HSM vs. Storage Management Software – Key Differences to Consider

Words matter… so do acronyms. We’ve seen a new category of storage management software developed which is being referred to as, you guessed it, “Storage Management Software.” Some have questioned whether this is something new or if it is just another offering of HSM (Hierarchical Storage Management). There are differences between the two categories. This isn’t just about product positioning or marketing; it’s about what certain products do or don’t do and whether or not they are a fit for your data center or a specific need. Both solution types are designed to keep frequently accessed data on the fastest storage (usually the most expensive and least dense) while moving inactive data to slower storage (usually much less expensive and significantly more dense). How the solutions accomplish this is very different. Read More


Object Storage and its Role in Long-Term Storage Today

In my last blog, I discussed types of “data movers” including backup, archive, HSM and migration. These are ways to move data, but where are you moving the data to? Disk? Tape? Cloud? A combination of those? The significance of “data mover” applications to an organization’s workflow is closely tied to other elements of their data storage ecosystem, namely storage targets.

Over time, storage targets have evolved from repositories completely “unaware” of the data they hold to hyper-intelligent data management platforms. On one end of the spectrum, more typically found in tier-1 storage, are Storage Area Networks (SANs). These repositories, which are unaware of the data they hold, offer up blocks of storage which a server’s file system or a database administrator must configure into usable storage. With the advent of Network Attached Storage (NAS), storage devices use their own processing power and file system to lay data across blocks – presenting the storage as a folder of files which can be accessed by multiple servers, and even servers with varying operating systems and/or file systems, across the network. SAN and NAS are commonly found in tier-1 data storage, although they can be used in tier-2 storage as well. Read More


Understanding the Nuances of Data Movement in Today’s Complex Systems

It’s 1985. You’re the last one to leave the office that afternoon. You go into the server room, put the 8-inch floppy disk in the drive, go back to your office, type a backup command via the “terminal” on your desk, and now you’re free to go home. Your data is being backed up and safe. One last thing… don’t forget to take yesterday’s backup floppy with you in case the building burns down over night. OK, maybe you worked for a slightly larger company than I did in 1985, but it worked pretty much the same.  There was storage and backup for the storage. We didn’t refer to “primary” storage.  Disk was storage and all floppies, CDs, or tape was backup to that storage. Read More


Comparing Storage Technologies: Pros, Cons and Future Predictions – Part Two

Last week in Part One of “Comparing Storage Technologies: Pros, Cons and Future Predictions,” I discussed the pros and cons of solid-state storage and magnetic disk, and shared predictions for where Spectra believes the two technologies are headed. This week, I will cover two additional technologies: Tape and Optical Disc.

Modern interior of server room in datacenter. IT Engineer in Action Configuring Servers.
3. Tape: Tape has been around for more than 40 years and the need for tape in the long-term archive market continues to grow. Digital tape for secondary storage however has been experiencing a year to year decline and some small tape systems are being displaced by cloud storage solutions.

    Pros:
  • Cost – Today, the cheapest storage medium is LTO-6 tape with roughly a $25 price for 2.5TB of storage or $.01/GB.
  • Capacity – Tape has the highest potential for capacity improvement (product roadmap).
    Cons:
  • Accessibility – Accessing specific data on stored tape can be a slow process.

Predictions: LTO-8 and IBM® TS1155 Tape Technology will begin shipping in 2017. As we progress down the roadmap, we can expect increased capacities and lower costs. Spectra foresees flash technology and tape coexisting, and becoming the prevailing storage technologies for online and archive needs. Read More


Comparing Storage Technologies: Pros, Cons and Future Predictions – Part One

Serving a market sector of more than $35 billion, the storage device industry has exhibited constant innovation and improvement. In this two-part blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of current technologies being utilized in the storage market as well as Spectra’s predictions for where these technologies are headed in the coming years.

Businessman on digital futuristic background using his tablet pc

1. Solid State (Flash): NAND flash, or solid-state storage, is currently the fastest growing technology in the storage market. On the high end, flash is gaining ground for database applications. On the low end, flash is rapidly replacing small hard disks and is considered the de facto technology for digital cameras, smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

    Pros:
  • Reliability – Flash contains no mechanical parts and produces less heat than HDDs.
  • Performance – It allows for high speed data transfer to and from storage media.
    Cons:
  • Cost – Consumer grade solid-state drives consisting of flash storage are currently selling for approximately $0.25 per GB, while consumer-grade magnetic disk drives are selling for approximately $0.025 per GB.
  • Capacity – Flash is restricted. The higher the capacity, the lower the performance.
  • Durability – While the read/write life of flash is improving, it’s still far more restricted than disk or tape.
  • Read More