EMC CLARiiON Storage Arrays as Enterprise Tape Backup Alternative
There is nothing more important to any organization than the data it can gather and store. Trade secrets, customer information, legal documentation, and other important data often find their way into different digital storage media at enterprise organizations, due primarily to the inexpensiveness and space-saving nature of storing information digitally. Regardless of the advances in storage technology, however, all digital storage media are still prone to failure. Hard drives usually have a usable lifespan under 10 years. SSDs, while advertised as failure resistant, have a tendency to fail without warning. Where newer technology has failed, however, the archaic technology of magnetic tape drives has come to the rescue. Magnetic tape drives boast a 30-year archival life span, a characteristic that has seen its resurgence as an archival backup solution for enterprise storage. While magnetic tape drives can last relatively long they do, however, present organizations with difficult limits. First, they only provide a small amount of data storage capacity as compared to today’s gigabyte- and terabyte-sized hard drives. This makes them difficult, and often impractical, to use for larger files and media types. Second, they are clunky and difficult to use. Mounting and removing tape drives can be a painful chore to already-very-busy IT staff. Also, tape archives do not provide instant access. Finally, they require special storage if they are expected to meet their promised archival storage lifespan. Building and maintaining the climate controlled storage facility required to store these drives for years can be cost-prohibitive, with the same being true about hiring a company for this purpose. Fortunately, EMC CLARiiON storage arrays provide an attractive alternate—or replacement, if your organization already uses magnetic tapes for archiving—option for backup storage. Of disk as a tape replacement, the analysts at DCIG say:
Disk eliminates the daily grind and uncertainty that typically surrounds backup to tape. In its stead is a new found sense of relief that backups and restores are completing successfully and more quickly with the worries that administrators have about backup jobs failing largely coming to an end.
DCIG lists deduplication as an essential requirement for using disk for archival backups, and this is something that EMC-branded storage technologies can provide. Most newer EMC enterprise storage solutions have deduplication baked in, but older arrays can also be equipped with this technology. For example, EMC AX series SANs can be fronted with EMC’s Data Domain to give them deduplication capabilities. Their relative inexpensiveness when procured from providers like Tab Data Systems, also works to their advantage. (Source: Why Disk Has Forever Replaced Tape as a Primary Backup Target, DCIG, March 18, 2013)