Being at the front-line in the battle often fought between incoming media data and storage constraints, Archiware is well placed to share a few predictions around trends in the storage and management of data. Here we continue our annual analysis and look at the data-management trends we anticipate for the coming year.

1. Focus on storage efficiency & controlling energy costs

With LTO tape capacities increasing generation-on-generation at a faster rate than competing storage, tape is increasingly attractive to those looking to create long-term media archives. LTO storage purchases for 2022 were up 14% (according to analysts from Trendfocus).

Because tape separates the recording medium from the recording device, a small number of tape drives can support a very large number of tapes. For on-premise installations, this means hundreds of Terabytes of media archive data can exist while using no energy whatsoever. Contrast with spinning disk arrays which are permanently powered and require active cooling.

With emphasis on sustainability and environmental impact, it’s essential to move ‘cold’ data away from inefficient spinning storage. Both on-premise LTO and ‘cold’ cloud storage (which also uses tape) provide access to these benefits.

Archiware P5’s integration with analytics platform DataIntell provides insights into storage costs and automated selection and migration to LTO in a single user interface.

2. Archive Data Mobility

Archiware saw a significant uptick in those maintaining media archives actively looking to migrate their data and wondering how to perform a migration. Conversations with our customers at trade-shows invariably included this topic. Archives built with older LTO tape generations require moving to newer tape hardware, sometimes resulting in an order of magnitude reduction in the number of tapes required to store the same amount of data.

Customers also request hybrid workflows, where data is initially archived to cloud, for easy access globally, and then moved to on-premise LTO after some period of time, as the data ages and becomes less likely to be needed.

Archiware’s introduction of the ‘P5 Data-Mover‘ add-on to P5 Archive allows workflows such as these to be built and automated within the familiar web-admin interface. Data can be migrated or cloned across LTO, cloud and disk storage, with data selected based on how long ago it was archived.

3. Rising cloud costs as archives age

While per-TB public cloud storage costs have remained largely static, customers regularly pumping data into their permanent cloud archives have often struggled with the ever-increasing monthly bills that need to be paid. Archive data needs to be retained long-term, and this becomes expensive over time as more data is added.

Consequently we’re seeing some customers using the aforementioned ‘P5 Data Mover’ product to bring their cloud-based archive data back on-prem by purchasing LTO libraries. See our blog article Comparing LTO and cloud costs for long term media archive storage.

4. Air Gap protection against malware

Enquiries from those looking to implement an LTO-based backup are also on the rise. Customers generally have disk-based backups in place, but are aware that these are potentially vulnerable to attack from ransomware looking to encrypt both user data and any disk-based backups they can find, should those disks be accessible.

The premise that backup data on an LTO tape, sitting on a shelf is clearly invulnerable to attack is easily understood and visualised, even by those without any IT knowledge. We’ve even heard that some insurance policies stipulate such a backup in order to cover ransomware attacks.

Archiware’s 4 Data Management trends for 2023
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