The challenge: Managing, protecting and providing rapid access to data
To compete successfully and address new regulations, organisations are managing more data, storing it according to its changing value as it ages, and implementing comprehensive data protection strategies-each of which brings new challenges.
Data management challenges include providing access to e-mail and document archives for business and data retention reasons. They also include matching storage capabilities and costs with information lifecycles, which requires implementing solutions for hierarchical storage management and data migration.
The backup and restore aspects of data protection raise concerns about how to reduce the high total cost of ownership for tape storage and how to successfully restore data from tape. Another aspect of data protection—multi-site replication—raises issues of bandwidth utilisation and primary storage costs. To meet this range of challenges, organisations are looking for a solution that fills the price/performance gap between fast but costly primary storage and less costly but slow archival (tape and optical) storage.
The solution: Near-line storage
The IBM System Storage™ N series populated with SATA disk drives and the NearStore® feature is designed to address those storage challenges by providing near-primary storage performance at a significantly lower cost. A disk-based, secondary storage device for enterprise applications, near-line storage can help organisations complement and improve existing tape backup, archiving, and data protection schemes by inserting economical and simple-to-use disk-based storage between application storage and tape libraries in a three-tier storage architecture.
Near-line storage deployments can provide economical storage and rapid disk-based access to reference data to help address business and regulatory requirements. It can serve as a key component of a hierarchical storage management infrastructure by storing less-critical data on devices whose costs and performance stand between primary and tape storage, thereby helping to enable cost-effective data lifecycle management.
Near-line storage can help organisations enhance existing backup and restore operations by acting as a large data cache or by replacing tape backup devices. Combined with SnapVault® and the NearStore feature, the N series is designed to function as a robust and fully integrated appliance that helps make data backup and restore operations rapid and reliable. In addition, because the total cost of ownership can be lower than primary storage and performance is better than tape, near-line storage can serve as an economical, high-capacity storage device located remotely for multi-site replication programs.