Backup and Archive – what is the difference? In essence, backups provide organizations with business continuity. A backup creates a secondary copy of a data set to protect against data loss and provides the ability to restore a system quickly to a previous state. Backups typically increase the need for storage capacity by creating multiple copies of Primary Tier data. Designed for quick recovery, backups are a way to protect active data that is stored on the primary storage system. In contrast, archiving involves moving data to a lower cost repository rather than copying. Archive is meant to keep data for the long-term and accessible for future reference – for instance, a company may archive completed projects, inactive and aging data, or data that is required to be stored for a certain period of time due to regulations. Archives protect data by making multiple copies of the migrated data, often on multiple storage mediums, and in multiple storage locations.
Enter Spectra Logic’s new storage lifecycle management software offering: Spectra StorCycle.®
StorCycle is designed to identify and migrate inactive data from the primary storage tier to a more affordable tier – the Perpetual Tier – while enabling users to protect their data with the ability to store multiple copies on multiple storage mediums. The Perpetual Tier is used for secondary storage, distribution, archive, and disaster recovery.
So, does StorCycle replace my backup software? The answer is no. It does not replace backup software and, in fact, works in conjunction with backup software, making your backup software work better. There will NEVER be a replacement for business-critical backups and the protection it provides to active data. StorCycle is a complement to backup software and it works to reduce the overall size of backups, by identifying and migrating inactive data from primary storage to a perpetual storage tier for long-term retention. Doing so allows critical data and systems to be backed up in a quicker, more efficient time frame, reducing backup windows. In that same vein, if a disaster such as a server or storage failure were to occur, the system would be restored in a shorter period of time, reducing downtime and the ability to meet recovery time objectives (RTO).
Not only does StorCycle alleviate the burden on backup windows and recovery, it also assists in reducing costs associated with backup software and primary storage. Capacity-based backup licenses charge per terabyte or petabyte. By reducing the overall amount of data on primary storage, StorCycle reduces backup costs as well as primary storage costs. By offloading inactive data or completed projects from higher cost primary storage to lower cost repositories in a Perpetual Tier of storage, such as object storage disk, tape or cloud, organizations can better allocate their primary storage to active, hot data and projects in the works. With StorCycle, organizations also attain the side benefit of faster performance once the inactive data has been moved from the Primary Tier to the Perpetual Tier, allowing primary storage to perform at its peak.
Investment protection is always a valuable benefit when considering any new solution and StorCycle provides the ability to share storage hardware with the backup application. Organizations have the ability to leverage existing storage investments by simply partitioning their storage to utilize the same hardware for all the backup copies, as well as the archived data (i.e., using the same tape library or disk system) creating a true perpetual tier of secondary storage.
Spectra StorCycle works hand-in-hand with backup software to provide a full, robust solution that takes pressure off backup windows, backup budget, etc.