Posts Tagged ‘Archive’

The Next Element for IT Service Providers in the Digital Age

Diana Gao

Senior Product Marketing Manager at EMC² ECS

Digital technology has disrupted large swaths of the economy and is generating huge amount of data, where the average backup hovers at around a petabyte. Not all organizations can cope up with this data deluge and look to service providers for storage and protection. Many service providers provide tape-based backup and archiving services. Despite their best efforts to innovate, data volumes always seem to grow faster, pushing the boundaries of tape capacity.

Today, companies of all sizes still use tape to store business information, but now it is more for cold storage than for data that needs to be accessed frequently. While tape as a low cost and reliable storage option is ideal for data not being accessed often, maintaining multiple versions of software and legacy infrastructure can put a burden on already taxed resources. These challenges come at a cost including software licenses, maintenance, and a waste of technical resources that could be spent on other more important initiatives to help drive business innovation. As a service provider, you need a secure and compliant data storage option that will enable you to sell more value added services.

As reported in Tech Target, a Storage magazine Purchasing Intention survey showed that the trend away from tape continues – 76% of IT professionals see their use of tape as a backup format either declining or staying the same.

Some service providers are considering offering cloud-based backup-as-a-service without causing any security concerns for their customers. Others are looking for a solution that combines the benefits of faster data access along with the cost advantages of tape.

More than a few service providers have discovered an ideal solution that covers all of these benefits: Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) object storage platform. As a highly scalable, multi-tenant, multi-protocol object storage system, ECS is the perfect platform that helps service providers to better meet their service-level-agreement (SLA) commitments to customers by offering highly resilient, reliable and low-cost storage services with enterprise-class security.

Iron Mountain® Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), a leading provider of storage and information management services, is one of those who have discovered this solution. In additional to its traditional tape-based storage-as-a-service, it partnered with Dell EMC to provide a cost-effective, scalable and modern Cloud Archive as a part of their services portfolio. Designed to scale as the volume of data grows with ECS as the backend storage platform, the Cloud Archive solution is ideal for organizations needing offsite, pay-as-you-use archival storage with near-infinite scalability.

“Our customers trust that we know where the data is by having those cloud-based solutions in our datacenters. It gives them a peace of mind where they know where their data is at rest.” said Eileen Sweeney, SVP Data Management at Iron Mountain.

Watch the video below to hear more about how Iron Mountain uses ECS to modernize its storage management services for 95% of Fortune 1000 companies. 

You’ll find the full rundown of Iron Mountain Cloud Archive solution with ECS here.

Planning on getting away to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017? Stop by at VMWare Stand at Hall 3, Stand 3K10 to meet with Dell EMC experts!

Breakfast with ECS: ECS and Centera – Optimizing the Data Archive

Welcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale storage platform.

Breakfast wtih ECSWhen Centera was introduced in 2002, it promised long term storage of a company’s archives with an architecture that completely separated the application access method from the storage infrastructure.  From the beginning, EMC has always promised to maintain the Centera data, the APIs that are used to access it, and the applications that have integrated to those APIs, with the full knowledge that the lifecycle of the Centera data would exceed the lifecycle of any individual HW or SW platform.  The Centera SW architecture has fulfilled this promise across multiple hardware generations and across multiple disk drive variants, and with ECS 2.2, the promise is being extended even across SW architectures.

Why a new architecture?

The state of the industry has changed dramatically from when Centera was originally designed and built.  Scale-out, distributed storage accessed via an IP network is no longer a novel concept, and increases in network speeds, CPU power, disk density, and memory sizes mean that the Centera model of a small number of disks per node is no longer economically feasible.

ECS is a new software architecture which was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the modern data center, and with the ECS 2.2 release, it not only has full support for the Centera API, it has built in capabilities to automatically index and migrate content from a Centera cluster to the ECS, all in a non-disruptive fashion, maintaining full application access throughout the process.

But ECS does far more than just support the Centera use cases, ECS adds additional capabilities and efficiencies to the storage of Centera data and can even apply these to enhance the value of existing Centera data, as well as newly written data.  These capabilities include:

  • Erasure coding protection for all data, including clips, in addition to a greater variety of choice in the protection scheme to best meet the needs of the individual situation. ECS can protect data with 20% or 33% overhead and can apply this protection equally for large and small objects, all the way down to 4 node systems, for far better storage efficiencies than Centera.
  • Protection against multiple disk failures. While Centera offered protection only against single disk failures, ECS protects against the simultaneous failure of 2 disks (20% overhead) or 4 disks (33% overhead).
  • With the introduction of Data at Rest Encryption in ECS 2.2, ECS can automatically and transparently encrypt data before storing it, adding an additional level of protection for your most sensitive data.
  • ECS provides site failure protection for less than 2x the original data size in a three or more site environment, unlike Centera which would need minimally 2.3x (4x if using mirroring) data storage for a similar level of protection.
  • ECS offers far denser configurations, with up to 60 drives per node, for far more economical data storage than Centera.

