The Five Forces Advancing Archiving Center Stage in a Big Data-driven World

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1 August 2013 By Jerome Wendt DCIG, LLC 7511 Madison Street Omaha NE Office/ The Five Forces Advancing Archiving Center Stage in a Big Data-driven World Five forces are making their presence felt as they require organizations to re-examine past assumptions about how they manage data and to prepare themselves to manage data very differently going forward as organizations respond to the new dynamics of Big Data and cloud computing. These forces are advancing archiving center stage and, as they do, archiving solutions like the Nexsan Assureon perfectly position organizations to quickly and easily meet their anticipated and unanticipated data growth DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved.

2 The Five Forces Advancing Archiving Center Stage in a Big Data-driven World Table of Contents 1 Executive Summary 2 Big Data Stretching Storage Management to the Breaking Point A Short History of Archiving The Five Forces Advancing Archiving Center Stage Force #1: Big Data Breaks Backup and Budgets Force #2: The Cloud (aka Central Corporate File Servers) Force #3: Mobile User and Machine-Generated Data Growth Using Backup as an Archive: The Challenges and Liabilities of Dark Data Force #4: High Performance Storage Force #5: Archiving Appliances Nexsan Assureon: A Single Solution for Today s Big Data World The Two General Types of Archiving Implementations Nexsan Assureon Steals the Archiving Spotlight 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. p. ii

3 The Five Forces Advancing Archiving Center Stage in a Big Data-driven World Executive Summary As any recent survey will confirm, organizations know that year-over-year the amount of data they have under management is growing. However what these surveys may not fully reveal is the type of data that is growing, the speed of future growth, or how this data growth is breaking existing storage management processes. They also may not take into account variables such as how new technologies may amplify and accelerate the need for organizations to adopt new and better approaches to data management now. Already five such forces are making their presence felt as they require organizations to re-examine past assumptions about how they manage data and to prepare themselves to manage data very differently going forward. These five forces are: Big Data breaks backup and budgets. Companies are finding out that the just buy more approach to storage management cannot keep up with Big Data. Once Big Data takes hold, they cannot buy enough storage to hold it all or find enough time in the day to back it all up. The cloud (or centralized file servers.) Users are going mobile and are storing more of their data centrally on corporate file servers which are now referred to as private storage clouds. These mobile users are ushering in a new era of cloud computing that requires corporate file servers which host tens or even hundreds of TBs of data. Mobile user and machine-generated data growth. The next generation of data growth is unstructured and originates from unconventional sources primarily mobile users and machines that are capturing audio, images and videos. These new sources of data are already resulting in some organizations having to upwardly revise their future data growth by 2x or more. High performance storage. As users move to the cloud, they feel the need for speed and high performance storage tiers such as flash memory satisfy this new craving. However these new high performance tiers burn through the IT budget. This is forcing companies to turn to flash memory and hybrid storage arrays to deliver both the performance and the storage capacity that their users expect. Archival appliances. Archiving as a technology has been around for decades and addresses many of today s corporate concerns. However to date it has been labor-intensive and time-consuming process to implement and manage. Archival appliances address these longstanding issues These five forces are combining to bring archiving center stage with these forces casting a spotlight on archiving solutions such as the Nexsan Assureon. It contains the hardware and software features that organizations need to seamlessly introduce archiving into their environment to lower their backup and storage costs as well as their risk of data loss. By implementing the Nexsan Assureon, organizations get the solution they need to address their mounting Big Data concerns while giving them a pathway to securely keep all their data online and accessible now and into the foreseeable future DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. p. 1

