Object Storage: An Innovative Approach to Active Archive

by Shreyak Shah

Data from all industries is growing with massive amounts of structured and unstructured data that is expected to quadruple in size by 2020. From Life Sciences, Media and Entertainment, Video Surveillance, and Oil and Gas to cloud providers many organizations are seeking ways to add more storage capacity and performance while still keeping their ‘archived’ data accessible and secure.  One approach that is seeing a lot of traction is active archive, which is beneficial in terms of accessibility, flexibility, security and scalability and is ideal for organizations with data that requires long term retention and fast, easy retrieval.

Archives are undergoing a radical transformation, fueled by rapidly growing file sizes and new access requirements. Object storage enables IT managers to archive content sooner reducing the cost of tier-one storage. This preserves opportunities to monetize content while increasing access and speed at a substantially lower price point than traditional RAID disk-based solutions (and not much more than tape).

All too often businesses have had to offload months to years of historical transactions to secondary or tertiary data storage repositories. With the increased volume of data sources and speed of new data creation, keeping pace with these repositories has become a daunting task for any size of organization. More and more organizations require an active archive that allows for easy access to all pools of storage permitting the management of limitless volumes of data for better intelligence, competitive advantage or for regulatory requirements. 

Object storage software can transform an archive into an ‘active’ archive that is positioned between high-performance storage and offline tape. The active archive solution brings it all together -- cost-effective spinning disk storage or online tape libraries, a collaboration platform, online content distribution and data protection. It also provides the foundation for a resilient object storage platform that delivers the highest level of data durability in the industry, surviving an entire data-center outage when deployed across multiple sites. 

CTOs do not wish to purchase two to three years of storage in advance as it often leads to over budgeting and under utilization. Power, cooling and floor space are all wasted with this model. Object storage enables administrators to buy, manage and deploy exactly what is needed and to scale the performance and capacity as the organization expands. 

It also allows an organization to take control of its content and easily create and manage public, private or hybrid clouds that sit securely behind a firewall. Administrators can also economically and efficiently manage capacity of up to double digit Petabytes with just one full-time employee and enjoy the benefits of the system’s self-healing capabilities. As content continues to grow, an active archive can scale seamlessly to billions of objects in a single namespace. Flexible, user-defined data protection options are key in making this a reality.

Implementing an archive active creates incremental revenue opportunities and provides the ability to convert what has historically been a cost center into a revenue-producing asset. A combined cloud and object storage infrastructure provides additional capabilities, allowing users to collaborate at LAN speeds and access data from any device, anywhere in the world.