Monday, March 09, 2015

Starting Off Right By Saving on Storage

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March 2015
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Starting Off Right By Saving on Storage

The dust has settled from the holidays, business is back in full swing and new 2015 budget dollars, albeit likely smaller, are waiting to be spent.

A new year could mean a fresh outlook on how to manage your storage. Right now is a great time to take a look at files and data that are valuable but don’t necessarily need to be accessed on a regular basis. Data that requires fast access should be stored on more expensive, faster disk tiers. Alternatively, valuable storage resources can be freed up by moving less frequently accessed data to lower cost tape tier for long-term retention, making it a more efficient way to manage your storage budget.

There are a few things to consider. Is this data likely to be accessed in the future, but not necessarily on a daily basis? Does this data need to be safely archived for long periods of time? Some data needs to be kept for future use such as regulatory compliance and e-discovery support. This data is rarely accessed but needs to be kept for data retention policies, whether it’s corporate or government rules. Other data, such as music and video, is also normally archived for later use and is rarely overwritten, however it is typically kept ‘forever’.

Estimates suggest that over 95% of data is never accessed again beyond 90 days after creation, so there is no need to keep all that data spinning on disk. Tape is well-suited for archiving, as it is a less expensive and less energy-consuming storage medium than disk. With up to 30 years shelf-life time and with two orders of magnitude better bit error rate than disk, data that’s infrequently accessed should be moved to tape.

A study from The Clipper Group found that when considering the total cost of ownership – including energy, storage space and other factors beyond just the cost of the storage medium itself – disk solutions can cost up to 26 times more than a tape solution. In fact, the energy alone required to power and cool the disk system was more than the total cost of the tape system. That’s a significant difference.

So as you’re exploring ways to save money and allocate your 2015 budget dollars and time, make sure that you include tape into the equation.  We believe that you’ll be glad you did.

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