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  • Everything you need to know about storage snapshots

    The role of storage snapshots in data protection is growing. Essentially, groups of disk blocks -- physical in an array or virtualized within a software-defined storage or virtual appliance -- storage snapshots embody what a file system or volume looked like at a specific moment. So if you are performing instant recovery, flat backup or any type of continuous data protection, storage snapshots are going to be a part of the picture.

    Switching cloud storage providers isn't often a breeze, and one of the biggest headaches of all when doing so is data migration -- especially if you've got hundreds of terabytes, or even petabytes, of data stashed away. Fortunately, there are tools, approaches and third parties that can ease the transition process.

    Technology convergence in the modern data center is reshaping traditional IT jobs and responsibilities. Consequently, storage know-how, while still very valuable, is no longer the only area of expertise a storage professional needs to be proficient in to succeed. The good news is there are plenty of ways to take your career into your own hands to adapt to this new reality.

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  • Tape storage system viable for archiving, large backups

    No, the tape storage system isn't dead yet. This Drill Down explores how it lives on, mainly for archiving and with a boost from new technologies such as LTO-7 and Linear Tape File System, or LTFS.

    The seventh-generation LTO specification released in 2015 more than doubled the maximum compressed capacity to 15 TB and increased the data transfer rate to 750 MBps. LTO-7 also improved the bit error rate to a significant degree. The LTO Consortium already has LTO-8, LTO-9 and LTO-10 on its roadmap, each with significant capacity and performance improvements. For instance, draft specs for LTO-8 call for 32 TB of compressed capacity and sustained data transfer rates of up to 1,180 MBps.

    These tape storage system advances become more important as speedier technology such as solid-state drives raise users' storage performance expectations. The performance and capacity gains also come as tape faces increased competition from the cloud for archiving. While cloud providers can store data cheaply, it can take a long time to get data in and out of the cloud.

    LTFS creates partitions on tape and stores catalog information about files written to that tape. That makes it much easier to find and access files on a tape storage system than was possible before LTFS. Also known as tape NAS, it has been hailed as a tape's savior. While it hasn't caught on wildly, it is used by industries such as media and entertainment that make frequent use of archived tapes.

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  • Enterprise data protection strategy needs archive, backup

    Whether you use disk, tape or cloud in your enterprise data protection, where you send your archives and backups is up to you. Continue Reading

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