Can You Really Afford To Store Data “Offline” Any More?

Data Storage Hardware

Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The fact that hardware OEMs like StorageTek continue to invest time and resources into tape technologies is testament to the enduring appeal of high density offline storage. Indeed, many businesses still see magnetic tape as a crucial aspect of their archive strategy.

But the reality is that tape archives may actually be holding your business back. There is now a very strong case for replacing tape libraries with always-on disk storage. Consider the following:

Big data, data lakes, and always-available information

Big data derives its strength from the ability to link disparate data sets to extract new insights. These insights are validated through context, typically in terms of historical trends. The more historical data available, the more accurate these observations and trends are.

If historical data is stored offline away from your big data lake, this context will be lost. And your big data program will never reach its true potential.

The Global Data Protection Regulation

When the new Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May, European citizens will have two new rights. First, they can request a full export of the information your business holds on them. Second, they can ask for that data to be permanently deleted.

Importantly, these rights extend to all data stores – including your offline tape archives. If you cannot fulfill customer requests within a “reasonable period” (thought to be 30 days), your business faces a heavy fine for breaching the GDPR.

Given the time and effort required to search through tape archives, your IT resources will be seriously stretched if many such deletion requests are received. The only way to speed up the process is to bring data out of cold storage and back online.

Using existing assets to replace cold storage

The good news is that your business may already have the necessary hard disk capacity in the form of unused, post-warranty, or under-populated storage arrays. By bringing these older assets back into operation, information can be kept online, ready for use or deletion whenever required. And because these older systems are disk-based, they also perform much more efficiently than DLT tapes.

To learn more about redeploying post-warranty storage and how your business can extract even more value from each asset, please get in touch.

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