How to Plan and Create an Effective Data Archival Strategy

Data archives hold data that is not accessed frequently and used for referencing. Learn best practices for planning, creating and maintaining your data archive.

Table of Contents:

What is a Data Archive?

Data archives are storage solutions designed to house rarely accessed or modified organizational data. Businesses rely on data archives to store records of their operations to protect the organization from legal threats or to comply with industry regulations.

Data archives store emails, messages on platforms like Slack or Teams, office memos, blueprints, reports, and other operational data from the organization. But not all of this data is archived; if it’s in current usage or frequently accessed, the information is kept within the rest of the storage media. But after time, when these are not necessary for the business operations, the business may move them to the archive. Enterprises often have clear policies on what data is archived and when they’re moved to the archive instead of their regular storage solutions.

The idea behind data archives is to lower the total storage costs for the business. Since the data is not retrieved often and there’s typically no urgent need to access it, the business can use low-cost storage mediums for data archives. They may not have the speed of other storage mediums and it may take some time to access the data archives. But they are usually an acceptable compromise./p>

They’re similar to data backups in that they both store operational data. But data backups are used to store data in use to prevent business outages while data archives store information that’s rarely accessed.

Modern digital and cloud-based data archives evolved from the paper records that businesses used to store in designated rooms. While they’re commonly used to defend against lawsuits, of late, enterprises have been leveraging this data for business analysis.

What Are the Advantages of Cloud-based Archiving?

Cloud-based archiving solutions offer several advantages to enterprises. Here are a few:

Lower storage costs

One of the goals of data archives is to reduce storage costs for the organization. For this purpose, companies may use low-cost low-speed storage solutions. Even then, building an on-premise data archiving solution is expensive. Organizations must invest in hardware and update and maintain them. They will also need designated teams to manage this, another expense.

With cloud-based archiving, organizations don’t have to make huge investments in archive hardware. Cloud-based archives also require fewer human resources to maintain them and reduce the overall cost of storage for enterprises.

Long-term data retention

Data archives are designed to keep unused or rarely accessed data for a long time. During this period, there must be no data loss due to hardware failure or disaster events.

Cloud-based data archives are built with multiple redundancies and high durability specifications. Cloud vendors design their data archives to be accessible even in the event of hardware failure. For most organizations, building such a data archive solution using on-premise hardware would be prohibitively expensive.


One of the main selling points of cloud computing or cloud storage is that it is easy to scale. The same is true for cloud-based archives. As an organization grows, its data volume grows proportionally, and so do its archiving requirements.

With an on-premise data archiving solution, the organization will struggle to scale as the storage needs grow. For instance, if a healthcare firm faces a sudden influx of patients, it will struggle to scale its data archives to keep up with the sudden increase in patient files.

With cloud-based data archiving, scaling up storage is often a matter of a couple of clicks from the organization’s perspective.

Data can be accessed easily

Traditionally data archives were stored in low-performance storage like hard drives, disk tapes, or optical storage devices. While this reduced the cost, data was difficult to access. Organizations could use high-performance solutions, but they incur more expenses.

With cloud-based data archives, organizations can comb through their entire data archive relatively easily and quickly. Cloud-based data archive solutions often offer high-speed retrieval at low costs.

Get Best-in-Class Data Archiving Solutions with Lyve™ Cloud

Lyve Cloud has one of the best data-archiving solutions for organizations in just about every industry. Here’s what enterprises get with data archiving solutions from Lyve:

Best-in-class security and availability

Lyve cloud is designed with security from the ground up—from hardware and infrastructure to software and processes. The platform is ISO 27000 and SOC2 certified and complies with standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Lyve cloud encrypts data at rest and in flight and uses TLS 1.2 with 256-bit encryption. On the server side, users can opt for encryption with user-provided keys or using the Lyve Cloud key management system. Lyve cloud uses hardware validated by Federal Information Processing Standards for its underlying infrastructure.

With Lyve, organizations get data archiving solutions with the highest-grade security and availability.

Reduced and stable TCO

Lyve cloud promises up to 70% reduced TCO with its storage solutions. The solution offers transparent and predictable billing with no hidden charges or egress fees. Lyve doesn’t have any fees for APIs either.

Lyve cloud allows organizations to build data archives that won’t get expensive over time. The platform offers stable TCO and lets businesses make long-term storage plans.

Lyve Cloud is also infrastructure and vendor agnostic, meaning businesses can choose options that work best for them. If at a later stage organization wants to move to a private cloud or switch vendors, they can migrate easily without any vendor lock-in or other challenges.

Predictable capacity-based pricing with no hidden fees

When building a data archive infrastructure with Lyve cloud, organizations don’t have to worry about the prices increasing over time and rendering the solution inaccessible. Enterprises only pay for what they use and won’t have their budgets disrupted by surprises at the end of billing cycles.

Top Data Archival Strategies

Data archiving is not just about storing unused data; it's a part of mitigating the risks the organization faces and optimizing the associated costs. Here are some of the top data archival strategies:

Select a data archive product for your business

Different businesses and organizations haveindividual data archiving requirements. to build the most effective and efficient data archive, the organization should choose a data archive product that works best for them.

Some organizations may need to access their data more frequently than others. Even within a single organization, different departments or data sets may have specific archive requirements.

Organizations may also be bound by regulatory requirements setting the archive standards. They may have specific standards that determine the level of availability, durability, redundancy, and other criteria for their archives.

Businesses should consider these requirements before choosing their storage solution.

Specify a comprehensive archiving policy

To create an effective data archive, organizations need a detailed and comprehensive archiving policy. Instead of just storing all the data, organizations need well-defined goals and metrics for their archive. If it's for being compliant with industry regulations, they should define what a compliant data archive would look like.

Based on these goals the enterprise should define what data must be stored, for how long, and how they will be collected. The business will also have to decide how often these data would be accessed and how quickly, as well as security and data loss standards.

Once the business has a clear picture of what data it needs to archive, it will have to set up mechanisms to collect, store, and at the end of its life, dispose of the data.

As the next step, the business can choose the different storage solutions suited for these data types. Ideally, the data archiving policy must fit into the organization’s overall data management strategy.

Keep the archive safe from tampering and loss

Data archives are about mitigating the risks associated with data loss within an organization. If the archived data is stored or tampered with this effort will be of no use.

When choosing a data storage system, make sure it keeps the data secure and safe. Many industry regulations mandate security standards for data archives which can attract significant penalties for failure to comply.

Ensure that your data archiving policy covers the safety and security of your data as well.

Collaborate with Seagate for All Your Data Storage and Management Needs

Seagate is the industry leader in data storage and management solutions. Its products and services are designed to cover the storage requirements of businesses from almost all industries. They are built to simplify data management processes, optimize the associated costs, and create a solution that just works for them.

Seagate empowers businesses to achieve their data management goals with the fewest resources. Collaborate with Seagate to build data storage and management solutions that work for you.