In my last blog I talked about our marketing slogan for VMworld – “reTHINK Backup and Archive” – and I outlined how any data center enter can completely rethink its backup and archiving approach for virtual data.

I also mentioned that the two types of data putting the most pressure on datacenter architecture are (1) Virtual data and (2) Unstructured data. So let’s talk about unstructured data – and align on two really important points up front:

1.  All companies are experiencing data growth and the explosion is being driven primarily by unstructured data.  This unstructured data is typically stored on primary NAS and could be big files like video but we could also call this “big data” because it’s ‘too big to back up.’  Or it’s data that does not compress or deduplicate very effectively and those technologies don’t address the problem.

2.  Most unstructured data kept on primary storage is static.  Meaning it still has value and it can’t be deleted, but it has not been accessed or edited for some period of time.

So why do companies continue to store that data on their most expensive, highest performance storage?

A better approach – and a way companies can completely rethink their backup and archive approach to unstructured data – is to employ a tiered storage approach.

Quantum is a specialist in designing tiered storage solutions for unstructured data – we’ve been doing it for years in the most demanding data environments like M&E, Government, and Oil and Gas.  So we can use some of our core technologies and our core approach, to design tiered storage solutions for the data center.

For video files and “big data” files, Quantum’s StorNext file system provides a high performance way to capture and store video content and store that content on different tiers of storage based on policy.  It offers built in protection options so the files don’t need to be backed up using a traditional backup application and it can store on disk, tape, and now object storage.

Speaking of object storage, Quantum offers next-gen, cloud-based object storage technology that is massively scalable up to 100’s of PB’, has a lower cost than primary storage, is self-protecting and provides built in disaster recovery by having the ability to spread data across sites and even to the cloud.

If you are thinking it sounds a lot like a private cloud, you’re right.

Finally – Quantum offers the best tape technology in the industry for ‘deep archiving’ or long term retention of unstructured data. Tape was BUILT for big files, so it handles a lot of unstructured data really well.  Our tape libraries offer the most compact datacenter footprint, offer high availability options like dual robotics, and provide policy-based data integrity checking to provide assurance that your archived data will be accessible years from now.  I also mentioned LTFS technology on my last blog, it provides the ability to present a tape library like a big NAS share.  Talk about “rethinking” tape…

So can companies rethink how they store and archive unstructured data?  Does our technology live up to the marketing slogan? Find me at VMworld and let me know!

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