4 The Five Forces Advancing Archiving Center Stage in a Big Data-driven World Big Data Stretching Storage Management to the Breaking Point Many organizations either anecdotally or factually know that the amount of data they have under management is growing by leaps and bounds. A recent survey conducted by Microsoft of 282 US IT decision-makers working for organizations of 1,000 or more people found that most (62%) already store at least 100 TBs of data and that they expect this data growth to accelerate going forward. Thirty two percent expect the amount of data stored to double over the next 2-3 years with all survey respondents expecting 37 percent annual data growth on average during that same period of time. 1 This data growth is stretching existing storage management techniques to the breaking point. These organizations estimate that their current breakdown of total data under management is roughly 62 percent structured and 38 percent unstructured though those ratios will likely flip-flop in the years to come. While the growth of structured data will continue, a 2011 analyst report forecast that as much as 90 percent of all data created this decade will be unstructured. 2 This helps to explains why 49 percent of those respondents in the Microsoft survey already identify managing data growth as extremely challenging. 3 These challenges present themselves in a number of ways. Part of the dilemma stems from the inability to cost-effectively store all of this unstructured data as much of it ends up on file servers. However file servers are also experiencing fundamental changes in terms of how they are built. More file servers use higher performance storage media such as solid state drives (SSDs) and flash memory to significantly accelerate file access times. However this media may be three (3) to ten (10) times more expensive than the hard disk drives (HDDs) commonly used by file servers now. This makes it difficult for organizations to justify the investment in this new storage media to hold all of their unstructured data. Aggravating the situation, much of the unstructured data residing on file servers may be inactive. One study of 1500 users who were accessing 22 TBs of data found that 95 percent of files were re-opened less than five (5) times after they were stored- with the majority of files never re-opened after they were closed. 4 archive or delete this data or, if they do, they fail to successfully execute upon them. 5 This results in companies keeping data longer than needed which exacerbates their storage costs and exposes them to potential legal liabilities. Yet what may end up being the breaking point for some organizations in managing all of this data is their inability to back it up and recover it. Doing a full backup may take multiple hours if not days to complete and the same amount of time or longer to A Short History of Archiving Archiving is not a new technology in the sense that it has been around for decades tracing its roots back to the early days of the mainframe. Available as hierarchical storage management (HSM), organizations could use HSM to set policies that would first manage data placement and then move it between various tiers of storage media to include both disk and tape based on its age, frequency of access and other criteria. In the world of open systems (Linux, UNIX and Windows) archiving has a much shorter history. It got its start in the world of digital media being used in the same context as the mainframe to manage the placement and movement of audio and video files. It is now also commonly used in businesses in support of their database (DB2, Oracle, SQL Server) and (Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes) applications to control the size of these data stores and manage data retention. What is new about archiving is that forces are now in motion that will make it more affordable and easy for organizations to smartly archive much more of their data. Despite these low levels of file access and the high cost of storage, many companies have no formal policies in place to either 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. p. 2

5 restore it. All of these factors point to the need for organizations to identify a better, more cost-effective way to keep their data online longer without it becoming more difficult to backup, manage and recover. Using archiving as a means to manage growing data stores and minimize backup is an option that companies have leveraged almost since the modern age of computers began in the 1960 s. (See side bar: A Short History of Archiving) While the advent of distributed computing in the 1980 s and PCs in the 1990 s limited the use of archiving to only specific use cases such as databases, digital media or , five new forces have emerged that make it possible and highly desirable for companies to adopt and implement archive. The Five Forces Advancing Archiving Center Stage Archiving has largely remained on the sidelines because organizations have had no pressing need to implement it. In a recent conversation with a Fortune 500 storage architect, he said that to date it has been too easy for his company to simply add more disk drives to existing production storage systems in order to keep pace with his company s growing data requirements. Contributing to his viewpoint on archiving, he found many archiving solutions too complicated and time-consuming to install. So even if archiving as a best practice could save his company money, the time and effort associated with implementing it was not worth the hassle. However a number of forces have come into play in recent years that are prompting him and others to re-examine this position. These five forces are prompting them to view archiving in a more strategic context and look to it to solve this new generation of data management challenges that Big Data creates. Force #1: Big Data Breaks Backup and Budgets The approach many companies take to protecting their Big