Imation Proud to Join Active Archive Alliance

Imation is a strong proponent of active archiving storage solutions, so we’re delighted to have recently joined the Active Archive Alliance as a contributing member. As you know, the Alliance was “formed to develop and educate on the evolving technologies that enable high efficiency, indexed and user-searchable file-based access to archived data,” and Imation is dedicated to advancing those very same goals. So it was obvious that the Alliance is just a great fit for us.

Active Archive Alliance Hosts Hands-On Lab at SNW Fall 2012

Have you been curious about active archives and how they truly work and can significantly reduce your storage costs?  Here is your opportunity to not only learn about active archives, but get your hands on one!

The Active Archive Alliance is hosting four Hands-On Lab sessions at SNW Fall on "Proven Methods to Change Your Cost Model for Big Data Storage." Participants will get hands on experience with active archive tools that will help you develop new strategies to effectively and efficiently manage your data storage. Information about registering for any of the SNW Hands-On Lab sessions can be found by clicking here.

The labs will demonstrate different ways to build an intelligent storage management strategy for big data that can deliver hard dollar ROI. Participants will use the latest active archive technologies and learn methods to create a storage platform that can work at an enterprise level.

Some of the areas covered include:

  • Key principals of an active archive strategy.
  • How to use a data profiling tool that allows administrators to analyze key file level statistics that can be used to help architect and manage an active archive.
  • How to create intelligent automated policies to seamlessly migrate data from the organization's current storage devices to the active archive.
  • How an active archive platform provides administrator's the ability to manage their storage functions with automated policies.
  • ROI benefits of an active archive strategy.
  • How tape can be a major component of an Active Archive, providing online native file format access to data, lowest TCO for storage and proven qualities for large scale archive and storage.

The Active Archive Alliance SNW Hands-On Labs will take place at the following times:
Oct. 16th  from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. in Room 2-100
Oct .17th from 8:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. in Room 4-100
Oct. 17th from 4:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. in Room 7-100
Oct.18th from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. in Room 9-100

We hope to see you there!

Owning vs. Renting Your Archive: Top 10 Considerations

It’s been said that ownership has its privileges. When it comes to owning your active archive versus renting your archive from someone else, that is definitely true. Amazon is touting their Glacier archive service at 1 penny per GB per month. No muss, no fuss, just park your data and they’ll take care of the rest. This is an enticing proposition and one at which many will jump.  And there are other services available that claim similar things, but with different price points.

The Active Archive for Project-Based Workflows

The recent IBC Show in Amsterdam showcased some of the latest advancements in the world of digital content storage and management. Among the technology leaders were many members of the Active Archive Alliance. As producers, content managers, broadcast engineers and IT specialists browsed the aisles of the exhibition floor, one thing was clear: when it comes to archive, M&E pros want the simplest, most reliable solution that fits their budget. Over and over again we heard that old footage was sitting on SAN, costing a small fortune for larger organizations. Advanced editing technology, HD (and Ultra HD) content and the widespread digitization of older media puts pressure on M&E firms to revolutionize their content storage systems.

The Never-ending Question

It still never fails to shock me when I speak to a customer who says, they do not understand the difference between backup and archiving. 

Backups are periodically taken “snapshots” of active data; data that needs to be on fast primary storage because of its usage patterns, to provide a recovery system for deleted, lost or corrupt data. Most backups are retained for short periods of time. I have heard backup described as a short-term insurance policy for a company’s most often used information.

Archived data, by definition, does not require backup. If you purchase an archive storage technology that requires backup, it is NOT an archive. An archive is a separate store of data outside the “primary plus backup” world. It consists of those files that are accessed less frequently and are not changing, but have value to an organization and must be preserved. Sometimes this can be a considerable percentage of the organization’s total data.

The What and How of Data Security in the Active Archive

An active archive that enables transparent storage and retrieval of long-term files brings significant advantages to businesses. As the active archive architecture is often composed of several appliances or applications, an administrator needs to know that their files’ safety and integrity are never compromised. When files may contain irreplaceable content and essential business information, what’s the best way to ensure the trustworthiness of them over long periods of time in environments with many end users? Data security.

Active Archive Provides Solution to M&E Content Storage Challenge

Having attended HD World last year in New York and the more recent NAB show this past April in Las Vegas, I could sense a genuine concern among many attendees that I met regarding the challenge of storing their ever-increasing volumes of content. The M&E industry is in fact creating enormous amounts of new digital content thanks to HD and 3D movie production, new applications and techniques for special effects, etc. But in addition to all the new content being born digital, there are decades worth of a vastly greater amount of existing content, much of it sitting on shelves in the form of video tape. How to convert and digitize this content is becoming a priority for the industry in the interest of preserving these assets for future use and profit. While this undertaking has presented budgetary challenges, the good news is I have been hearing that several companies offer solutions for video tape to digital data file conversion, typically to LTO tape, and costs have been coming down over time.

Democratizing Active Archiving: Non-disruptive Future-Proofing of Data

Even though the Active Archive Alliance has only been around for a couple of years, the practice of active archiving has been a core design principle of some of SGI's biggest customers, and indeed some of the largest active archives on earth for over two decades.

Consider CSIRO, an important government body for scientific research in Australia, who has been running a distributed nationwide active archive powered by SGI's DMF tier virtualization solution for more than 21 years. In all that time, every bit of their continuously expanding data sets has been online and available to a nationwide network of researchers without interruption and without any data loss. This reliable online data accessibility has enabled them to continually pursue projects as diverse as the invention of Wi-Fi technology and the development of the first polymer banknotes.

Making the Big Data Case for Adopting an Active Archive Strategy

Last month, Capgemini, a worldwide leading technology consulting firm, published a report called The Deciding Factor: Big Data & Decision Making. This report highlights changes in the perceptions of top management on the importance of data to the overall operation of their businesses. The study, conducted by the Business Intelligence Unit of The Economist Magazine, surveyed over 600 C-level and senior managers of large corporations in Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Management’s change in perception can be summed up in this quote:

Open Source Active Archive Software Enables Large Scale Archiving Projects

One major challenge for active archiving solutions is to provide a platform to manage the long term data retention requirements for archiving projects. Unlike solutions built to address backup requirements, archiving requires a rational approach to manage the life cycle of data across evolving hardware and software platforms, in a cost effective and secure manner. Since the timeframe to maintain data extends into multiple decades (and beyond), an approach to manage the forward migration process of data while not affecting availability is required. Previous blogs have provided extensive examples of techniques to manage this, including cost effective media copies utilizing tape for long term retention, automated media to media copies and utilization of LTO’s backward read compatibilities to move data to new generations with very low impact on system cost.