Storage LifeCycle Management
Spectra StorCycle® is specifically designed for digital preservation. It enables the archiving and management of terabytes to petabytes of unstructured data without compromising data availability. It offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, supporting multiple use cases, such as long-term archiving, digital preservation, project archiving, and efficient migration of data to the most cost-efficient storage tier.
Many companies have large and crucially important datasets that are rapidly growing. These organisations often store both active and inactive data on an expensive Primary Tier of storage, originally intended for active data. However, it is estimated that over 80 percent of the data is inactive and, therefore, stored on an inappropriate tier, resulting in millions of dollars in unnecessary costs annually. Although a more cost-effective storage tier is available, the existing solutions to migrate the data are complicated, expensive, offer inadequate protection for the migrated data, and fail to address all the necessary migration workflows required by these organisations.
Spectra StorCycle Workflow
Empowers organisations across various industries to adopt a truly cost-efficient and straightforward archiving solution. By supporting a diverse range of storage options, it ensures that data is stored on the most appropriate storage target.
Retaining data with authenticity for future utilisation is a core feature of Spectra StorCycle. The software archives data while preserving its integrity and authenticity, critical for facilitating data reuse. Versioning of archived data, compatibility with diverse storage formats, and the capability to restore data in its original format provide confidence that the data remains unaltered. This feature is particularly beneficial for industries that require data to be securely stored and readily recoverable.
Key components of this data authenticity feature include:
- Object Lock: Prevents objects from being deleted or overwritten, enhancing data integrity.
- Tape/Nearline: Supports ejected copies of data, ensuring an air gap between the primary archive copy and the backup, further enhancing data security.
- Cryptographic and CRC hash: Utilises cryptographic and cyclic redundancy check (CRC) hash techniques to verify the integrity and authenticity of files.
Efficiently managing and migrating large datasets is made simple with Spectra StorCycle. The software streamlines the organisation and archiving of extensive datasets while providing seamless access from the source. Users can selectively archive data in bulk, ensuring that the complete dataset is retained and accessible in its original format. Spectra StorCycle recognises the importance of archiving multiple copies of data on the appropriate storage tier to ensure recoverability, especially when the primary archive copy is unavailable. Organisations have the flexibility to create as many copies of data as necessary, making data management and migration highly customisable.
Top 8 Reasons You Should Archive Your Data
- Large dataset management
- Ransomware resiliency
- Digital preservation
- Disaster recovery
- Future utilisation of data
- Storage cost control
- Easily Scale with your data – Store 100’s PB’s of data locally or remotely, but managed centrally.
- Ransomware Protection – Double your protection with ransomware features, including immutable snapshots, object lock, and air-gap copies with tape.
- No vendor lock-in – All data remains in it’s original unaltered format.
- Easy access to data – File search and reporting provide easy access and visibility for your admins and end-users.
Hybrid Cloud Capabilities
Get flexibility to store data where most appropriate to maximise scalability, disaster recovery, and cost requirements.
Automation Policy Management
Easy-to-set-up policies make it efficient to define how data should be handled and stored to meet your organisation’s goals.
Multiple Archive Use Cases
Centralise the management and migration of your data for multiple use cases, including active and long-term archive.
Transparent Tech Migration
Automated migration of data to new technologies without disrupting applications or systems.
Mixed Storage Targets
Enables you to choose the most optimal archive storage, including cloud, disk/flash and tape.
Improve your data availability, reliability, and compliance by replicating data across multiple locations, systems, or in the cloud.
Long Term Data Archiving
Long-term data archiving is a primary focus of StorCycle, intended to safeguard vast amounts of digital content that necessitates compliance, cannot be replicated, and demands secure, extended storage. Examples of such content include historical documents, videos, scientific research data, and genomics data, all requiring a modern and efficient archival solution. Beyond secure storage, StorCycle empowers end users to generate reports, search for specific files, and restore individual files or complete datasets.
Spectra StorCycle is fully scalable to handle petabytes of data and offers flexible archive options, including:
- Project Archive: Designed to preserve substantial datasets for data retention purposes.
