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Someone asked me 'Is sharePoint an archive solution'. I wasnt too sure how to answer this one. Currently SP is being used to host collaboration documents.

I know sharepoint can but should SP be used to store managed documents for archival purposes for long durations of time, access would be very occasional and probably for the regulators ?

The things I need to consider are:

  1. hardware storage costs of SP verses network drives cost

  2. ability to access in many years to come

  3. ability to access correct information

Any views and personal experiences would help (and so would any useful links)?

Thanks

2 Answers 2

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When it comes to archiving there are multiple manners to achieve your result:

  1. If you have cheap storage within your Storage device (SATA Drives normally used for File Shares etc), you can attach LUNS to your SQL Server and store the archiving database on this so called cheap storage. When a document or doc lib is being archived by RMS or you are archiving complete Doc Libs you can move them to another Site Collection that resides within the cheap Storage device. It saves a lot of storage on your high performance disks within your storage device.

  2. You can use utils like DocAve File Share Navigator or DocAve Connector. There are two possibilities around here. Check the options that are available. I wouldn't recommend FileStream provider because the manageability is harder then the above utils.

Regards

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  • Cheap storage seems to be a valid option, but what is RMS? Feb 2, 2015 at 9:07
  • @OrangeJuice RMS stands for Record Management Services. Feb 2, 2015 at 12:22
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I have worked as a consultant for few data archiving companies. I have implemented SharePoint solutions for archiving but it was always only one part of the SharePoint solution and it used an external data store not the SharePoint DB.

  1. SharePoint uses SQL to store its files. Generally this is expensive disk space. There are RBS solutions that allow you to tier your storage meaning frequently used items are on fast expensive disks and archived or less accessed items are demoted to less expensive storage. This can be based on various rules depending on the RBS provider.
  2. SharePoint is a rapidly evolving product. It is relatively expensive to maintain (assuming on prem here) and if it is just used as an archive it may be prohibitively expensive in the long run.
  3. Access, reliability and data verification is well provided for but like all things this also depends on requirements and implementation.

Archive solutions date quickly. If your retention policies are for decades your solution will be dated long before expiration of data. This will be especially true for SharePoint.

For the most part if you are looking for an archive solution now you really have to have a good reason not to consider the cloud. But of course I can't account for your requirements.

Good Luck

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  • Any examples of RBS solutions and do they intergrate with SharePoint? Feb 2, 2015 at 9:09
  • Yes there are quite a few available at different price points. I only have experience with custom providers wrote for internal use so I am reluctant to recommend one (if you have the dev resources this could be an option). You should be able to get all you need from a quick Google. I would recommend reading the MS RBS guidance first here: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/…
    – Bunzab
    Feb 2, 2015 at 9:41

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