Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

News

4/4/2011
02:37 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

The Passive Primary Storage Tier

Primary storage, especially the storage that supports file based data, is challenging to deal with. In most environments file based data, data created by office productivity and rich media applications can number in the double digit TB's, can bring backup applications to a crawl and cause countless retention issues. The challenge is that 80% or more of this data had an active life span of a month but can't be deleted "just in case". What is needed is to create a passive tier of primary stora

Primary storage, especially the storage that supports file based data, is challenging to deal with. In most environments file based data, data created by office productivity and rich media applications can number in the double digit TB's, can bring backup applications to a crawl and cause countless retention issues. The challenge is that 80% or more of this data had an active life span of a month but can't be deleted "just in case". What is needed is to create a passive tier of primary storage.The ability to automatically move data between tiers of storage is now built into file systems and storage controllers. Moving data to a slower less expensive tier is nothing new. The problem is that even these cheaper, more power efficient tiers of storage are not deserving of data that basically was useful for a month and is only being held on to "just in case" or to meet some legal requirement. This data needs to be identified and moved out of the active primary storage environment so that backup systems and IT budgets have to account for them. The best location for this passive primary tier of storage may actually be tape...Wait, let me explain.

Remember this is data that was active for a short period of time but needs to be retained for one reason or another. Chances are extremely high that most of it will never be accessed again but chances are that some, maybe 1% of it might be, so you just can't delete it and you will need to be able to find some of it. That means that the data does not have to be made available instantly, the moment it is decided that it is needed again, but it does need to be instantly searchable and the retrieval needs to occur within a few minutes.

Modern tape is ideal for this use case. Tape has improved in its reliability, its performance and increased its lead in cost for capacity. Most tape libraries can select a tape cartridge, load it and position it to the right location in less than a minute. With tape we can get the data back and as we indicated in a recent briefing note, tape library vendors are adding off-line verification capabilities. The only missing component then is finding that data. The simplest solution for that is to never lose it or in the case of a file system make it look like it is still online.

Several file systems exist today that can combine disk and tape into a single entity that the users interact with as if it were any other file system. As files are first created and saved they are first stored on high speed storage, then as they age they are migrated off to slower storage, maybe a MAID device and then to a tape tier. With the performance of tape being what it is now, it could be possible to eliminate that middle tier. It depends on your comfort level.

You may be wondering if I just snuck an HSM (hierarchical storage management) or ILM (Integrated lifecycle management) design in on you here. To some extent I did. The difference is the level of integration that these file systems can perform and how seamless the movement back and forth between disk and tape is. The other difference is how early in the process you can move to tape now. In the past tape was the place to put data after it was really, really old. Now given its performance you may want to consider it the moment it becomes inactive.

The tape market is so vibrant that it now has its own event, "The Tape Summit", in which tape leaders will gather to further detail these architectures to advance tape's role in the enterprise. The goal is important not only to the tape suppliers but also to you the users. If the negatives that surround tape can be overcome and the clear economic advantages of tape be widened your capacity acquisition costs will go down and power efficiency will go up.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
I 'Hacked' My Accounts Using My Mobile Number: Here's What I Learned
Nicole Sette, Director in the Cyber Risk practice of Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps,  11/19/2019
TPM-Fail: What It Means & What to Do About It
Ari Singer, CTO at TrustPhi,  11/19/2019
Ransomware Surge & Living-Off-the-Land Tactics Remain Big Threats
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  11/19/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19013
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
A CSRF vulnerability in Pagekit 1.0.17 allows an attacker to upload an arbitrary file by removing the CSRF token from a request.
CVE-2019-3427
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
The version V6.01.03.01 of ZTE ZXCDN IAMWEB product is impacted by a code injection vulnerability. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability to inject malicious code into the management page, resulting in users� information leakage.
CVE-2019-3428
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
The version V6.01.03.01 of ZTE ZXCDN IAMWEB product is impacted by a configuration error vulnerability. An attacker could directly access the management portal in HTTP, resulting in users� information leakage.
CVE-2019-4214
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
IBM SmartCloud Analytics 1.3.1 through 1.3.5 does not set the secure attribute on authorization tokens or session cookies. This could allow an attacker to obtain sensitive information using man in the middle techniques. IBM X-Force ID: 159185.
CVE-2019-4215
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
IBM SmartCloud Analytics 1.3.1 through 1.3.5 could allow a remote attacker to hijack the clicking action of the victim. By persuading a victim to visit a malicious Web site, a remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to hijack the victim's click actions and possibly launch further attacks ag...