- Bulk Archive: Enables the migration, management, and protection of long-term data at a minimal cost.
- Active Archive: Allows for the retention of growing datasets while ensuring continued accessibility for users.
To further control storage expenses, StorCycle employs policy-driven automation, effectively managing data migration from high-cost, high-performance storage to more cost-efficient secondary storage. The solution offers the freedom to choose the most suitable storage tier for infrequently accessed data, including options like disk/flash, cloud, and tape.
- Disk/Flash: Provides nearly instant access to archived data.
- Cloud: Enables organisations to leverage their cloud initiatives and investments.
- Tape: Offers the most economical storage solution, along with an offline air gap copy of the data.
Enhance Ransomware Preparedness
The importance of an “air-gapped” data copy as the ultimate safeguard against ransomware attacks has become evident. This airgap copy also provides protection against other data loss scenarios, such as natural disasters or accidental deletions. By migrating fewer active data to virus-proof secondary storage, such as a tape library, primary data sets can be restored more rapidly using traditional backup and replication applications. Reducing the data volume required for restoration leads to quicker resumption of business operations. Depending on the organisation’s size, ransomware recovery time can be significantly reduced, going from months to weeks or even from weeks to days
Spectra StorCycle offers the assurance that archived data is protected from ransomware and that immutable data can be quickly and easily recovered. Encryption during the migration and restore keeps data safe in-flight and at rest. StorCycle also takes advantage of ransomware-resilient secondary storage, including Object Lock, immutable NAS snapshots, and offsite air gap with tape – providing organisations with a cost-efficient, Securely isolating archived data from ransomware is a core feature of Spectra StorCycle. It provides a guarantee that archived data remains protected and enables quick and easy recovery of immutable data. Data is safeguarded during migration and restoration with encryption, ensuring its safety both during transmission and while at rest. Spectra StorCycle leverages ransomware-resilient secondary storage options, such as Object Lock, immutable NAS snapshots, and an offsite air gap with tape, establishing a cost-efficient and ransomware-resistant data archive for organisations.
Here are the key aspects of StorCycle’s ransomware protection:
- Offsite Air Gap: Tape serves as the most cost-effective and ransomware-resilient storage medium. By securely storing tape cartridges offsite and completely disconnected from the internet or network, data remains insulated from ransomware threats.
- Immutable Snapshots: Triggered and scheduled immutable NAS snapshots allow volumes to be restored to specific points in time, and they can be replicated to offsite storage for additional protection against ransomware attacks.
- Object Lock: The implementation of S3 Object Lock helps prevent objects from being deleted or overwritten for a fixed duration or indefinitely, further safeguarding data integrity.
- Encryption: Spectra StorCycle offers the option to enable encryption during data transmission (in-flight) and while at rest, ensuring comprehensive protection of data throughout its entire lifecycle.
Storage Lifecycle Management
Storage Lifecycle Management (SLM) introduces a novel concept that grants organisations full control over data placement and retention duration. Equipped with the appropriate tool, administrators and users can effortlessly identify and transfer files and objects to suitable storage tiers based on cost, performance, digital preservation, and security requirements. The accessibility and retrieval of these files and objects for future use are easily managed by the user. To simply label this capability as “tiered storage” or “primary storage offload” would do a disservice to the vast potential of SLM. While tiering and offloading are indeed powerful functions, SLM goes beyond these aspects to optimise other storage functionalities significantly. It facilitates active archives, streamlines tier-1 storage upgrades, reduces backup windows and costs, integrates high-latency mediums like archive cloud or tape with active access devices, incorporates machine/sensor/edge data into management policies, and efficiently categorises storage for charge-back or departmental tracking. The extensive list of benefits with SLM aims to increase efficiencies, simplify complexities, and deliver substantial cost savings—often up to 70% or more.
