Moving to the cloud? Here’s what to do with your tape environment to save money

Paul Luppino

Worldwide data is growing at an overwhelming speed annually. IDC predicts data creation to grow to 163 zettabytes by 2025. Enterprises are tasked with addressing the challenge of not only employing a successful data storage strategy but also remaining compliant with the ever-changing regulatory landscape; all while reducing costs.

Enterprises need to make sure their data storage strategy not only ensures they can operate in an efficient, innovative way but also be able to destroy, find and retrieve records when needed in order to remain compliant with applicable regulations.

Tape is still very much a part of enterprise data storage strategies today: 67% of organizations leverage tape for long term data retention, according to a 2018 ESG data protection landscape survey. Furthermore, the survey found that 63% of enterprises plan to maintain tape technology as part of their future strategy.

However, managing a tape environment can be costly to do on your own. It requires your organization to manage IT resources, labor, the tape environment as well as the costs. Despite this, tape plays a vital role in a successful storage strategy.

So, how can an organization use tape and continue to innovate all while saving money?

Here are some tips to leverage the value of tape, while managing the cost:

Locate legacy data

The first step is to identify and locate your legacy data. This is data that should be considered eligible to keep on tape. It’s data you don’t need to access often, if at all, but may need to hold onto for regulatory and compliance purposes.

Tape is a great storage option for this kind of data because it’s cheap, offline and very secure.

Identify data you need on a day-to-day basis

Next, identify what data you need to access on a day-to-day basis to not only keep your business up and running but also to innovate. This is the data that you should store in the cloud. The cloud enables you to access data fast, anytime and anywhere.

Managed services is key

It’s clear, tape is the best, cheapest archive option for long-term data that you don’t plan to access very often, if at all.

However, it can be a costly and time consuming endeavor for organizations to manage on their own. Outsourcing tape management is key and offers many benefits including added protection and security, freeing up IT to focus on other business transformation projects (i.e. analytics, big data), and reducing your overall cost of long-term and archive storage.

Taking advantage of managed tape services also means that when you do need to access certain legacy data, all you need to do is pick up the phone and it will be retrieved and delivered to you. It also means you don’t have to keep track of retention schedules; someone will do that for you.

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