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Using LTO Tape to Complement Your Cloud Storage Active Archive

So you’ve decided to deploy a cloud storage solution to protect your active archive data. What will you do if you lose your network connection and need your data? What if your cloud provider decides to close its doors? How will you deal with the slow upload speeds? How about data that you don’t want to store in the cloud because of security concerns? By adding a complementary tape-as-NAS (tNAS) solution on the front end, you can now address these issues using cost effective LTO tape storage.

You’re Not Alone

The issues described above are shared by a number of IT professionals. ESG polled a variety of IT professionals from a variety of business sizes and found that 84% were using some sort of public cloud service. More so, 69% of these users were very interested in using their own on-premise storage for storing some or all of their data. Most users were concerned with overall data protection and security. And 34% were also concerned about performance issues. By using a tNAS on the front end of the active archive cloud solution, you can easily mitigate these issues.

tNAS on the Front Side

Using a tape library tNAS solution with NAS gateway software, it’s easy to access your cloud storage just as if it were a disk solution. The cloud storage is simply a storage location, just like a tape library, behind the NAS gateway server. The cloud objects are automatically created and written to or read from the cloud using Swift API commands. The tape library will also contain a copy of the data, which can be stored in the LTFS format, providing access to your data at any time, even if your cloud is inaccessible.

Dealing with Bandwidth Issues

Pushing large amounts of data to the cloud can take a significant amount of time.  That means that the data on your primary servers can’t be deleted and space reallocated until the data transfer completes. By configuring the cloud storage location as a tier within the tNAS solution, the data can be first written quickly to the tNAS tape library target allowing for faster storage reallocation. Over time, the data on the tape library will get written to the cloud. As added protection, you can create duplicate tape copies. 

Data Synchronicity

If you need your tape data and your cloud data to stay in synch, then you can set up the solution as a mirror. In this configuration, the data is sent to both the cloud and the tape library simultaneously. 

Data Accessibility

With a tNAS solution providing the gateway to your data, you now have a local copy of your data on tape and a remote copy in the cloud. If your connection is lost to your cloud, the system will automatically pull the data from the tape library. If your requested data is still in the disk cache, then it will be read from the disk cache directly. Should your cloud provider cease operations, you can immediately begin to move your data to a new cloud provider directly from your local tape storage with a few clicks of the mouse. No need to worry about trying to get your data back first. This capability also gives you the flexibility to migrate to a new cloud provider if you wish. 

Any data that you wish to keep close to home, such as intellectual property or employee information, can be written to the tNAS solution for safe keeping as well on reliable and cost effective LTO tape inside a tape library. You can create duplicate copies for off-site storage for even greater protection and disaster tolerance.

Tape and Cloud – A Final Word

Using cloud storage is great way to protect your data, however like everything else, it comes with its own set of concerns. Just like your personal savings, adding diversification is the best way to protect you valued investments. Using tNAS with a tape library to complement your active archive cloud storage provides additional data protection, data accessibility, and data migration opportunities so you can rest assured knowing your valuable assets are secure and accessible.


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