If You Can’t Find Your Big Data, It Can’t Help You

Topics: Data Archive

The world’s information portfolio doubles every two years. In fact, by 2020 the world is expected to generate 50 times its current amount of information. Much of this information is Big Data—huge stores of both structured and unstructured information that businesses and organizations generate, collect and mine for crucial insights and patterns.

Big Data can take on many forms: archived email, retail transactions, oil-field survey information, government tax return archives, historic stock trades—you name it. In many cases, your enterprise needs to store this data to satisfy federal, state and/or industry compliance regulations. The information must also remain accessible to data scientists, business intelligence analysts and others charged with plumbing its depths for meaning.

FAST FACT: Automated tape systems have a 99.99% proven reliability rate, according to a 2012 National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) case study.

DID YOU KNOW: Collect 1 billion gigabytes of data—or 1,000 terabytes—and you have an exabyte. That’s equal to 100,000 copies of the entire Library of Congress print collection.

Tape: Then, Now and for the Future

So how do you tackle Big Data storage and accessibility? Even as it enters its seventh decade as a storage solution, tape remains as useful as ever. Big Data actually helps make the case for tape: Its obvious advantages over disk- or cloud-based storage are its huge capacity and low cost. And tape blends easily into legacy infrastructures, helping IT address rapidly growing storage needs without expensive data center redesigns.

Tape can easily store terabytes of data, either onsite or off. But how can you find what you need when you need it? Managing the contents of your tape library now becomes a crucial task.

Manage Tape Libraries Like a Pro

You need easy access to your company’s stored data so you can quickly respond to requests for information. To track and identify tape-based data, rely on source tape backup subsystems and tape catalog data. If your organization has been around for years or has gone through multiple mergers or acquisitions, you may have multiple tape backup subsystems and catalog data.

How can you organize it all? A trusted data backup and recovery provider can:

  • Easily identify what’s on your backup tapes, aiding legal and compliance requests
  • Restore data without the costs typically associated with maintaining legacy software and tape backup subsystems Protect your backup media for the long term
  • Make informed and defensible decisions regarding legacy-media retention for compliance purposes

data assurance services, including offering offsite tape vaulting, tape identification (discovery), tape migration and data restoration and migration will get the job done.

Gearing Up for the Big Information Boom

Remember: Tape is reliable and cost-efficient, and can store your large data sets no matter how big they blossom. While current generations of Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tape storage format are impressive, industry watchers expect the next generations to really rock. LTO-7 is to have a capacity of 16 terabytes (compressed); down the road, LTO-8 may jump to 32 terabatyes, equivalent to about 9,600 hours of high-quality video (or 32,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica).

Big Data needs big storage and easy accessibility. Tape’s role is clear: It comes with the data integrity, verification and file-system interfaces that IT demands and that business intelligence analysts will likely rely upon as they mine Big Data for nuggets of golden insight.

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Here’s the strategy: Know what you have and keep what matters, as well as quickly map out what records and information reside on your backup tapes.

With these tools, you can:

  • Proactively manage your backup media
  • Consolidate your catalog information
  • Eliminate the cost of multiple backup systems
  • Conduct informed and defensible retention to meet compliance requirements
  • Eliminate nonessential data

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