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Storage Systems in Check
• Trend: Virtualization
• Three options: cloud, physical storage, or hybrid solution
• Long-term archiving of data - legal requirements
• Challenges for IT managers
Shenzhen, October 31, 2016 - Giada, the premium brand of the internationally active company JEHE Technology Development, highlights the advantages and disadvantages of different storage solutions to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) modernize their storage systems. The digitization is advancing in all sectors and brings new requirements with regard to storage infrastructure - this applies to large, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. More and more data are being created, and legal requirements are becoming increasingly stringent. To meet this challenge, companies need to be equipped with an appropriate storage system. Various solutions with different advantages and disadvantages are available - from physical storage to cloud solutions to hybrid systems. Above all, the security and costs are the decisive decision-making criteria. In the case of long-term archiving, the durability of the storage medium also plays a decisive role.
Franz Lin about the trend towards virtualization
Franz Lin, Marketing Director, JEHE Technology Development, explains: "Considering the storage development, parallel trends in the server market must be taken into account. For some ten years now, virtualization has been the most important technological trend. Virtualized servers are flexible and scalable, can be implemented quickly and easily and easily managed. This development is also followed by the storage market: more and more software solutions take over the tasks of the hardware. Again, flexibility and independence are the main advantages of virtualization. Despite the advancing trend towards a virtualized storage environment, traditional storage systems will not disappear completely. Especially for special tasks such as the storage and administration of big data or storage over longer periods of time, classic storage solutions will continue to be used. "
Three options: cloud, physical storage or hybrid solution
A cloud solution is dominated by two advantages: flexibility and location independence. Cloud archiving makes it possible to retrieve documents stored on different terminals at any time. Another advantage, especially with regard to the cost of virtual storage, is the flexible and short-term expansion of capacity. Resources are better utilized and costs are saved. The provision and support of storage systems as well as the installation of software, maintenance, backups or updates of the IT infrastructure are no longer required for the use of cloud services. For a comprehensive data security, end-to-end data encryption is indispensable.
Physical storage media are particularly important when storing highly-sensitive data, such as those in the banking or healthcare sector. By storing data on physical media, stored content is not passed on to external providers, but retained by the company. Moreover, the company is not dependent on the performance or availability of external service providers. An efficient storage solution can be realized, for example, with the Giada GCR2512Q Quad-Node rackmount server specially designed for high-speed data storage and distributed storage systems.
In addition, many companies also use hybrid solutions that connect a cloud storage for standard data with a physical storage system for highly sensitive data.
Giada GCR2512Q high performance Quad-Node Rackmount Server
Long-term archiving of data - legal requirements
Depending on the respective industry, companies must take different legal requirements with regard to the time span of data archiving into account. For particularly long retention periods of electronic data over 30 years, appropriate precautions must be taken. This is the only way to ensure that these can be read out even after long time archiving. The archiving medium as well as the file format play a key role here. Regarding the amount of stored data, the market research company ESG determines in studies three dominant storage media: external and internal hard disks as well as tapes. If company data is to be stored for longer periods of time, then the corresponding writing and reading systems should be considered in addition to the appropriate archival medium. The durability of storage media is one of the biggest challenges in this context. The lifetime of storage media such as magnetic tapes, hard disks, flash memories or DVDs is usually too short, which means that only a few data is still available after a long time. Optical media, on the other hand, have a shelf life of between 10 and 30 years, and the lifetime of hard disks is around five years. For longer storage, it is recommended to use magnetic tapes. These are convincing with reliability and can store data for 30 years or more. Nevertheless, users should regularly "refreshing" the data. Important data are copied to new media and are thus secured. When using optical media and tapes, the data should be copied every five years for security reasons.
Furthermore, companies should check the availability of certain hardware and software necessary for reading the archived data. For this purpose, use should be made of software that follows open standards.
For long-term data archiving, the file formats used also play an important role. Corporate decision-makers should also choose open standards. Sample formats for this are: TIFF, PNG, XML or PDF / A.
Challenges for IT managers
Storage complexity, data management, scalability, and performance are the biggest challenges for enterprise IT professionals, according to studies *. In addition to the amount of data, the different formats in which data is stored must be considered by administrators. In the best case, companies should, therefore, largely rely on manufacturer-independent standards. The standards should be specified by recognized organizations such as ISO and the W3C, such as ASCII, Unicode, SVG or XSL. In addition, there are so-called manufacturer-independent quasi-standards on the market, such as the PDF format. In 2005, the format PDF / A format (A = archive) was even certified as a standard for the long-term archiving of documents by the ISO.
* Source: The survey "Tintri 2016 State of Storage" was collected in spring 2016 among 300 IT professionals in data centers.
A guide to virtualization can be found at the following URL: