Three Key Ways to Increase Data Protection with Storage Lifecycle Management Software

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Organizations desire an easy way to move inactive data off of the expensive Primary Tier of storage to lower-cost long-term storage, including cloud, disk, and tape. Software that provides this type of data movement capability is referred to as Storage Lifecycle Management Software. Yet, a storage lifecycle management software solution which is capable of offloading data to lower cost storage should not be limited to simply moving files from one storage location to another. Modern Storage Lifecycle Management Software should also be capable of securely storing the data for long periods of time or forever, ensuring that migrated data is safe and protected and allowing users to make copies of any data file for disaster recovery (DR) purposes.

Spectra Logic’s new storage lifecycle management software solution, StorCycle, was designed with that in mind. Defined by a decade where solid-state disk drives have introduced extraordinary improvements in data access and where endless amounts of data may be stored across many locations, StorCycle empowers organizations to fully leverage their primary storage systems, while at the same time allowing for the preservation of data on the absolute lowest cost storage options.

Here are the three key ways in which StorCycle delivers the utmost data protection:

  1. When in transit, buckle up and look twice

StorCycle has numerous features to ensure that migrations and restores occur as quickly and as safely as possible. Policies prevent file overwrites from accidentally occurring on said file transfer operations. Customizable user roles allow administrators to limit migration and restoration jobs to authorized users only, enabling the level of control that administrators deem warranted. Moreover, file permissions remain unchanged throughout the data movement process, ensuring safety by maintaining any and all predefined access restrictions.

StorCycle’s file checksum feature acts as a thumbprint of the file that can be reproduced at any time to ensure that the file has not changed. When a file to be migrated is read by StorCycle, the software calculates the checksum of that entire file as it is written to the target storage. This value can be exported and is automatically validated each time StorCycle restores a file. Checksums lend a greater degree of data protection by reporting errors while files can still be accessed and restored.

  1. Migrating to multiple storage targets

Spectra Logic strongly encourages customers to store their archived data on multiple storage targets in multiple geographic locations, ideally on multiple storage types.

When setting up a data migration job with Spectra StorCycle, a user can easily specify that files be migrated to multiple storage targets. The targets can be any combination of cloud storageobject storage disknetwork-attached storage (NAS) and tape. By having multiple copies of data in the Perpetual Tier, extra protection is provided in the event that one copy is lost or corrupted without wasting storage space on expensive primary storage. Having copies in multiple geographic locations provides additional protection in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. And having data stored on multiple storage types minimizes the risk of loss through online attack, virus, ransomware, or other computer incident or bug. Furthermore, when migrating data to Spectra’s BlackPearl Converged Storage System, the data can be moved to a tape that can be ejected from the tape library, providing an offline copy, further protecting the data via the ‘air gap’ method – which means removing data entirely from the network.

When storing data for long periods of time, migrating data to new technology as it becomes available can be easily done with StorCycle. Combined with Spectra storage targets, the software enables painless and transparent migration of data to newer disk storage and tape generations. Users are also able to access migrated files directly without StorCycle, assuming that they have permissions. This means that organizations are not forced into “vendor lock-in” by using StorCycle or Spectra storage targets.

  1. Encryption

We’ve all heard it before: data breaches are becoming increasingly more common in today’s society. One way organizations are combating cybercrime and protecting their assets is data encryption. Encrypting data decreases the likelihood of unauthorized parties successfully tampering with data, ensuring that only sanctioned users access a company’s information. Encryption also supports data integrity and safeguards data from alterations, often giving visibility about suspicious activity. And while encryption may be mandatory for certain industries dealing with privacy regulations, even organizations that are not required to encrypt data will set policies willingly enforcing the use of encryption technology as a way to build trust by showing clients that they respect customer privacy.

Files migrated by Spectra StorCycle can be encrypted “at rest” through the encryption capabilities in the storage targets. For Spectra storage targets, encryption options include: Self Encrypting Drives (SED) for the BlackPearl NAS and object storage disk solutions; tape encryption options such as key-per-library, key-per-partition or key-per-tape encryption; and cloud-based encryption offered by cloud service providers, where data is typically encrypted when transferred to and stored in the storage buckets.

Spectra StorCycle includes a number of features to ensure that migrated data is safe and secure, both when initially migrated and in the future. Learn more about the storage lifecycle management software in the StorCycle Technical Guide.