Cloud archiving reduces your company’s onsite data footprint, gives the ability to access a range of enterprise level services easily such as cloud archiving, spam filtering, data storage, web filtering, crm and much more. As well as the obvious advantage of a reduction in IT costs, there is also the reduced responsibility for housing one’s own data. Overall, there are a number of benefits for reducing ones onsite data footprint in this manner.

Is a Proprietary Device Necessary for Every Function?

For decades, companies purchased their own hardware and built facilities to house that. This was what was happening until Amazon AWS convinced business that it made more sense to make use of economies of scale by renting space on servers rather than acquiring their own. The reason that all this was possible; virtualization. VMware and Microsoft Hypervisor now allowed more than one operating system to run on one computer at a time. This, in turn, time-sliced the hardware among different applications and customers.  Standardization was also a big factor in driving the movement to the cloud, as networking and security professionals questioned the need to have a proprietary device for every function.

Not only does the price of hardware go down with cloud computing, software licenses are lower too. This is due to the cloud vendor having the ability to negotiate a better price than the average company plus usage-based billing matches up licensing fees more closely with actual usage. In addition to that, there is the need for fewer people to administer all these systems. Programmers and architects are still needed as ideas is what drives commerce. However, one single individual manning the control room at a cloud data center has tools that makes it far easier for him or her to administer many more machines per person than someone working in a smaller facility.

Cloud Vendors Employ Additional Resources Compared to an Average Company

Security is also boosted through archiving data and keeping live data in the cloud. Large corporations such as J.P. Morgan Bank, Target, eBay, and others have all been victims of hacker attacks. If some of the world’s largest companies can be affected by hackers, then what is to keep them from attacking and stealing smaller companies’ data? No cloud facility is not 100% secure, but a cloud vendor would suffer serious damage to their business if they were not on top of their security standards. Cloud vendors use multiple layers of security, eyes-on 24×7 monitoring, and analytics to stay a step ahead of the criminals. They can bring resources to the security task that the average company just can’t.

Another reason to reduce your onsite data footprint is to meet regulations. An example of this can be seen with SOX, which requires that you maintain an offsite, secure backup and archive. The offsite part of that is clear, but “secure” can have different interpretations. Encrypted data is the most secure data. Resting data and data in transit is encrypted by the cloud vendor. A hacker can only steal this data if they have compromised the encryption keys or managed to gain access to a machine’s memory, where the data is in clear text.

An Archive is Different to a Back-Up

Litigation, due diligence, and common sense shows that in addition to keeping data backups a data archive is necessary. If your data is stored in the cloud, this does not necessarily mean you have an archive, even if you are doing backups there. An archive is quite different from a backup. A backup can only be restored in its entirety. In contrast, an archive lets you restore and access only the items that you require. For example, if you have a lawsuit over a contract from 7 years ago, it would be almost impossible to restore transactions with your defendant without erasing the current production accounting system, which of course you cannot do. So, the archive is a type of journal that would let you bring back closed accounting periods on line. In simpler terms, old data is stored in archive format instead of native database backup format.

ArcTitan Email Archiving

ArcTitan has such a solution for email and eDiscovery. It allows email archiving for all email clients including Office 365, Google Docs, Exchange, Lotus and Zimbra to name but a few. Backing up PST files is one way to solve your business’ eDisocvery requirements. However, a far better method would be to make individual emails readily accessible by firm’s attorneys or executives. ArcTitan allows Office 365, Google Docs, Exchange, Lotus, Zimbra, and other email users retrieve emails from the archive. For clients that use Outlook, the user can query mail that has been moved to the archive within Outlook. Clients using web or mobile too can use plain English-type queries to search for items in the archive, even without bringing them back online or having to engage with someone from IT. Once what they are searching for is brought up, the parties to the lawsuit, or whoever is looking for instructions they wrote 3 years ago, can then simply choose to restore individual mail.

In summary, moving data to the cloud reduces costs and boosts security. But it is worth noting that data is not the same as backup and backup is not the same as an archive. A company can reduce its onsite footprint and eliminate any possibility of lost mail through implementing a full cloud-based email archiving system in addition to archiving other types of data to the cloud.