Business processes generate lot of data in the form of emails and files over the period of operation. Data archiving is one of the processes that are dedicated to making resources more ‘available’ for the running operations. The archiving of data involves moving of files, which are of no longer in use but can be useful for some reason in future, to a remote or additional storage solution. Imagine a basement with old files; the archiving software is analogous to that offline arrangement. Archiving helps the user to retrieve old files which may be required to solve certain operational issues or for compliance checks. To know how file archiving works, check it out.
The importance of archiving the files
Why file archiving is considered an important activity in organizations? If this answer is looming over your mind too, here is the explanation. Imagine your mailbox inundated with mails pertaining to daily activities. There are always certain mails which were important to one project only. But, when you need moving to other projects, your overstuffed mailbox can be a source of concern for you. The common problems you face because of not archiving the files are:
- Your current storage solution runs out of space
- You may not be able to locate the files which are important to you in such deluge of mails
So, one of the main functions archiving carries out is that of making the important files more accessible to the user. Having said this, you might not want to lose an important thread that was created in the project that you just completed. You may need that thread to find out the accountability of stake holders of the project, or sometimes to create a work process based on the method adopted. Thus, archiving files helps you store information in such a manner that it can be accessed the easiest way when it is required. It is also essential for distributing information to the next set of users. Thus, instead of saving files on an employee’s laptop, more fruitful solution will be to save it using an archiving solution that makes the information accessible to all important entities of the organization.
Another important function of file archiving is realized in compliance checks. Every organization needs to be run by a certain rules set by industry standards. The compliance checks are more important when the work surrounds public interest or finance. The audit teams need archived data to check the compliance of the processes with the set standards. In case of any mishap, it is the archived data that helps nab the culprit.
How archiving the files works
When the archiving of files is done, the software moves older files which are lying unused for quite some time to a number of target storage solutions. The destination storage can be a server, a folder or simply a sharing too. In the process, the links are left behind and permissions for the access are also managed to set the usage and access guide for the future stakeholders. All this is done through UNC paths.
By doing so, the user does not lose the control over the archived files as all important criteria are pre-set by the user only at the time of archiving. The important criteria are:
- Last accessed
- Type of file
- Size of file
- Types of links that leave the trail of the file
The archiving process also includes NTFS attributes and important permissions. The idea behind this is to create a mirror view of the archive storage and apply it on the live directory structure of the current file system. This is done automatically by the file archiver and eventually makes it easy for the user to familiarize with the archive system.
Post archiving operations
Apart from creating the mirror view of the archiving system, a few maintenance jobs are also carried out as a part of archiving process. These maintenance jobs include synchronizing the permission between the current and the archive file storage system. The most recently used file is also sent back to the current file system from the archive so that the information crucial for the operations of the present project or organizational process is not lost.
Configuring the file archiver
Setting up the archiving system is an automated process. The user just requires clicking a few buttons to complete the process. The main steps include:
- Installation of file archiver like ArchiverFS on the current Windows OS. The installation is done using a setup guide where the user just agrees to the steps being carried out to complete the installation. The whole process takes about half an hour or less.
- You decide certain characteristics of the archive files such as source of the files, target location of archives and other attributes like type and size, to name a few.
- Once done, the process of maintenance ensues. The maintenance may take as long as one day. During the process, the permissions are synchronized, the missing links are tracked down and final integrity checks are carried out.
- Getting rid of completely redundant or obsolete files: The archiving does not mean that the whole lot of files is transferred to the new location. There is some intelligence involved in the process too. For instance, those files which are found to be totally redundant and are almost at the end of their lives are deleted or backed up as per the user discretion. The links of such files from the current directory system are also removed in the process.
Thus, archiving files is more or less similar to cleaning the file system. The user practices and process requirements sometimes create lot of mess, which needs automatic handling to ensure that the system is not overloaded or being abused. Archiving helps clean the mess and offers a safer and traceable site for storing the files which can be needed. You can relate the process with that of updating the wardrobe. To know about the other processes involved in file archiving, click here.