In an analog world, an archive is where information is put to rest. It goes on the shelf and there it stays, gathering dust. But in a digital world, all data is potentially valuable and needs to be rapidly available, protected and easy to manage. This is particularly important as more and more companies are seeking to extract added value from their legacy data, whether by monetizing it through repurposing to other uses or by gaining business intelligence from Big Data analytics.
The problem is the rapid growth of data today puts tremendous strain on traditional, silo-oriented approaches to data storage and management. Budget pressures in IT combined with the increasing need to have immediate online access to larger amounts of data merely compounds this problem. Simply adding more primary storage to accommodate data growth is not an option. And moving data offline into a static archive adds complexity, and disconnects the data from applications and users.
It is to address this problem that SGI joined with several other technology companies four years ago to form that Active Archive Alliance, a collaborative industry alliance dedicated to promoting the concept of active archives for simplified, online access to all data all the time, regardless of the storage type.
Active Archive Alliance members include Cleversafe, Crossroads Systems, Dell, DDN, Fujifilm, GRAU Data AG, HP, Imation, QStar Technologies, Quantum, Scality, SGI, Spectra Logic and XenData. Floyd Christofferson of SGI is serving as chairman for the Alliance.
Over the past four years, the alliance has succeeded in introducing active archiving in the IT lexicon as a widely-embraced approach for large-scale data management and retention.
An Active Archive data management strategy provides a single, online file system that spans multiple types of storage (flash, disk, tape libraries and other storage technologies) and gives users real-time access to unstructured data for both immediate needs and for long-term retention. Active archives enable the lowest cost per TB technology for acquisition and operational costs, can reduce migration costs going forward, and significantly decrease energy consumption and space requirements.
It is an ideal strategy for organizations that face exponential data growth or regularly manage high-volume unstructured data or digital assets.