promotion, or the temporary nature of the gig was front and center. I tried to make sure that was a feature not something to drag my or my co-workers feet over. And I've certainly lived the media/file format wars! My first disk drive was a removable 30 MB platter on the University's IBM 30/30 MB Fixed/Removable "Winchester" disk pack. Front loading 25,000+ punch cards once is surely a goal to strive for!

    I know that today, given a 12 TB array with two copies on that, one more local copy on 2+ hard drives, and 6 TB removable hard drives off-site, is not anywhere near an "ideal" solution. I really need tape for the secure storage site's copy, but damn it have you priced tape drives? Cheaper to buy more hard drives and store them in something resilient (that storage facility is climate controlled already). Also far easier to do the format conversions then recycle the drives through. Even the 100 pristine Blu-Ray Disc's I've got aren't up to the job. My experience with CD/DVD-ROM's demonstrated that, that with recovery records too.

    Ignore my carping... <mutter>...<mutter>. Need ----> Lotsa ---->

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