Why You Should Adopt Active Archives for Your Growing Unstructured Data

Aug 20, 2021 | Bernard Lamborelle

IDC estimates a CAGR of 19.2% as steady growth in the amount of data created and replicated across the globe over the next five years. More specifically, in their Rethink Data technology report Seagate and IDC reveal that while over the next two years enterprise data is projected to increase at a 42.2% annual growth rate, only 32% of all data available to enterprises will be put to work. This means that the remaining 68% will go unleveraged.

Most organizations are still struggling to keep this data for compliance, or just because they can’t easily separate the wheat from the tares.

The need to store hot data in fast storage and cold data in cheaper storage is economically obvious. However, moving cold files to a cost-effective archive has traditionally been a source of grief, frustration, and concerns: old tapes fail to read; databases get corrupted; software is no longer available for accessing aging hardware, etc. And even when everything works right, proprietary data formats make it difficult to switch manufacturers and technology over time. This is why archiving puts such a burden on many organizations.

In this post we’ll look at the main differences between traditional approaches to archiving and the new trend in active archives.


What’s an active archive and why is it important?

The virtualization of various tiers of storage has been the holy grail of the storage industry for decades. Instead of storing archives in a separate location that must then be tracked through specialized software that relies on a database, the active archive approach extends the existing file system across performance disk, capacity disk and archive tiers (tape or cloud). Access to the archived material is greatly simplified as all tiers of storage are managed through a unified file system.

Traditional vs Active Archives

Active archive makes it easy and quick to recall archived files without having to nag the admin. Archives can be made visible to end-users without the intervention of an administrator. This not only eliminates the need for IT intervention, but also provides virtually limitless storage capacities with a much smaller footprint and cost per GB.


Active Archives with Tiger Bridge

Tiger Bridge is intelligent data management software that operates at the file system level. Using simple policies, you dictate which files should be moved to the archive tier and when. When the time is right, files are copied to the archive and then replaced by a stub file (only metadata). Stub files offer direct access to the archived content. And as Tiger Bridge enables Continuous Data Protection, it eliminates the need for long backup processes that create humongous files. Tiger Bridge handles petabyte-sized unstructured datasets easily and elegantly, one file at a time.

There are a few solutions enabling active archive on the market today. Tiger Bridge shines by offering the following advantages:

  1. Extends “live” NTFS/ReFS file systems – no new silo of data
  2. Archives SMB/NFS shares
  3. Continuous Data Protection (no need for long backup windows)
  4. Supports archive tiers in the cloud (AWS, Azure, FUJIFILM, Google, IBM)
  5. Support for object immutability, versioning, and soft delete policies offer unmatched ransomware protection
  6. Preserves all security descriptors (Active Directory ACLs)
  7. Installs in 2 minutes – no reboot, no disruption of service
  8. Provides near zero RPO/RTO with Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
  9. Extremely price competitive (starts at $3/TB per month)
  10. Guarantees long-term data sovereignty – no vendor lock-in
  • In the cloud: files are uploaded in their native format
  • On LTO tape: files are stored in the open LTFS format

Traditional vs Active Archives Infographic

The benefits of an active archive are significant

Final Thoughts

To meet shrinking budgets while improving operations, organizations should seriously consider adopting active archives for their unstructured data. This can greatly optimize their storage costs, reduce time spent backing up data, and facilitate access to archives.

Curious to see how Tiger Bridge can be used to archive your data? Check out our dedicated video playlist or contact our Sales team to book your demo.