File Archiving Goes Mainstream

Recently at the Gartner IT Infrastructure Expo in Orlando, I witnessed a seminal change in IT thinking. Nine out of 10 IT decision makers I spoke with told me that they have active general-purpose file archiving projects.

Hitherto, email archiving has been at the fore, with file archiving always on the back burner. The general thinking on file archiving was to just add more disk capacity.

The new emphasis on file archiving is driven by the total cost of disk storage. Disk hardware may be cheap, but the real cost is in disk management. Daily backup and provisioning can consume 50% of an administrator’s total time. Simply adding more disk capacity is too expensive.

The proper solution is to consider a true storage tier that is optimized for cost-effective, long-term storage. New storage solutions are being announced by all the leading storage vendors that include not only high-capacity SATA disk drives, but grid architectures for scalability without expensive provisioning, and object-based storage designs that are self-healing and do not require old-fashioned tape backup. And finally, data optimization (both compression and deduplication) is being introduced as a further means to optimize storage costs.

Archive storage will become a mainstream storage solution for all organizations by 2012.

... Bob Spurzem

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