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Data Archiving Using a Hybrid Data Storage Approach – Part 1

Is the rapid pace of digital transformation hampering your ability to manage growing volumes of data?

If you answered yes to the above then it may be time for you to consider using a hybrid data storage approach for your data archiving needs.

While the digital revolution has presented great opportunities, the transition to digital environments has given rise to difficulties in moving from legacy environments to digital ones.

Many companies still have sizable legacy environments to access many years worth of tape storage. Moving such large amounts of data to cloud environments is naturally not going to be a simple process


Tape Storage is Tried and Tested

Tape Storage has been around for a long time and despite the rise in cloud storage and the reductions in the cost of cloud storage, tape storage still carries the lowest cost of ownership.

In fact, tape technology continues to be developed and their storage capacities continue to grow and remain highly cost-effective.

Add to this the reliability and shelf-life that tape storage offers and the choice to move away from tape becomes that much more difficult.

That said, tape storage does have a downside when compared to cloud storage.

Among the challenges companies face when it comes to tape storage is the time it takes to locate information. Many companies find the time their employees have to spend on tape management burdensome.

Additionally, the maintenance of a tape environment and the lack of indexing systems, trained staff and poor information classification has raised questions as to tape storage’s usability into the future.


Cloud Storage is Still New Technology

There is no doubt that Cloud Storage is becoming more popular. Not only does it make accessing data easy but the cost of storage space continues to come down.

Still, the efficiencies and ever improving costs of cloud do not necessarily make it an option for totally replacing legacy tape storage systems. In 2011 Google’s Gmail ‘misplaced emails of 130 million users’ and ended up going to their tape backups in order to restore the emails.

This event is an excellent illustration of the fact that cloud storage is really quite a new technology and has yet to mature to the point where tape can be replaced. In Gmail’s case the redundancy approach was simply not adequate for proper disaster recovery.

Replicating and mirroring cloud data on disk mirrors is not the best solution as you could end up with bad copies which will not aid restoration. Since tape storage is not susceptible to software bugs it was the perfect solution to restoring all the user emails that were misplaced.


Is Hybrid Data Storage the Answer?

It is evident that both tape storage and cloud storage are invaluable for the storage of your organisation’s information. However, both also have a number of downsides.

Hybrid data storage for your Data Archives would then seem like a good idea, yet there are a number of challenges to overcome in order to implement such a solution.

In, ‘Data Archiving Using a Hybrid Data Storage Approach – Part 2’ we will take a look at some of the considerations, challenges and ultimate benefits of moving to hybrid data storage.


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