Data stores is to just buy more disk or tape as a means of increasing the capacity of their backup solution. While this may work for period of time, Big Data eventually breaks backup practices, IT budgets, or both. Companies generally use either disk-based deduplicating backup appliances or tape libraries as part of their backup solution though Big Data exposes the limitations of each. Deduplicating backup appliances have in recent years emerged as a popular approach to fix backup. They reduce the amount of backup data stored, expedite backups and improve backup success rates. However they do nothing to reduce the amount of data that needs to be backed up or recovered over time. Further, as companies backup and retain this data, it requires either buying more deduplicating backup appliances or acquiring larger ones. In either case the cost of this approach only goes up over time unless steps are taken to reduce the amount of data being protected. The same principle holds true for tape libraries. While companies can add tape more granularly and cost-effectively than disk (tape cartridges are about $50 - $100/each) they need to make more copies of data to satisfy the standard grandfather-fatherson tape management rotation schedule. This may result in companies creating a minimum of thirteen (13) copies of the same data on multiple tapes and potentially many more. 6 Adding to the difficulty of using tape, it typically does not backup or recover data as quickly. Whether using disk or tape as a backup target, Big Data backup eventually breaks it or forces a company to buy even larger and more expensive solutions to protect it. Further, these solutions do not directly address the problem of managing Big Data as they only provide a temporary fix to the challenge of its continued growth. By implementing archive practices, organizations can reduce (sometimes dramatically) the amount of data that they need to backup and restore. By only keeping newly created, frequently accessed and/or files needed for production applications on primary storage, they can reduce: Backup and restore times The number of times the same data is stored in backup repositories The size and/or number of appliances or tapes needed to hold backup data The cost of backup Force #2: The Cloud (aka Central Corporate File Servers) Today s employees use multiple devices to perform their job. Laptops, mobile devices and PCs are just a few examples. Of the three, it s mobile devices like tablets and smart phones that are changing how people work. A recent IDC report predicted that by 2015 the number of people accessing the Internet by PCs will shrink by 15 million even as the number of mobile users will increase by 91 million. In the US, the swing in usage will be even more dramatic with the number of mobile users outnumbering PC users by As this shift occurs, organizations will access and store more of their data in the cloud. In practical, real-world data center terms the cloud for most companies represents their central corporate file servers DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. p. 3

6 Archiving is most easily implemented when data is stored in a central location as it can then be easily accessed and managed by archiving software. The proliferation of mobile computing worldwide and in the US in particular sets the stage for companies to store their data centrally so increased interest in archive solutions may logically follow. Using archiving, companies can move this data off of production storage onto lower cost storage tiers. Archiving may actually provide higher levels of data availability and protection than what production storage provides while enabling companies to costeffectively scale their internal private cloud to meet the everchanging needs of their growing mobile user population. Force #3: Mobile User and Machine-Generated Data Growth Organizations already anticipate that they will average 37% yearover-year data growth for all of their data. However what they may not be fully taking into account in their estimates is the growing amount of unstructured data that they may need to store on corporate file servers as a result of new data generated by the use of mobile devices. They may also not be fully factoring into their forecast just how much more machine-generated data they may have to store. Machine-generated data is still a big unknown for most organizations. As companies deploy technologies such as video surveillance and their users gather more information using mobile devices (audio, images and videos) they may find that they have grossly underestimated just how much data they will need to store. Some industries have already come to this realization. In 2011 the Gartner analyst firm predicted that data in higher education would grow 800 percent by By late 2012, Lehigh University was already feeling the storage pinch. Due to new federal grant requirements which required longer data retention periods and expanded research efforts, Lehigh recognized that it needed to plan for percent annual data growth and reserve up to 50 percent of its IT budget for data storage and backup. 