Considerations for Cloud & Tape Archiving

Data archiving is defined as the process of identifying and moving inactive data out of live systems and into long-term archival storage systems. In this article, we explore the pros and cons of using cloud or tape archiving in freeing up expensive primary storage space in your organisation.

posted in ArchivingCloud Archiving ● 4 Oct 2018

Today businesses are faced with numerous challenges around their IT environments and because of this, data management is becoming more important. Data management refers to an organisation’s management of information and data to ensure secure and structured access and storage. One important aspect of data management is data archiving, which is defined as the process of both identifying and moving inactive data out of live systems and into specialised long-term archival storage systems. The removal of inactive data from the live systems optimises the performance of resources  in high demand, whilst specialised archival systems store information in a cost-effective way and ensure data is available for retrieval when needed. Data archiving can be done in many ways and historically the most common form of archiving is tape archiving. However, as cloud solutions become more prevalent, cloud archiving is presenting a more dynamic form of data archiving, utilising the power of cloud. Cloud-based archiving services provide a data-storage environment optimised for archiving data while remaining secure and compliant with data protection laws (assuming you pick the right vendor).

Why people choose tape archiving

IT professionals have put their faith in tape archiving for legitimate reasons; tape archiving is a cost-effective way to ensure that data is managed in an effective manner and for years there has not been a viable replacement for it. Tape media is relatively inexpensive, certainly compared to disk and the cost of storing tapes is usually cheaper than running disk. Tapes do not have power and cooling requirements and can be kept in an office environment. Compared to other storage media, this gives lower costs. As more data is written to a tape archive and more media is used and the relative cost per GB decreases; tape archiving can also be written off as an investment over a period as the cost of tape drives, libraries and archive software is spread over a larger volume of data and usually for a period of long-retention. Furthermore, tape archives are relatively easy to scale as data volumes increase. Tape (especially LTO) has continued to scale to meet those demands. LTO-7 cartridges can hold nearly 15TB per cartridge, assuming a 2.5:1 compression rate.

Why people choose cloud archiving

The speed at which cloud technologies are developing is astonishing and IT professionals now widely accept and use cloud platforms and services. Cloud solutions can provide an effortless way to centralise data management and do not require additional hardware. Geographical redundancy is one of the reasons organisations are beginning to favour cloud archiving solutions. Cloud archive services are able to hold multiple copies of data in diverse locations, mitigating the risk of data loss from technology failures, this reassures organisations if anything were to happen to their main site. In addition to this, cloud archiving solutions have intelligence behind them that enables firms to extract value from their data. Data is typically indexed at ingestion into cloud archive services, providing rich search capabilities; this allows firms to search for files and folders easily when they are required.

Which is best for my organisation?

Tape archiving is becoming less favoured when it comes to implementing archiving solutions. One of the main reasons for putting in place a cloud archiving solution over a tape archive is the problem caused by having to replace tape media on a regular basis. This is especially problematic for organisations with large data sets as it translates to a much greater cost – by implementing a cloud archiving solution the firm does not have this worry anymore as it becomes the cloud archiving providers’ problem. Tape-archiving solutions may have to be maintained beyond end-of-life supplier support, which can significantly add to costs and the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of an archive solution. However, with cloud archiving solutions this problem does not exist as support tends to be always included in the cost associated with the contract.

How Redstor Can help?

For nearly 20 years Redstor has been the data management and security company of choice for businesses and organisations looking for a trusted advisor to manage and secure their data. This experience, shaped by our community, creates the world-class software underpinning Redstor’s cloud data management and security platform. Redstor Pro’s Data Management Platform features an integrated solution which delivers simple-to-manage, highly scalable archiving that ensures data remains extremely easy to access whilst freeing up expensive primary storage. Users of the service avoid the need to archive data to unreliable tape or add more expensive tier-one storage due to data growth.

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