In addition, ECS preserves Centera’s compliance capabilities, including fixed retention periods and retention classes, allowing all Basic, GE, and CE+ data from Centera to be safely migrated to ECS.

Read the Top Reasons Handout on why you should choose EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) for archiving.

How do I move from Centera to ECS?

There are two ways to start leveraging the benefits of ECS for Centera customers – either by leveraging an external migration tool, of which there are several choices available now, or by leveraging the built-in transformation capabilities in ECS 2.2.

The transformation capabilities of ECS 2.2 fully automate the migration process – the Centera is added to the ECS cluster and the application directs its reads and writes to the ECS – the ECS enumerates the Centera, creates an ECS-based index for that content, migrates the content, then performs a final reconciliation to validate that all data has been correctly migrated.  The entire process is fully automated, driven by ECS, and transparent to the application.

Of course, ECS is capable of supporting workloads far different than the typical Centera workload.  ECS is suited for modern S3 or Swift based applications, for analytics workloads, for web-based application storage, for Internet of Things applications, and much more.  ECS 2.2 brings the benefits of a modern software architecture to the existing Centera data while simultaneously supporting modern application workloads and allowing a single software/hardware environment to satisfy the full set of scalable storage needs.

Tiers without tears: Discover easier tiering with ECS

Bob Williamsen

Sr. Business Development Manager at EMC

Latest posts by Bob Williamsen (see all)

The new features in EMC’s Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) bring intelligent cloud tiering to your archive.

Let’s break that down – first, what do we mean by an “intelligent” archive? Obviously it makes sense to move older inactive data off your expensive primary storage to a lower-cost repository – and your archive solution takes care of this. With an intelligent archive solution, you can further reduce your archive costs by setting policies in your storage to automatically move inactive older data (say after 30, 60 or 90 days) to even cheaper cloud-based storage.

This is archive made easier, which is absolutely essential in the face of today’s data growth. It makes even more sense in today’s big data world, where you want your archived data to be readily available for analytics or eDiscovery.

The “cloud” part comes when organizations think of storage costs – cents per gigabyte per month. Cloud archive storage could be public cloud storage like Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, a private cloud hosted by a service provider – or your own on-premise cloud based on EMC ECS.

Why would you need an on-premise object storage solution like ECS over public cloud? One good reason is ownership. You own your cloud, you control it and can do whatever you wish with it. With a public cloud, the storage provider is ultimately in control of your data – and if you stop paying them, your data is gone.

Another reason is cost of monetizing data. Data is the raw material of 21st-century business. When it comes to performing data analytics on your archive, public cloud platforms would usually require you to move data out of cold archive first – incurring time and data retrieval costs.

With ECS as your cloud storage platform, you own your data – whether in your own data center or hosted by an enterprise service provider. You can manage and interact with all your cold archive data, in any file format, with multi-protocol support – including HDFS for in-place Hadoop analytics.

So, we’ve covered “intelligent” and “cloud” – what about the “tiering” part? Data can first be moved to a ‘warm’ archive tier of higher-performance disk, where it can still be accessed quickly to meet RPO and RTO SLA’s. As you retain archives for longer, older data can then be moved to a ‘cold’ archive tier with better economics. (This is similar to the tiered storage cost/performance model offered by Amazon S3 with its “warm” Standard tier, “cold” Infrequent Access tier and “frozen” Glacier tier.)

Consider a typical scenario with EMC Isilon as your primary storage. You can leverage the new CloudPools feature to add ‘pools’ of remote cloud storage to your Isilon namespace – perfect for archiving. And that cloud storage can now be ECS – for an easy tiered archive solution, optimized for cost, capacity and durability.Tiered archive to EMC ECS with EMC Isilon CloudPools

The biggest advantage to this tiered archive setup with ECS is automatic geo-distribution, to protect your data against entire site failures. Of course, ECS is vastly scalable from petabytes to exabytes, to future-proof your growing archive as you store more data for longer.

To ensure compatibility of ECS with your preferred archive solution – and make tiered archiving even easier. ECS tiered archive also works seamlessly with EMC Documentum, SourceOne and InfoArchive.

So, in summary, ECS now makes it easy and stress-free to create an intelligent tiered cloud archive – in other words, “tiers without tears”.

Explore the Top Reasons to Choose EMC ECS for Archive.

Learn more about ECS with a free download.

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