8 While organizations and others could conceivably delete some of this data shortly after it is created, the value of unstructured data (human-generated or machine-generated) is sometimes hard to quantify. Since it is often impossible to recreate much of this data and they are not incurring any legal liabilities by retaining it, they are reluctant to delete it should they identify a need for it later. With a solid archive solution, companies do not have to make this difficult decision as to what data to delete and keep. They can initially store it on production storage and then quickly (in as soon as a few days or even immediately in some cases) move this data off to a more economical archival storage platform so production storage may be reserved for newly created data. Further, by archiving it instead of storing it in backups, the data Using Backup as an Archive: The Challenges and Liabilities of Dark Data Letting backups function as an archive for long term data retention sounds appealing to many organizations. They already do backup, they may only need to buy some additional disk or tape to store and retain the data for a longer period of time and they only need to make minimal changes to their existing internal business processes. It sounds almost too good to be true. As it turns out, it is too good to be true. Aside from Big Data making it more difficult to backup and recover over time and the increased long-term storage costs that retaining data for so long incurs, the data in these backup repositories may well go dark which presents new challenges and liabilities for organizations. Inaccessible. Archiving copies of data in backups makes it inaccessible to the application should the data ever be deleted from the production storage system. Once data is only accessible through the backup application, only a few people using backup software can access it and it will likely take time to recover and bring back online. Difficult to analyze. Part of the motivation that companies retain much of the unstructured data that they do now is that they are uncertain about its present or future value. As more tools emerge that help to quantify its value, these tools will need access to the data to evaluate it. If it is only stored in a backup repository, it becomes almost impossible to access it and determine its value. Legal liabilities. If and when a company is subjected to an ediscovery request or a legal hold, any data no matter how old it is or where it resides is subject to this order. If data exists in the backup repository that is germane to the case the company must now retain it, potentially indefinitely DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. p. 4

7 is readily accessible anytime the need for the data arises. (See side bar: Using Backup as an Archive: The Challenges and Liabilities of Dark Data.) Force #4: High Performance Storage One of the hottest trends in data storage today is the use of non-volatile storage technology in production storage systems as a means to store production data. The popularity of this technology is reflected in the most recent update that the Gartner analyst firm put out for its Worldwide Memory Forecast for In this March 2013 update it raised its anticipated annual revenue growth rate for NAND flash to 15.8 percent even as it expects other storage technologies to experience negative growth. 9 Performing at speeds that are anywhere from 3 10x faster than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) and consuming less than one-tenth of the power of HDDs, it is only the upfront capital cost associated with flash memory (about 3 10x more than HDDs on a per GB basis) that is holding back rapid flash memory adoption. However enough organizations want flash memory s performance and operating efficiencies that they are willing to pay for it. The dilemma they run into is that most of their data does not need the performance that flash has to offer. In some cases, if they put as little as five (5) percent of their production data on flash, they will get 80 percent or more of its benefits. The balancing act that they must achieve is keeping their most active data online while moving their inactive data off of this tier of storage onto a more cost-effective tier. Archiving provides organizations the flexibility to achieve this ideal. They may acquire high performance storage systems that use flash memory as their primary storage tier. Then as data ages, they may move it to a lower cost archival tier of storage that still keeps data online and accessible with millisecond response times. Force #5: Archiving Appliances One of the larger concerns that organizations have about the use of archiving is the time it takes to setup and configure. Software and hardware have to be purchased separately. Someone in IT then has to install and configure it. Then they often end up waiting for another team somewhere else in the organization to decide the right set of archiving policies and implement them. In the meantime, the data stores continue to grow as they wait to implement and realize archiving benefits. Today s archiving appliances solve these issues by shipping as a single SKU. They contain the hardware and software needed to deploy archiving and are preset with default archiving policies. While archiving appliances should never be confused with a plug-n-play operation, organizations no longer necessarily have to wait weeks or even months to start realizing archiving s benefits. Rather these all-in-one archiving appliances enable organizations to start seeing