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Active Archive Delivers Performance, Reduces Energy Consumption

Author: Rich Gadomski, VP of Marketing, Fujifilm Recording Media USA, Inc.

Today’s IT leaders are focused on every possible way to drive performance and extract as much value as possible from their systems and technologies while striving to conserve energy and reduce waste. One critical area that IT leaders are looking at continues to be data storage and the need for long term data archiving is at the forefront of delivering value to organizations of all sizes. The challenge is how to store more and more data cost-effectively without reducing performance or impacting user service level agreements.

An active archive implementation can be the perfect solution where users have unified online access to all of their data across multiple storage systems and media formats whether on flash, disk, tape or cloud. In an active archive, fixed content residing on primary storage is moved by policy to economy tiers of storage such as tape systems thus freeing up more expensive and energy intensive storage systems such as flash and disk.

Considering that the world’s data centers now consume almost as much energy as the country of Spain and consume just over 2 percent of the total U.S. electrical output, reducing energy consumption has increasingly become a key initiative for IT leaders. Two of the highest areas of IT energy consumption are related to servers and disk storage.

While cutting edge data centers rightly focus on including renewable sources of energy to help power their data centers and reduce their impact on the environment, best practices also dictate moving less frequently accessed data from the expensive, higher energy consuming storage tiers.

According to the Tape Storage Council’s 2017 State of Tape Industry report, energy costs for tape capacity are typically less than 5 percent of the equivalent amount of disk capacity. Since tape cartridges spend most of their life in a library slot or on a shelf, they consume no energy when not mounted in a tape drive. As archival capacity demands increase, tape capacity can be added without adding more drives.

The business case for active archive is compelling thanks to its ease of use and cost containment. Tape technology offers the most cost-effective, reliable, and energy efficient solutions available to the storage industry and is a key enabler for active archive implementations.