Archival data is piling up faster than ever as organizations are quickly learning the value of analyzing vast amounts of previously untapped digital data. Industry studies consistently find that the vast majority of all digital data is rarely, if ever, accessed again after it is stored. However, this is changing now with the emergence of big data analytics made possible by Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools that bring data back to life and tap its enormous value for improved efficiency and competitive advantage.
The need to securely store, search for, retrieve and analyze massive volumes of archival content is fueling new and more effective advancements in archive solutions. These trends are further compounded as an increasing number of businesses are approaching hyperscale levels with significant archival capacity requirements.
While backup remains an active use case for tape due to its value for fast site restores and anti-cybercrime, tape’s future growth opportunities lie in many new and emerging areas. With the Internet, cloud, big data, compliance and IoT waves promising unprecedented data growth, the timing for advanced tape functionality couldn’t be better.
I just spent a full day at a meeting of the Active Archive Alliance and as I was flying home it occurred to me that it’s time for data storage managers to rise up from the sleepy status quo of buying more disk arrays to address runaway data growth problems. It’s time to wake up and smell the sweet aroma of freshly made modern data tape (sort of like that new car smell if you don’t know).
Why do that you ask? Because best practices and undeniable facts say so. Consider the following:
Data goes through a lifecycle from hot to cold, that is to say from a period of active use to a period of inactivity. This can happen in as little as 30 days or less.
Inactive data should not stay on primary storage devices. It takes up space on expensive storage media, consumes more energy and adds to the backup burden.
Brookhaven National Labs (BNL) has grown from 60 PB of data archived in 2015 to 145 PB of data archived in 2018. In this Fujifilm Summit video, David Yu explains how BNL is using tape storage to cost-effectively manage this data growth. In addition, BNL uses an active archive system to provide easy access to data that is frequently needed by the BNL data center and other research institutions.
Explosive data growth continues to be a top challenge for today’s organizations and this growth is only going to increase in the future. In fact, according to analyst firm IDC, by 2025 worldwide data will grow 61% to 175 zettabytes, with as much of the data residing in the cloud as in data centers.
New technologies and approaches are continually being created to help address this data storage deluge. Members of the Active Archive Alliance from Fujifilm Recording Media, U.S.A., Inc, Spectra Logic, StrongBox Data and Quantum recently shared their insights into what the future looks like for active archives and data storage in 2019. Here are some of their top predictions:
At Storage Visions 2018, held in Santa Clara this past October, I had the opportunity to talk about the future outlook for tape as attendees wanted to know how they were going to store all the data that’s being created. The session I participated in was entitled “Epic Battles with Classic Heros – Flash, HDDs and Tape Slay Data Challenges.” As the title suggests, battling exponential data growth takes more than one storage media type to effectively handle the deluge of data that’s being created (now estimated to be 33 ZB in 2018 and growing to 175 ZB by 2025, according to IDC).
Since its launch in March 2002, the YES Network has been the number 1 rated regional sports network in the USA. From its inception, YES has striven for the highest-quality picture and sound and to be at the leading-edge of broadcast technology. To this end, YES was constructed as an all-digital facility.
To manage its growing library, the network launched a digital archive project. Initially, the plan was to find a way to convert HD content into a file format that could be stored in a system so that producers and directors could easily find and retrieve selected plays to be integrated into classic game and other shoulder programmes. Avid had provided the YES editing systems from the outset, and the original five Avid editing systems were connected to an Avid Omega JBOD array for storage.
Organizations are quickly learning the value of analyzing vast amounts of previously untapped archival data. Industry studies suggest that only about 20% of all digital data is ever accessed or used again after it is stored, underscoring the archival challenge. The need to effectively store, search for and retrieve enormous volumes of archival content is fueling new advancements in archive solutions.
This Active Archive Alliance report describes the state of the archive market and the role that the active archive plays. View the full report here.
Tape isn’t just raising the bar, it is the bar.According to a new Tape Storage Council report, in the last 10 years, LTO tape has increased capacity 1,400%, performance 200%, and reliability 9,900%. In addition to tape’s continual capacity improvements, tape is improving access time and data rate (throughput) with active archive, RAIT, and RAO, and offers the storage industry’s fastest data rates.
Tape is serving multiple roles for the enormous hyper scale, Internet and cloud data centers as tape capacity can easily scale without adding more drives. Check out the new 2018 Stateof the Tape Industry report featuring current trends, use cases and technology innovations for tape storage: http://tapestorage.org
With the arrival of Active Archive, much higher data rates, LTFS, RAIT, and RAO capabilities now in place, the tape industry is making significant strides in delivering much faster initial access times and throughput levels. Read more about how tape is accelerating performance here.
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