the benefits of archiving in as soon as a few days. Nexsan Assureon: A Single Solution for Today s Big Data World The Nexsan Assureon represents this next generation of archiving appliances as it provides the single solution that today s companies need in a Big Data world. The Assureon bundles together the hardware, software and default policies to make archiving a turnkey implementation for Microsoft Windows file server environments. On the hardware side, it is configurable to provide as much archive capacity as an organization may need. The entry level NXR Series appliance starts as small as 3TBs to meet the needs of smaller organizations while the largest SX and SXR Series range in size from 14TBs to 200TBs and can scale into the petabytes (PBs) through the introduction of additional processing and storage nodes. The hardware on the Nexsan Assureon is also sensitive to how companies want to optimize capacity and minimize operational costs. To deliver on these requirements, it is available in a multitenant configuration so different organizations or different departments within the same organization can share the Assureon and still keep their data logically separate since applications have different archiving requirements. (See side bar: The Two General Types of Archiving Implementations.) On the software side, it fits cleanly into enterprise environments using Microsoft Windows and standard file sharing protocols so that organizations can use it as an integral component of the internal private storage clouds that they are creating. It integrates with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to ensure archived files retain the same security permissions that they had while on the production Windows file server. Using this approach only users who had permissions to access files in production can access them once they are archived. The Assureon then takes this file security a couple of steps further. First, as it stores files, it uses AES-256 encryption and encrypts files to further minimize the possibility of any unauthorized user gaining access to the file. Second, it audits all attempts to access files and records successful as well as failed attempts to access this data so that organizations can identify and thwart potential threats before they happen. To analyze and move the files into the archive, the Nexsan Assureon includes its own client archiving software for Windows servers. To start archiving data, organizations only need to install the Assureon client software on their Windows file server. It can then begin to immediately archive data since 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. p. 5

8 the software includes default archiving policies that are based on commonly accepted best practices that are in use and adopted by many companies. As files move into the archive, the Assureon takes a number of steps to ensure the data remains accessible both immediately and over time. Files may be accessed through the Assureon s standard file sharing interface (assuming the appropriate user permissions are provided.) The Two General Types of Archiving Implementations Organizations may be watching their data grow and are even seriously looking at archiving it for the first time. However as they evaluate their various application archiving needs, they may find that they cannot or do not want to put all of their data together in the same archiving solution due to compliance and/or regulatory constraints. For example, financial and healthcare companies may not be comfortable or may even be required by law to keep archived client and/or patient information separate from where they archive their company s file and data. These types of requirements are prompting companies to setup two different types of archives. Retention archive. In this archive, organizations store the majority of their general business data such as , file and even possibly application data from databases and SharePoint. While this archive is still subject to regulatory and compliance mandates, it may not contain highly sensitive information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or patient medical information. Siloed archive. This archive is dedicated to supporting applications subject to highly restrictive regulatory requirements. PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) applications that are commonly used in healthcare organizations are a good example. Organizations do not want X-Rays or patient diagnosis treated or managed in the same way or even physically located next to other general corporate data. However the Assureon may also be optionally configured to index files as they are stored. Using this feature, organizations can quickly and easily find data to satisfy internal inquires as well as external ediscovery requests. It also supports the creation of legal holds so that organizations may search the Assureon for files germane to a case and then place a hold on them so that they cannot be inadvertently or purposefully tampered with or deleted. The Assureon also employs a number of measures to ensure the data is properly protected and remains secure. As each file is stored, it is fingerprinted and then stored twice on separate RAID disk sets within the same Assureon or on a remote Assureon if the Assureon on which the file is located is part of a replicated