Archive Systems – Knowledge Lost.


There are a number of reasons a company may want/need to keep an Archive System for many years:

a. Regulatory – Healthcare, Critical Infrastructure Maintenance, Taxes, etc.

b. Internal Use – Historical Records

c. Legal – Law Suites, Accessibility


A number of issues can occur when keeping an Archive System long periods of time. All companies need to be aware of these possible issues:

Issue 1: OS Basic Knowledge Loss

A company may need to train new IT employees on an “old” operating system.

Example: A person is now in charge of the Archive System they have no training on after the person who “knows” the system retires.

Some OS basics may be foreign to the new admin, such as:

– HP 3000 backup and STL/CSLT creation

– HP 9000 Backup and Ignite Tape/Image creation

– How to change basic network related items: IP addresses , DNS, emailing, etc.

– How to add/remove users on the system and password management

– How to add, delete, modify printers

– Knowledge and application of possibly hundreds of other various items needed to keep an Archive System running smoothly.


Issue 2: Changing Security Concerns and Vulnerabilities

A company may be obligated to maintain security standards for all components of their IT infrastructure including the Archive System. Even though not in production, the data on the Archive System may still fall under regulatory requirements. Without knowledge about the Archive System and its specifics, a company may not even know the Archive System does not meet its regulatory requirements.

Examples: non-encrypted communications – Telnet, NS/VT, FTP, non-encrypted socket application.

Security considerations needing support:

– Password rotation rate

– Disabling unused users

– Additional hardware/software installation to maintain Archive System compliance

– Disposal of the disk drives in a secure manor and other security issues may exists


Issue 3: System Specific and Applications Knowledge

What does each application do ?

What jobs are needed to run daily, weekly, monthly, yearly tasks ?

What settings are needed to be maintained ?


Maintaining an Archive System is critical when data is needed or required to be accessible.