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Managing The World’s Hyperscale Data Growth

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While backup remains an active use case for tape due to its value for fast site restores and anti-cybercrime, tape’s future growth opportunities lie in many new and emerging areas. With the Internet, cloud, big data, compliance and IoT waves promising unprecedented data growth, the timing for advanced tape functionality couldn’t be better.

Check out this new white paper from Horison Information Strategies to learn how the tape renaissance is ushering in the era of modern tape.

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How To Optimize Heterogeneous Storage Environments

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Most storage environments consist of multiple platforms, vendors, and clouds creating a unique set of problems: lack of data visibility to enable tiering that aligns data value & storage costs, data locked in silos each with their own management tools, and complicated data protection.

In this video, Floyd Christofferson, CEO of Strongbox Data Solutions, explains how StrongLink Autonomous Engine™ with Data Insights and analytics quickly, dynamically, & seamlessly automates data movement and storage tiering across platforms, vendors and cloud. Data is managed in real-time to facilitate workflows & collaboration, SLAs and StrongLink Autonomous Engine QoS, while eliminating resource contention issues.

Read more here:

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Tiered Storage: Building the Optimal Storage Infrastructure

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The selection of data storage technologies has never been more robust. Today’s choices range from ultra-high capacity, low cost storage at one end of the hierarchy to very high levels of performance and functionality at the other. These choices define the unique levels or tiers of today’s storage hierarchy.

The foundations of tiered storage had their beginnings over 30 years ago when disk, automated tape libraries and advanced policy-based data management software (HSM) combined to effectively migrate less-active data to less-expensive storage devices. At the highest level, tiered storage refers to an infrastructure capable of optimally aligning storage systems with application requirements and their required service levels. The business case for implementing tiered storage is compelling and becomes increasingly so as the storage pools get larger. Tiered storage integrates hardware and storage management software to provide a seamless operation for customers to realize the huge TCO and ROI benefits available today.

A tiered storage environment consists of two or more kinds of storage technologies, delineated by differences in four primary attributes: price, performance, capacity and functionality.

Check out this white paper from Horison Information Strategies to learn more about these different storage tiers and how your organization can more cost-effectively store its data based on various policy requirements.

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Resolve Cluster Capacity Issues on Isilon with Automatic Data Migration

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Get the Most Out of Your Isilon with Autonomous Data Management.

When an Isilon cluster fills up, IT is faced with deciding whether to buy more Isilon, move data to another platform, or archive/tier data off the Isilon. The challenge is figuring out how to maximize the value of the existing storage investments and reduce storage costs.

What if you could connect Isilon with other storage types into a cross-platform global namespace while reducing costs and improving business continuity and disaster recovery?

Stronglink automatically migrates data from Isilon to other storage platforms—including tape and public cloud—without interrupting user access and while maximizing the value of your existing storage investments.

Read more here: Solution Brief

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Do-it-Yourself Cartridge Repairs Anyone?

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By Brian Kelly

Have you ever watched a TV show featuring some dangerous activity and the warning comes up “Do not attempt this yourself?” It’s usually good advice and reminds me of an experience I had recently.

I had the pleasure of co-presenting at “The Reel Thing,” a part of the Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference in Portland, Oregon with Steve Kochak from Digital Preservations Laboratories. During my part of our presentation I was able to explain to the audience how an LTO cartridge is made and explained in detail each of the different components in a cartridge and what their functions are.

Steve then had a presentation set up to show how one can disassemble a cartridge and reattach a Leader Pin.  The audience was very excited and curious to see the inner workings of a cartridge and the reattachment of the Leader Pin. During the Q&A part of the presentation, after seeing Steve successfully disassemble and reassemble a cartridge and reattach a Leader Pin, the common theme in the questions being asked was, “can I repair my cartridges myself?”

While the answer in some cases is yes, especially with the correct tools, my advice for the audience was that we do not recommend repairing your cartridges yourselves and that we at FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc. accept returns from customers for analysis and repairs. Our technical support team in our U.S.-based factory just outside of Boston handles the cartridges with special care inside of a clean room environment to make sure that no debris comes into contact with the tape, especially in cases where the cartridge has to be opened. With Leader Pin reattachments, we put the cartridge back through the clamping process to make sure it is done properly. We take extra care of customer returns to ensure protection of the cartridges, as well as the customer data that may be saved on the tape. Performing these repairs yourself could lead to further damage and potentially the loss of data, especially if not done carefully or in the right environment.

