Tech Tip: Archive, Primary Storage and the 3-2-1 Rule

File Data Management - ImageWhenever we review archive and primary storage, we like to reference Peter Krogh, a recognized photographer and pioneer of digital archiving. Krogh noted that there are two groups of people; those who’ve experienced a storage failure and those who will in the future.

Based on this theory, Krogh coined the 3-2-1 backup rule, which recommends you should:

  • Have at least three copies of your data
  • Store the copies on two different media
  • Keep one backup copy off site

For today’s enterprises, following this IT rule means that file data stored on primary storage should be replicated off site to a similar storage device (for disaster recovery purposes), as well as to a backup environment (on purpose-built disk, tape or cloud backup). However, this file data storage structure can be expensive.

Primary storage is defined by redundancy and performance:

  • Redundancy

Primary storage should have 0 single points of failure to deliver at least 99.99% uptime (higher in some environments). This requires redundant controllers, power, networking, and disk.  When you also add in warranties, primary storage has high support costs, yet generally takes longer to access. 

  • Performance

With the introduction of larger hard disks (6TB SATA), storage performance has improved.  However, unless you have the right IOPS (or input/output operations per second), this level of performance  may be too low to support easy access to structured and unstructured file data and business applications.  

The clear advantage of archive storage tiering over primary storage is that data no longer needs to be stored in three separate places.  Archive storage tiering prevents the data from being backed up over and over again unchanged. Archive storage can also be comprised entirely of high-density SATA disks to reduce the cost of storage per terabyte. 

The bottom line?

For best efficiency and ROI, enterprises should reduce the volumes of backup copies that are required of primary storage, and look for an archive solution.  Archiving and tiering software reduces the need for expensive primary storage growth so that you can stretch your IT budget.  

Want to reduce the cost of primary storage?  Request a demo of the latest storage archiving and tiering solutions.  

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Topics: Storage, Data Archiving, archiving, file archiving


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