Data archiving is the process of moving data that is no longer actively used to a separate storage device for long-term retention. Archive data consists of older data that is still important to the organization and may be needed for future reference, as well as data that must be retained for regulatory compliance.


Data archives are indexed and have search capabilities so files and parts of files can be easily located and retrieved.The greatest benefit of archiving data is that it reduces the cost of primary storage. Primary storage is typically expensive because a storage array must produce a sufficient level of IOPS to meet operational requirements for user read / write activity.


In contrast, archive storage costs less because it is typically based on a low-performance, high-capacity storage medium. Archive storage also reduces the volume of data that must be backed up. Removing infrequently accessed data from the backup data set improves backup and restore performance, and lowers secondary storage costs.