Hard Drives at the Center of a Cloud Service Suited Well for Active Archive

July 8th, 2022 by By Mark Pastor, Platform Product Management, Western Digital

There are many discussions in the data storage industry and within cloud service providers about disk and tape technologies and where they each fit for data storage services use cases and particularly how to balance data accessibility with data storage cost.  Western Digital recently published a case study about one of its customers that offers cloud-based data storage that is both low cost and highly accessible; in other words, a cloud data storage service that provides what is typically needed for active archive use cases.

We are at a point where many cloud services discussions are now focusing on “multi-cloud” and hybrid-cloud infrastructure. This is due to users observing that some cloud service providers may not be best at addressing all the needs of an organization. As an example, if an enterprise leverages cloud for data analytics of large pools of data, that same service may not offer the most cost-effective long-term storage for those large pools of data. Or, that cloud service provider might not offer the best CRM or ERP services. Many cloud service providers are focusing on being the best at specific services and for specific use cases.  Some cloud service providers, such as the one mentioned above, are focusing on being highly effective data storage providers for low cost, highly accessible data storage.

As far as data storage services are concerned some cloud service providers offer different service levels: one for active data, one for cold data, for rarely (or never) accessed data, and perhaps several service levels in between. While these provide a wide range of service levels, users need to assure that their data moves from one tier (service level) to another to take full advantage of the cost structure. While offerings such as these are very comprehensive, they can be complicated to manage. To overcome that complexity, some multi-tier providers offer tools that can intelligently tier from one class of service to the next, while other providers keep it simple by offering a single tier (or small number of tiers) that may individually satisfy what users are looking for in that single tier, and without additional complexity.

The case study referenced above shows evidence of a data storage service provider that offers cloud data storage at a highly competitive price, with an active data service/retrieval level, and the simplicity of a single tier of storage. This case study references Wasabi Technologies. They currently offer data storage for $5.99/TB per month with 11 9’s of data durability, active access to data, and no egress fees for retrieving data within their guidelines.

A point worth noting, coming back to the conversations regarding disk and tape, is that Wasabi’s offering is based on hard-drive technology, delivering highly reliable data storage, with active data accessibility, at a very competitive price point.

While tape is often identified as having lower TCO (total cost of ownership) for certain cold storage use cases, hard drives should not be discounted as an excellent technology fit for archive data where active access to data is an ingredient of user requirements.  The referenced case study highlights that company’s journey of technology selection to meet their business objectives.

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