Speaking with Heoh Chin Fah - Country Manager NetApp MY & BR
DataStorageAsean: Archive is an old technology, why is it becoming hot once more?
Heoh: Archive has never been an old technology. Organizations archive data and will continue to do so for regulatory compliance and legal reasons. IT data management and information infrastructure vendors such as NetApp and others have always advocated data archiving as good data management practice and housekeeping. Inactive data is archived to a more cost effective medium and at the same time, the production data volume is shed of the inactive data overhead. This allows the production data volume to perform at an optimal efficiency level, all the time.
Meanwhile, the burgeoning data growth requires much more data to stored and kept for reference and analytics reasons. Much of the data are likely to be kept forever, and thus data archiving is a crucial component of the entire data management lifecycle.
DataStorageAsean: Is archive just about file data or is it much more than that?
Heoh: Archiving is not necessarily about file data alone. It is the information that needs to be protected be it a file based or otherwise. Information that is accessible at all times; that can be reused or repurposed and is a good candidate for archive. There are other good reasons to go for archival especially when you want to maintain or reduce your backup window while you are experiencing exponential data growth in your organization.
Archive can improve application performance and availability while shortening backups. It can also lower your storage costs by moving old or infrequently used data to less expensive storage. At the same time, records-retention regulations increasingly require many organizations to archive e-mails, documents, patient records, design files, and other data for years—and ensure that they haven’t been changed or deleted.
IT organizations continue to seek new ways to leverage virtualization and cloud computing services to better meet rapidly evolving business needs. While IT focuses on transforming the data center, updating data protection strategies becomes increasingly critical. Oftentimes, existing data protection strategies prove unsuitable or are not optimized for new production capabilities. For example, tape as primary backup is hard-pressed to meet backup windows and recovery objectives. Traditional disaster recovery solutions add layers of complexity and cost.
DataStorageAsean: How about archive medium? Does tape still have a place or is it all about cloud?
Heoh: Many organizations still rely on tape, which increases their risk exposure because of the potential for lost media in transport, increased downtime and data loss, and limited testing capability. Improving data backup and recovery operations was rated one of the highest IT priorities for the next 12 months, according to a 2015 survey of 601 senior IT decision makers by research firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). However, Cloud as an archive target is growing at breakneck speed due to a favorable entry cost. The challenges faced by most organizations are their legacy software developed before their cloud is in use. It will be ideal to place gateways that support legacy infrastructures with API without compromising the concerns like RAS (Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability), security, network, regulatory compliance, and legal ownership.
Two of the biggest benefits of cloud integration are reduced costs and improved efficiency. Given the growing volumes of data, not only through enterprise applications but also through social media and hundreds—in some cases, thousands—of mobile devices at large enterprises, the number of datasets is likely to increase dramatically in the coming years. That means that the economics of cloud-based backup and recovery will only get better.
DataStorageAsean: How about Archive as service is that a viable model?
Heoh: Data-archiving-as-a-service should be an extension of any organization handling voluminous and ever growing data. This should always be part of any data management strategy. Organizations are either leveraging the cloud IaaS service model to archive their data, or building their own -as-a-Service model to manage data which are sensitive, and where data compliance, privacy and sovereignty regulations apply.
DataStorageAsean: Does the ASEAN region have any uniqueness which lends itself to needing Archive technology?
Heoh: There are burgeoning interest and concerns in data privacy and data protection. This reflects a maturing ASEAN society where the security and sovereignty of private and personal information is paramount.
At the same time, there is tremendous interest in data analytics in many ASEAN organizations, both in the public and private sectors. Archiving will ensure that data and information continue to be available in a secure and managed way. It is important that ASEAN organizations recognize data archiving as a key component of their data management strategies. NetApp has always been an advocate to secure data management through data archiving. Our deep roots into industries such as Oil & Gas, Financial Services and High-Tech Manufacturing in ASEAN have already made us extremely focused on data archiving.
DataStorageAsean: What is unique about your own offering?
Heoh: NetApp, in combination with strategic partners, supports many types of data archival. The top archive and ECM applications run well on NetApp® storage, including applications from Autonomy, CommVault, EMC, IBM, Iron Mountain, Open Text, Oracle, and Symantec. The applications from these vendors can use NetApp’s unified platform for all of their storage needs: content storage, compliant archive storage, as well as the database, workflow, and full text index servers. Protecting data presents a potentially daunting number of challenges. However, significant benefits can be gained by modernizing your data protection strategy. The cost savings of cloud, the breadth of data protection solutions available, the ability to gain control and visibility of an increasingly complex environment, and the ability to transform backup into a strategic asset all can help you to see a healthy return on your data protection investment.
As for cloud solutions, NetApp offers a new solution called NetApp® AltaVault® storage, which is the only cloud-integrated storage appliance that enables companies to securely back up data to the cloud at up to 90% less total cost of ownership than that of on-premises methods. AltaVault enables organizations to securely back up data to any of the leading cloud storage providers. The cost savings come from having the ability to leverage the economics of the cloud while preserving investments in existing backup infrastructure and meeting backup and recovery service level agreements. When data protection is designed as part of the production solution—as opposed to an add-on—your organization also benefits from tighter integration and greater efficiency. Given the confluence of IT trends, data protection modernization should be a priority for every IT organization.