pair. In this latter case, the Nexsan Assureon offers active replication between two Assureon systems so that the data always remains online should one Assureon system go off-line. Should an organization be subject to various regulatory requirements (as many organizations are), the Nexsan Assureon is fully compliant with all regulatory mandates to include those defined in the: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) Security and Exchange Commission Rule 17a-4 (SEC-17a) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards(PCI DSS) This level of compliance extends to the default policies that are included with the Assureon. Organizations only need to enter into the Assureon the regulations to which they are subject and it will put in place the appropriate data retention policies that will bring data stored on the Assureon in compliance with these laws. The value of this feature also extends to helping organizations confidently put in place defensible data deletion policies such that data deletions occur in a routine and scheduled manner to help minimize an organizations long term legal liabilities. Nexsan Assureon Steals the Archiving Spotlight The ways in which organizations backup, manage and recover their data in today s world of Big Data has to change. Now the right combination of financial and technical factors are coming together to give them the motivation to move forward. Factors such as Big Data breaking backup and storage budgets, companies centralizing their data on file stores to create private storage clouds, the continued growth of user- and machinedgenerated unstructured data, new tiers of high performance 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. p. 6

9 storage, and the ready availability of archiving appliances are advancing archiving center stage as the right technology choice to most cost- and time- effectively manage all of this data. As archiving advances center stage in the IT world, a solution like the Nexsan Assureon is poised to steal the spotlight. The Assureon solution contains the hardware and software features that organizations need to seamlessly introduce archiving into their environment even as it lowers backup and storage costs as well as their risk of data loss. Further, organizations may non-disruptively implement it to set the stage for the introduction of high performance storage as well as any data growth that may occur forecast or unanticipated so they can handle what today s Big Data era might have to throw at them. Organizations today live in a much different world than the one of even a few years ago. As such, they need to take steps from an infrastructure standpoint to be prepared for data growth which they may have no means to effectively anticipate or forecast. The Nexsan Assureon provides organizations with the solution they need to address their mounting data backup and management concerns while giving them a pathway to keeping Big Data online now and into the foreseeable future. 1. Microsoft. Global Enterprise Big Data Trends: Microsoft, 11 Feb Web. 22 July Sirohi, Niren. What to Do With Zettabytes of Unstructured Data - Strategy Speaks: A Peppers and Rogers Blog. What to Do With Zettabytes of Unstructured Data - Strategy Speaks: A Peppers and Rogers Blog. Peppers & Rogers Group, 19 Mar Web. 22 July Ibid. 4. Christofferson, Floyd. The Problem of Inactive Data Filling up Expensive Active Disk Silos. Active Archive Alliance. Active Archive Alliance, 27 Apr Web. 23 July Schwartz, Matthew. Data Retention Policies Absent Or Partially Implemented. Informationweek. UBM Tech, 5 Aug Web. 26 July SearchStorage. Definition: Grandfather-father-son. Storage Technology Magazine. TechTarget, n.d. Web. 23 July Bednarz, Ann. IDC s 2013 Tech Predictions: Mobile Devices, Emerging Markets Drive Growth. Network World. Network World, INc., 30 Nov Web. 24 July Ravage, Barbara. Campus Technology. The Data-Storage Crisis Media Inc., 5 Dec Web. 24 July Wang, Brady, Andrew Norwood, and Joseph Unsworth. Forecast: Memory, Worldwide, , 1Q13 Update Forecast: Memory, Worldwide, , 1Q13 Update Gartner, Inc., 19 Mar Web. 24 July About DCIG DCIG analyzes software, hardware and services companies within the storage and ESI industries. DCIG s goal is to provide informed, insightful third party analysis and commentary through both sponsored and unsponsored content delivered in the form of blog entries, case studies, product reviews, special reports and executive, standard and full-length white papers. DCIG, LLC 7511 Madison Street Omaha NE dcig.com 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such. The information, product recommendations and opinions made by DCIG LLC are based upon public information and from sources that DCIG LLC believes to be accurate and reliable. However since market conditions change, the information and recommendations are made without warranty of any kind. All product names used and mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners. DCIG LLC assumes no responsibility or liability for any damages whatsoever (including incidental, consequential or otherwise) caused by one s use or reliance of this information or the recommendations presented or for any inadvertent errors which this document may contain. Any questions please call DCIG LLC at (402)

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