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Choosing a storage system for data archiving

Many storage systems designed for data archiving are now adding data-reduction technologies ranging from compression to single-instance storage (SIS) to data deduplication

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. These specialized archiving systems also include standard enterprise storage capabilities like scalability, high availability and data replication.

Architecture varies from product to product, with some employing traditional storage array technology and others based on a cluster of redundant nodes. One differentiator is the extent to which the archive system can, or should, include non-archive data.

As archives are implemented, it's tempting to create "stovepipes" of storage on the back end, with each application using its own storage system for content and indexes.

"Of course a unified storage platform gives efficiency of resources and management, but consolidating archives has other benefits," said Rob Mossi, senior marketing manager for archiving at Hitachi Data Systems.

"Creating a consolidated platform for the storage of archived content is a winning strategy, especially when leveraging advanced storage system features like duplicate elimination, compression and replication as found in a highly scalable, performance-enabled active archive solutions," he noted.

Although archive software can use a variety of storage platforms to store the archived content itself, there are other storage requirements for these applications. All archiving software products maintain an index of both the production and archived data, and that database is often stored on a conventional storage array.

A unified, multiprotocol storage system with conventional block storage and archiving features allows both the index and content to share space, easing management and growth headaches.
 

This was first published in July 2009

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