There is no question that as the sheer quantity of digital data continues to grow, storage management and archiving will become increasingly important. It has been estimated that the amount of digital data worldwide will grow to 40,000 exabytes by 2020 — an Exabyte is the equivalent of a billion gigabytes. Breaking that down, that means that there will be an average of over 5,200 GB of storage required per person.
The challenge of storing that data for as long as it is needed and then archiving it afterward is overwhelming, but the storage industry is working hard to create solutions that will work. Current trends include data being migrated to third-party cloud services as well as employing techniques such as thin provisioning, automatic tiering, storage virtualization and deduplication to improve efficiency. One of the most exciting developments has been the integration of flash storage with mainstream storage products to create hybrid flash systems.
Though all flash storage arrays are prohibitively expensive, creating hybrids in which the majority of the storage technology is inexpensive hard-drive storage and 10% is flash provides the ability for the flash technology to conduct fast searches, accessing the files that are held on the cheaper storage. This combination of technologies provides a remarkable cost advantage without losing performance.
At ShareArchiver, part of the reason that we are able to provide our clients with the ability to immediately locate and restore their archived data lies in our use of Single-Instance Storage (SIS). SIS enables us to keep a single copy of your content that can be provided to multiple users and locations based upon established permissions. It gets rid of the storage and backup problems created by data duplication by creating stub files that look and feel like the original and note changes on pointers while still maintaining an archive of the original document as well.
This system satisfies end users because it feels as though nothing has changed other than the fact that they are able to access their archived information much more quickly, while dramatically diminishing the amount of storage required and improving the system’s scalability as well. The file archiving system creates a hierarchy that replaces older files with stubs that can still be accessed when needed, providing security and capabilities for e-discovery requests.