Kelvin Khaw, Country Manager HPE Storage Division
HPE is the pioneer of LTO technology and one of the major suppliers of LTO media today, this makes them eminently qualified to talk about archive. Of course tape is only a tiny part of what is covered below, but it is interesting to note that somewhere deep inside many clouds tape media is still whirling in a tape drive archiving the data we send there!
DataStorageAsean: Archive is an old technology why is it becoming hot once more?
Kelvin Khaw: Just like backup, archive is not new nor old. Unrelenting data growth creates business and technological challenges for enterprises. You have to keep up with productivity, manage your cost and risk, and make it accessible. On the technology front, you have to efficiently store and access your data, effectively retain and protect your data, and optimally manage and extract value from your data. Many enterprises put all their eggs in one basket. It’s not only expensive but risky as well. It clogs up your product environment and impairs your business critical applications, putting businesses at risk. The growth of unstructured data such as documents, emails and videos continues at a rapid rate. 80% of this data is rarely or never accessed within 90 days of creation. However, the business value of this major data means, it still has to be retained and readily available over extended periods of time. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to maintain this infrequently accessed data on relatively expensive production Tier-1 storage infrastructure that is designed for high IOPs and low latency. It makes more sense to move it to archive storage designed for low cost long-term retention. If it’s not managed well, the size of backups will balloon resulting in missed backup windows, unmet SLAs and data loss. Archive is gaining popularity as it addresses these challenges by properly managing these infrequently access data.
DataStorageAsean: Is archive just about file data or is it much more than that?
Kelvin Khaw: It’s much more than that. It’s about storage optimization, cost efficiencies, compliance and information re-use to extract business values from the data. It’s also important to distinguish backup from archive. The primary purpose of backup is to recover data in the event of data loss while archive is to retain data long term for re-use, repurposing and monetization. Backup duplicates data while archive moves data.
DataStorageAsean: How about archive medium? Does tape still have a place or is it all about cloud?
Kelvin Khaw: The choice of archive medium, whether disk or tape, is a matter of business decision depending business priorities and affordability. Tape has traditionally been used for backup and recovery. It’s now gaining popularity as a preferred choice for archive. Tape has the lowest TCO and with the recent introduction of LTO-7 that further lowers the TCO, we can expect more enterprises to use tape for archive. Tape can’t be replaced by cloud because tape is the cloud. Many notable companies associated with cloud services use tape today.
DataStorageAsean: How about Archive as service is that a viable model?
Kelvin Khaw: There’s a market for both cloud-based services and on-premises storage solutions. Depending upon several factors including the amount of data stored, the number and size of data retrievals, and the response time for retrieval. Tape-based solutions will continue to offer a lower cost alternative to disk-based or cloud-based long-term data retention solutions especially for big data archives. In addition, we anticipate that tape will continue to be in strong demand because many cloud providers do not offer long-term retention capabilities and security that many organizations need.
DataStorageAsean: Does the ASEAN region have any uniqueness which lends itself to needing Archive technology?
Kelvin Khaw: Big data growth in the ASEAN region has created business and technical challenges for enterprises as they have to keep up with productivity and drive cost efficiencies in their IT environment. Archive will help them manage these challenges.
DataStorageAsean: What is unique about your own offering?
Kelvin Khaw: The cost-effective, scalable, dependable, fast, removable and easy to use benefits of a broad portfolio of HPE StoreEver Tape Storage, make it the optimal storage target for archiving and active archiving applications. HP has qualified StoreEver Tape Libraries with the market-leading software and appliance providers for archive, giving you a wide array of options and choices to architect the best archive solution that meets your workflow and retrieval needs. HPE continues to lead in worldwide open systems tape drive, tape automation and tape media markets. Our market leadership represents sustained industry leadership, investment in innovation and deep tape storage expertise. It also positions us as a partner with a broader frame of reference and a wider regional and vertical market presence. Another important differentiator for HPE StoreEver is product innovation. A great example is the HPE StoreEver MSL6480 mid-range tape library. The MSL6480 has disrupted the mid-range tape market with a powerful combination of unrivalled scalability, density and performance at a highly competitive price point.