Reducing Data Retention Costs for the Long-Term with ActiveScale

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A key agenda here at Quantum is to help customers better manage massive and growing amounts of data throughout its lifecycle. We refer to this initiative as the 100 Year Archive. As we talk with customers, we recognize that there are two big needs. One is a classic but growing need to retain more data for compliance and governance purposes. The second desire is to build an ever-evolving data lake, to retain larger and larger data sets for the long term, with the intent that this data be continually accessed, monetized, and reused, often with advanced AI algorithms and other analytic techniques. Public and private storage clouds like ActiveScale are a key element of customer strategies to retain all this data at petabyte to exabyte scale.

We created ActiveScale Cold Storage (ASCS) so that customers and managed service providers could achieve cloud storage economics in their own facilities using a simple scale-out, multi-tiered storage architecture and service-oriented approach like that of hyperscale public cloud providers. With the introduction of Cold Replication, we are extending ActiveScale’s leadership with the introduction of the industry’s first and only solution to provide replication between cold data services.

Replication for Multi-Site Protection

Cold Replication is an extension to the rich replication features available with the ActiveScale system. ActiveScale has always been able to copy data between our “Active” disk-based tiers, both between systems and to the public cloud. ActiveScale replication is fully compatible with our S3 Object Locking and Lifecycle Policy features. When we introduced ASCS, we provided the ability to replicate between an ActiveScale disk-based system to an ASCS system with a tape tier. This allows customers to deploy a hub and spoke data protection strategy. ActiveScale disk-based systems run production workloads and replicate a copy offsite to a central ASCS system at dramatically lower cost (about 5 times lower) than a disk-based replication partner.

With the introduction of ActiveScale 6.5, we are now supporting an ActiveScale exclusive, replicating between cold storage classes.

Why Cold to Cold Replication?

There are a couple of key scenarios in which cold to cold replication is of interest to customers.

Achieving Higher Durability and Data Availability

For many large customers, the best cold storage solution for highest durability and availability is an ActiveScale 3GEO geo-distributed system. This configuration truly provides the best storage efficiency, protects against site failure, and achieves 19 9’s of durability. On the other hand, a customer may only have limited bandwidth and/or high latency between multiple sites or be limited to fewer than three sites. In this case, for high durability and availability, and multi-site data protection, dual ASCS systems are a great alternative.

Increasing Predictability of Cloud Storage Costs (Easy Access to “Cold” Data)

A second key use case for cold-to-cold replication is to deploy a hybrid cloud model. The benefit here is the opportunity to reduce overall cloud storage costs, and in particular, avoid access, egress, and API fees incurred when accessing cloud-resident data. Many customers are discovering that their ‘cold archives’ aren’t really that cold and are experiencing large and unpredictable monthly access fees to their cloud-hosted data. This solution benefits from the fact that data stored on an ASCS system is not truly cold, but rather, readily, and freely accessible at no cost with access times measured in minutes, not hours.

In this scenario, a local in-house ASCS system at your data center or colocation facility acts as your primary data source. To protect against site failure and increase durability, the ASCS system employs AWS Glacier or Deep Glacier as its replication partner.

For more information on ActiveScale Cold Storage, visit

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