Eliminate Storage Silos
Stored data serves no purpose if it cannot be found. This is why data often remains on primary storage. While most migration software offers links to locate data on disk and cloud, they struggle with more cost-effective storage options like tape or “cold” cloud services like AWS Glacier. In addition to the HTML links mentioned earlier for eliminating storage quotas, Spectra StorCycle introduces a solution to eliminate storage “silos.” This is achieved by providing two linking methods for migrated data. Symbolic links direct read requests to lower-cost NAS, while HTML links retrieve the data from cloud, disk, or tape. By having a single migration software that supports both methods, there is a unified view (“single pane of glass”) of all data moved, migrated, or archived via Spectra StorCycle, regardless of the storage medium. As a result, data is no longer lost in obscure silos where users struggle to find or access it
Constructing a Vast (multi-petabyte) Indexed Storage System
The enormity of archives across various industries worldwide is growing significantly. The combination of increasing data creation and longer retention periods, sometimes extending indefinitely, has led to the development of unprecedentedly large storage systems. For instance, the International War Museum in the UK digitised old film footage, enabling Peter Jackson to create an award-winning documentary on WWI, titled “They Shall Not Grow Old.” Furthermore, new technologies like AI have been applied to NASA’s archived data, leading to the discovery of potentially habitable planets. In the oil industry, cutting-edge technology has been employed to analyse seismic data, transforming the US into a major oil exporter. Moreover, medical research archives have played a crucial role in the rapid development of life-saving vaccines during a global health crisis, emphasising the soaring demand for digital storage.
As the demand for digital storage intensifies, new storage technologies and approaches are emerging to meet these requirements. Spectra StorCycle is at the forefront of this development, offering state-of-the-art technology that supports the management of file systems, object storage, block storage, NAS, cloud, and tape. Spectra StorCycle provides a cost-effective solution for data centres of all sizes and industries, often replacing outdated or no longer needed software while streamlining data management efforts. Notably, all migrations are performed in non-proprietary formats, ensuring future accessibility, regardless of the solutions employed at that future date. With Spectra StorCycle, terabyte-scale archives can be efficiently stored on the cloud or disk, while archives scaling into tens or hundreds of petabytes can be seamlessly accommodated in automated tape libraries.
StorCycle’s capabilities extend to creating multiple copies of any given file, object, or migration set. Additionally, it can intelligently allocate and track files and objects across multiple storage tiers for varying time periods. For instance, new content may be kept on NAS disk for 90 days, the entire set could be stored on a tape library for the next year, and a disaster recovery copy can be maintained offsite, either on ejected tapes or in the cloud. All copies are meticulously tracked, and upon request, Spectra StorCycle promptly restores the most accessible copy from the designated location, optimising data retrieval and access efficiency.
Facilitate Tier-1 Storage Upgrades
With the rapid decrease in the cost of flash/NVMe/solid-state storage, numerous organisations are contemplating a transition to all-flash or hybrid storage solutions for their tier-1 active data. However, this poses a challenge when tier-1 storage has grown unchecked over the years, accumulating months or even years of inactive data that still need to be retained. Spectra StorCycle’s Storage Lifecycle Management software offers a solution by allowing administrators to trim tier-1 storage of cold data, retaining only the most active data on a cutting-edge primary storage system while appropriately storing the cold data on a different level. This approach leads to a much more cost-effective upgrade for tier-1 storage.
As data is migrated down the storage tiers, administrators may discover that a significant portion of expensive yet outdated storage, such as RAID arrays, can be decommissioned, resulting in substantial savings in ongoing support costs. By viewing primary storage refresh as an opportunity to not only adopt new technology but also decommission old technology, budgetary planning becomes more compelling for transitioning to faster and more reliable technologies.
Maintain Control Over Tier-1 Growth and Costs
Offloading tier-1 storage offers many of the advantages discussed in this context. It is also crucial to continuously monitor and manage tier-1 storage utilisation. Spectra StorCycle streamlines this process by enabling administrators to automate the identification and archiving of cold data continuously. Scan and migration operations can be rerun at any time to ensure that unnecessary accumulation of cold data on tier-1 storage does not recur.
If you are an organisation that needs to manage data across an enterprise then Spectra StorCycle is the tool specifically designed for this task. It is easy to use, scales to petabyte’s and utilises all forms of storage, disk, tape and cloud to move, migrate, copy or delete data enterprise wide.
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