I thought I would depart from the discussion of backup and VTL for a moment to address the other side of the backup, recovery, and archive coin: archive.
Here is the neat thing about archiving: it almost always makes sense. There is almost no situation in which (if you have a sufficiently large amount of data) archiving doesn't make financial sense. Even if you deduplicate all your backups, it is still usually better to archive it--that way you don't have to back it up at all!
By the way, the sufficiently large is just a caveat to ensure that we are not talking about solving a $5,000 problem with $4,000,000 worth of technology. Otherwise known as opening a mailbox with a hand grenade. And of course there is a second caveat here: the data has to be archived to a destination that doesn't require backup, by virtual of the technical characteristics of that destination. Centera fits that description. If there are other platforms that do (and that still make good sense--ummm, Plasmon, sit back down please, that doesn't mean you...) I will happily add them to my list.
With that said, archiving is really easy if you are doing it for email or file systems. Not quite shrink-wrap easy, but pretty close. And the payback can be in the 6-month range when you look at the ROI.
Yes, it really is that good. And no, I don't need to include a bunch of funny soft costs to get there!
Database archiving, on the other hand, can seem a little tougher, with the ROI a little less clear. To get us through the basics both in terms of why you would want to do it, how you would do it, and what is involved are a series of videos, is Jim Whalen. Take it away Jim:
And there you have it.