Organizations are retaining more and more data for longer periods of time to address regulatory requirements, customer needs and for analytical purposes. A recent report from Solutions North Consulting studies the economic, social and governance impacts of retained data and the benefits of using LTO-9 data storage technology as compared to hard disk and cloud solutions to optimize data value. This BlogBytes will provide key highlights and insights from the study.


The Solutions North Consulting study uncovered a wealth of information regarding data retention. The study predicts that by the year 2030 data that is infrequently accessed but must be retained, creating the data archive, will be six times the amount of active data. The report notes that management of a data archive “entails custodianship, budget management, technology modernization planning and expiration planning. The economics of data becomes the primary driver for IT professionals, including cost of ownership, technology refresh management and the growing focus on carbon impact of storage technologies.” The report expounds on these important management matters especially when it comes to the total cost of ownership (TCO) of retained data.


The report explains that, “more data [will] end up in the long-term retention tier, [therefore] the need for lower costs of ownership will play a critical role in meeting the shrinking IT budgets.” Three solutions are examined for long term data retention in a 10 year TCO scenario: HDD, Tape and Cloud.

The results in the report showed that an all LTO-9 tape solution was 83% less costly than an all HDD solution and 95% less costly than an all cloud solution.

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According to the Solutions North report, data protection, cyber resiliency, cyber defense and backup and recovery can be summed up with the term ‘Secure Data Guardianship.’ Every day cyberattacks occur that render data and systems unusable and the costs to recover from such incidents sky rocket. “Regardless of the business continuity playbook, every organization must build more robust cyber resiliency architectures, including air gap technology and methodologies.” The report states that LTO technology is a true air gap solution; “When combined with proper back-up and recovery processes, LTO-9 technology provides the absolute final line of defense, improving recovery time objective, recovery point objectives and preserving the integrity of the organization.”


“According to ESG Research® 51% of CEOs rank sustainability as their organization’s greatest challenge, while only 35% of organizations have acted on their strategy,” reports Solutions North. The study states that the carbon footprint is at the core of measuring the data storage impact often detailed as Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The report notes “the three most impactful stages: innately embedded carbon, energy consumed to operate and cool during usage, and end-of-life processing.” Solutions North states that, “based on an eight-year life cycle using sustainability measurement standards … tape has a carbon footprint over 55 times lower than SSD, and over 25 times lower than HDD.”

The Solutions North Consulting white paper probes deep in to each of the topics that are introduced above and much more. In fact, the paper points out that  “LTO-9 tape has a measurable return on Investment of up to 1856% when compared to cloud storage, and 501% compared to HDD. See the paper here.