Data is considered to be one of the most valuable assets to an organization. Protecting the information and providing access to it are of utmost importance. With data creation on an unprecedented growth trajectory the mission to protect and provide access to the data cost efficiently becomes quite challenging. In this BlogBytes we will discuss why active archiving is a recommended approach to accomplish this daunting task with support from LTO technology to help save the day and your data.
The Challenge – Data Growth Balancing
IDC research estimates[i] that corporate data will grow at an annual compound growth rate of 40 – 50%, essentially doubling every 2-3 years. This tremendous growth can stress the resources of the storage infrastructure; therefore, IT storage managers must plan accordingly. Fred Moore, president of Horison Information Technologies, describes the conundrum this way: “Balancing storage architecture to optimize for different workloads while minimizing costs now presents the next great storage challenge. In addition, over 60% of all data is archival and it could reach 80% or more by 2024, making archival data by far the largest storage class. Given this trajectory, the traditional storage hierarchy paradigm will need to disrupt itself – quickly.”
Implement an Active Archive
Data stores are rapidly growing but storage budgets are typically not keeping pace. Organizations must store more data but with less money – an active archive is recommended. As noted by TechTarget, “An active archive is a collection of data that is too valuable for a company to discard, but is only accessed occasionally. Active archives store data that is not read-write intensive and does not need to be modified, but may be read from time to time.” An active archive can help offload expensive primary storage to less expensive storage tiers while still maintaining access to the information.
Active Archive Case in Point
The Los Angeles Kings professional ice hockey team needed a storage infrastructure that would allow them to protect and archive new video content as well as content dating back for five decades. They needed the solution to be able to scale cost effectively and be easy to manage with minimal resources. The Kings implemented an LTO tape based archive solution that included an automated tape library and the Linear Tape File System (LTFS). LTFS helps make tape easy to use in a manner like using a removable disk. As described by Aaron Brenner, Director of Production for the Kings, “An active archive was easy to digest and the concept was simple, even for a production-focused group with no real IT training. The learning curve for our non-technical staff [was] very short. In fact, we set it up on a Friday and by Monday we were up and running.” As noted in this case study the benefits to the Kings of the LTO tape-based active archive solution included:
- Ease-of-use: The training session required only 15 minutes before the active archive solution was set up and serving data
- Significant cost reduction: CAPEX is reduced by leveraging the more cost-effective, tape based solution, while OPEX is driven down by simplifying ongoing storage management
- Scalability: The [solution] delivers cost-effective scalability as data volumes continue to increase
- Greater peace-of-mind: The team’s data is mirrored and fully protected with off-site vaulting
Security and Cost Efficiency
Using tape as the active ingredient in a data archive infrastructure can help lower costs, stay within budget and protect your data due to tapes inherent offline air gap data security features. When the tape data is offline cyber criminals cannot get at it! And, when a copy of the tape data is offsite it’s protected from primary site disasters. In addition, a 10 year TCO comparative studyestimated that the total storage costs over the study period showed that an all disk system cost about 7 times more than an LTO tape system and an all cloud system cost more than 3 times as much as the LTO tape system. See more about the value of tape here.