Time to Spring Clean your SAN – Bulk Storage for Data Archival

It is no secret that the amount of the data everywhere is growing. Terms like IoT, Big Data and M2M have a certain hype cycle around them, but at the end of the day they are all very relevant concepts. The requirements for data storage are growing at over 50% per year and IDC and EMC predict that the “digital universe” will amount to over 40,000EB, or 5,200GB per person on the planet, by 2020 – the majority of which is unstructured data.

Data Management and Internal Cost per GB

One of the biggest struggles for organizations in the coming years will be to manage these large, growing pools of data. Most enterprises utilize Storage Area Network (SAN technology) for their primary internal storage requirements, which leverage super fast storage media (SSD, Flash) and fibre channel networking to offer lightning fast IOPS and redundancy. The problem with SAN technology is that it is expensive. Every organization will have a different cost per gigabyte of storage, as it depends on many factors including: the type of SAN (FC/iSCSI,) the manufacturer and model, Capacity licensing , Support requirements and Type/capacity/speed of disks supported

Because SAN technology can be cost prohibitive it is important to have a deep understanding of the type of data that exists within your organization and implement a data archival strategy to optimize storage efficiency. Some organizations create policies to define which data is considered mission critical, which is considered private data, how long data needs to reside on the SAN before it can be archived, is the data structured or unstructured etc.

Some traditional options for archiving solutions include tape storage, hard disk-based arrays and solid state solutions. While tape solution are low cost, they aren’t very scalable and are low performing. Hard disk-arrays offer scalability and performance but can be cost prohibitive at scale. SSD arrays offer limited capacity and while they are highly performing, they are expensive.

Cloud-A Bulk Storage for Archiving

Cloud-A’s Bulk Storage provides a cost-efficient, reliable, high-performance and scalable solutions for archiving organization’s data. Bulk storage has several qualities that make it an attractive medium for archiving data.

$0.075 per GB per month – pay for what you use

Bulk Storage is built on OpenStack Swift and leverages software defined storage. This enables us to use commodity hardware, and pass the cost savings along to our customers

Nearly unlimited scalability

Cloud-A’s bulk storage deployment is among the largest public object storage clusters in Canada (and growing!)

3X replication

Bulk Storage stores 3 version of each object, providing assurance that your data is always available.

Canadian Resident

When you store your data on Cloud-A  Bulk Storage, you know that your data is alive and well in Cloud-A’s Tier III data centre in Halifax, NS.

Integration with third party applications

As object storage becomes more popular, more and more third party applications are coming to market that assist with data management.

Compatible Third Party Software

Quaddra Software – Storage Insight
Quaddra’s Storage Insight object management software quickly analyses the status of billions of objects. System administrators use it to identify object categories and details that enable fast and safe data management. For example, files containing certain strings, such as “confidential” could be exempted from being copied to the cloud.

Storage Insight is a virtual appliance that scans data without needing to migrate it first. Automated policies effectively manage growth and monitor status and changes in high-volume data stores.

Cloud-A has worked with Quaddra to successfully test the functionality of their Storage Insight product with Bulk Storage as a cloud storage destination for archived data.

CTERA’s platform was put together to serve as a “swiss army knife” of cloud storage: A combination of software and hardware for creating, deploying and managing storage-as-a-service solutions including remote site storage, backup, file sync & share, and mobile collaboration.

CTERA’s platform is a highly scalable, comprehensive, secure and interoperable system. It supports multiple storage back-ends, and provides a full set of built-in applications to support multiple use-cases. Its hybrid delivery architecture delivers an optimized user experience for both office-based and mobile users.

Architected for large-scale corporate environments, CTERA provides integrations with directory services, monitoring, billing and provisioning systems using REST APIs.

Next Steps…

The internal cost per GB of your current storage solution will become an increasingly important metric to monitor as your organization’s data grows. While many solutions for archiving old data on-premise exist, each has its shortcomings. Cloud-A Bulk Storage provides a cost-efficient, reliable, high-performance and scalable solution for your data archival needs.