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Management a Growing Issue for Long-Term Data Storage

March 21, 2016

The data storage industry is in the middle of a transition period. For a long time, the rise of big data has combined with video, high-definition images and data-rich apps and services to lead to major storage capacity challenges for businesses. The trouble was getting enough space to store both active data and archival information. A combination of data consolidation and a huge reduction in the cost-per-gigabyte of existing storage technologies has largely eliminated this difficulty. However  businesses still face major barriers trying to manage data effectively, The Data Center Journal reported.

Dealing with the rising data management challenge
According to the news source, storing data has, on its own, become quite inexpensive. Hard drives are cheap and flash-based arrays are becoming less expensive all the time. When you consider the amount of value all of this data delivers to businesses, organizations are in a situation where the opportunity cost of storing all of that data is minimal. Instead, the challenge comes when companies need to manage information.

The first level of the management challenge is dealing with issues like primary disk deduplication, deciding what information should be archived and which can be deleted, auto-tiering and availability. The news source explained that there is a growing move to get storage providers to offer some of these services because they are so complex and expensive for organizations to handle on their own. Taking on these responsibilities represents the new cost of data storage as the expense of the hardware itself continues to decline.

There is, however, a second level of handling data – what to do with it well beyond its initial life cycle. Archiving and destroying data is a very different practice than active or even initial long-term storage efforts. This is where dedicated tape management solutions are incredibly handy.

Getting value from archival
Archiving data is often necessary for information that is part of your business’ data history. This information may be foundational to some databases, be part of your corporate knowledge or need to be made available in the case of legal discovery processes. In these situations, data is existing primarily at rest for extended periods of time and is only pulled out for use on rare occasions. However, you must be sure that information is available when needed, only handled by authorized personnel and is destroyed properly when the time comes to dispose of it.

Dedicated tape management systems can support all of these processes. Through automated workflows surrounding updates about tape disposition through its life cycle, these solutions streamline all of the tasks surrounding long-term archiving and destruction. For example, these solutions will track tape as it moves from offices to storage facilities and out to destruction specialists, ensuring it only goes where you mean it to go. Applying asset management best practices through tape tracking software overcomes one of the major challenges associated with tape management, making it easier to deal with the overhead costs that come with data storage.

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