Why cold storage is a hot topic

Storage hardware on a hill, while it's snowing

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017

Although there are undoubtedly significant benefits to be realised from a big data program, the methodology has been responsible for a change in strategic mindset. The desire for granular data coupled with rapidly falling storage capacity costs has created a culture where businesses never delete data.

Whether historical data remains valuable in perpetuity is a challenge for the CIO to consider. The CTO’s problems are more concrete however – they are responsible for sourcing and maintaining the systems that will hold this endlessly growing stream of information.

Cold storage encourages perpetual data retention

Realising that ageing data does not have to be accessed regularly, the CTO does have the option of moving it out of costly, live systems and into some kind of archive – aka cold storage. This means that businesses have access to all their data if they need to get it back, but the cost of storage is dramatically reduced.

For many organisations, cloud services appear to be the ultimate cold storage option. Pay-as-you-use pricing coupled with the ability to outsource responsibility for maintaining the supporting infrastructure are very attractive for the cost-conscious CTO. Which is why Google, Amazon and Microsoft are fighting so hard for their slice of the hosted cold storage market.

Cloud hosted cold storage is not right for everyone

For certain industries, concerns about meeting compliance obligations mean that the cloud is not the magic bullet promised. Unable to completely ease their doubts, these industries – typically finance and healthcare – must bite the bullet and invest heavily in their own on-site cold storage platforms.

Rather than adding capacity to front-line systems, or purchasing a secondary cold storage platform, these businesses have a third option – to redeploy post warranty or redundant hardware as part of a cold storage platform. This approach allows businesses to realise increased ROI on their additional assets and increase capacity without significant capital spend.

Next time your organisation comes to consider cold storage provisions, do not forget the assets you already own.

Next steps

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