So “don’t attempt this yourself” and risk losing your data. Leave your repairs to the professionals, we are more than happy to help!

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The Tape Renaissance

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The magnetic tape data storage industry has withstood numerous challenges from its own past performance, from the HDD industry, and mainly from those who are simply uninformed about the major transformation the tape industry has delivered. Early experience with non-mainframe tape technologies were troublesome and turned many data centers away from using tape in favor of HDDs. Mainframe tape technology was more robust. Many data centers still perceive tape as mired in the world of legacy tape as a result. However, this view is completely out of date.

In this new white paper, Fred Moore, president of Horison Information Strategies, explains why it’s time to take advantage of the many benefits tape can bring to your storage infrastructure.

Read the white paper here.

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Storage Switzerland Video: Considering the Total, Rather than Upfront, Cost of Backup Storage Infrastructure

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In a recent Storage Switzerland blog, Lead Analyst George Crump talks about how, because IT is perpetually working to lower both capital and operating expenses associated with backup storage infrastructure, backup workloads are common targets for migration to the cloud. However, this is not necessarily the most effective strategy for optimizing cost efficiencies.

In this video, he talks with IT consultant Brad Johns about why IT organizations should holistically evaluate the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their backup storage infrastructure, as opposed to focusing solely on immediate costs such as upfront infrastructure acquisition.

Check out George’s blog for more details:

Considering the Total, Rather than Upfront, Cost of Backup Storage Infrastructure

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It’s Time to Wake up and Smell the Tape!

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By Rich Gadomski

I just spent a full day at a meeting of the Active Archive Alliance and as I was flying home it occurred to me that it’s time for data storage managers to rise up from the sleepy status quo of buying more disk arrays to address runaway data growth problems. It’s time to wake up and smell the sweet aroma of freshly made modern data tape (sort of like that new car smell if you don’t know).

Why do that you ask? Because best practices and undeniable facts say so. Consider the following:

Data goes through a lifecycle from hot to cold, that is to say from a period of active use to a period of inactivity. This can happen in as little as 30 days or less.

Inactive data should not stay on primary storage devices. It takes up space on expensive storage media, consumes more energy and adds to the backup burden.

What to do? Delete it? You probably can’t get permission to delete it, all data is now potentially valuable with new artificial intelligence (AI) and analytic tools emerging to derive value from that data. But you can move it and stop copying it!

Where do you move it to? Put it in an active archive consisting of low cost disk cache and even lower cost long term storage like a high density automated tape library. To store one petabyte of data for 10 years in a tape library will cost around $220,000 depending on your TCO variables. Alternatively, you could spend $900,000 on HDD and around $1,300,000 for cloud. Need more capacity? Tape libraries easily scale by adding more slots and tapes. You can export full tapes and plug new ones in. Move the full tapes offsite and get the benefit of air gap since the data is physically isolated from other networks. At least you know that data can’t be accessed and held for ransom.

Getting end user access requests for that data all of a sudden? Move it back to disk cache and serve it from there. When done, move it back to the tape library. Tape is super-fast, 360 MB a second and file access is made easier and faster with LTFS.

How to orchestrate all this? Intelligent data management solutions help move data automatically. Leverage metadata and AI tools to analyze files and move them off primary storage if they don’t belong there.

Does this sound like a tiered storage strategy? It is and it’s also known as an active archive. This is a best practice used by the biggest and most advanced data generating companies in the industry. If it works for them, it will work for you too.

There’s a lot of hype in the storage industry with lots of folks looking for new, better ways to do things. But some things are tried and true, like tape, with the benefits of constantly evolving capacities, performance, reliability and long term archivability. So wake up and smell the tape…put your data where it belongs and get on with your day!

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Video: How CERN Migrated 100PB of Data

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For over five decades, CERN has used tape for its archival storage. In this Fujifilm Summit video, Vladimir Bahyl of CERN explains how they increased the capacity of their tape archive by reformatting certain types of tape cartridges at a higher density.

 

 

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