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What is the Most Economical Storage?

In the era of on-demand data for workflow and consumption models, have time and effort surpassed cost as the criteria for determining value?

Object Storage, Tape Storage, File Storage. Which is the most economical data storage?

If you look up the definition of economical, you will usually find a statement about value versus money, time and/or effort. Historically, in the archival storage world, “economical” was synonymous with the phrase “cheap and deep.” Hence, the main variable for considering value for tier 2 and 3 storage was money. As long as you could get your data back to primary storage when you needed it, then all was well. However, when we moved into the era of the cloud a decade ago, effort became an increasingly important evaluation criteria for storage. And, as we move into the era of instant data access for all workflows and consumption models (what we call “on-demand”), time and effort have now surpassed money as criteria for determining value for certain use cases.

How About Cheap and Deep Storage?

Tape storage has always fit into the cheap-and-deep category well. In fact, it still does. From a cost perspective, you can’t beat the $/TB (price-per-terabyte) figure for tape. However, it takes time to get your data back with some form of manual data ingestion process (a robotic arm loading a tape or the good old sneaker net bringing the tape back into your data center). For today’s on-demand workflows, this model just isn’t sustainable.

What is Needed for On-Demand Workflows?

Every user now expects immediate access to data—from data creation to accessing archived content—regardless of its age or location. When it comes to on-demand workflows, access time and effort have exceeded cost as the more important evaluation criteria. With the significant shift in data access patterns over the past decade, it should come as no surprise that users now expect immediate access to data and this isn’t just limited to the final viewer of a piece of content. More specifically, data access to distributed applications or viewers—usually over HTTP—is increasing in importance.

Where Are On-Demand Use Cases Found?

These on-demand use cases can be found across many different verticals and the data sets and usually consist of video, images, audio or log files. However, on-demand use cases are evolving faster than many organizations can update their underlying storage infrastructure. This is creating a new breed of data insight, management and migration applications designed to help organizations determine the appropriate storage tier for the value mix (i.e., money, time and effort) they are trying to achieve.

Economical Storage: Data Insight, Data Movement and Storage Options

Learn More About Data Identification and Migration

One of the best tools on the market we have seen for data identification and migration is the StorageDNA product line. StorageDNA offers data visualization tools in addition to cost analysis and data migration services. StorageDNA CEO, Tribid “TC” Chakravarty, will be our guest on the February 27 episode of Brews & Bytes, where we will discuss Economical Storage: Data Insight, Data Movement & Storage Options. Ryan Meek, Caringo Principal Solutions Architect, and I will have an informal and informational discussion with TC on the evolution of data access, analysis and economical storage options. Register now to watch the webcast live or on demand.

Adrian Herrera
Adrian Herrera

About The Author

Adrian "AJ" Herrera has over 20 years of experience bringing innovative storage, cloud and media software and services to market. With an MBA from San Diego State University and a BS in Information Systems from Chapman University, AJ serves as Caringo's VP of Marketing.

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