Long-time Archiving

Safely and cost-effectively archive the ever-increasing amounts of digital information stored in modern organizations.


The storageQS long-time archiving solution is designed to offer an automated solution for archiving inactive data. By using a variety of data technologies we store data safely, searchable and secure. With a lifecylce management you can select which data needs to be stored on which media and for how long.

The solution combines Microsoft Windows-based software, a platform-independent XML API, robots for recording and labelling disks, as well as archival-grade Panasonic Blu-ray disks, to provide a comprehensive answer to many long-time archiving needs. The whitepaper is downloadable on the right, it outlines some of the design considerations that went into developing this solution.

General process of archiving

In general the process of archiving data follows an order of successive steps.
When the primary storage becomes to full with online data a selection is made which data to archive. This selection process can be based on retention, file date or selected by a third party program like a ERP or DMS. The data can be copied to disk, tape, bluray or a combination of these media choices. The archive is made and parity, metadata and encryption is added. The metadata can be viewed from the Archiving client or can be made available though an API for third party software.

Primary storage gets full

Daily work in a company generates data on the near-line storage. After periods of time it is nessacery to archive inactive data to create space again.

Add metadata to the files

Additional metadata can be added to the files to categorize data-sets depending on the companies requirements.

primary storage primary storage primary storage primary storage
Primary storage gets full

Archive data that is no longer required for normal operations or only needs to be retained to satisfy policy is eligible for archiving.

The data will no longer be modified; or needs to be explicitly guarded against modification. Data can be combined or divided into individual “packages”, that afterwards can be stored as independent archive sets; Archived data is only required in exceptional situations, and restoration is not very time-sensitive.

Choose media option

There are four different media possibilities available to store the archived packages. The requirements of the client determine which option is most suitable.

Start of archiving data

Inactive data is collected and prepared for the archive process. Which includes parity, essential metadata, 256-encryption, ending with a hash-verification.

Case example

A project was successfully completed and the data is no longer needed online. The Document management software (DMS) moves the data to a Petablock (disk archive). The Petablock creates the archive and reports this back to the DMS. When a user wants to access the archived data, he opens the DMS and request the project files. The DMS knows that the data is not online and makes a request to the Petablock to retrieve the archive. The users is alerted by the DMS whenever his requested data is available again.

Archiving Process

Collect your data and create package to archive to the media of your choice.

Long Time Archiving of your data with parity, encryption, key management and searchable meta-data.

Media options

The required treatment of the documents and the companies’ demand determines which option is most suitable to use.

Blu-ray

The best entry-level option for moderate-throughput environments (up to 3.0 TB/day, more with high-capacity publishers like the Rimage 8200).

  • No maintenance, migration or conditioning required once the Blu-ray disks have been recorded: green, cost-effective and convenient: any office shelf can be used for storage 25 GB disks offer the best value for money; 50 GB and 100 GB media options are available as well.
  • Panasonic archival-grade Blu-ray disks (certified by TÜV Rheinland) offer a 50-year storage life. A special service level agreement offers root-cause analysis for defective media.
  • Specially designed storage cases and labeling system make filing easy.

The process of archiving on Blu-ray

Tape

Excellent compromise between speed, capacity and cost, if you already have a data center with temperature and humidity controls.

  • Tape shelf life exceeds that of drive/autoloader hardware; relatively low power and maintenance requirements.
  • Qualstar RLS-8350 library with LTO 5 tapes stores up to 1 PB in just 16U: throughput up to 16 TB/day (real-world LTA performance; 10Gb/s LAN and fast source storage required).
  • Archive Disk manages auto-migration to a higher-capacity library once available.

The process of archiving on Tape

Disk (“PetaBlock”)

Highest performance and scalability: up to 3.3 PB in a 48U rack, throughput up to 32 TB/day with good concurrent archive/restore performance and easy archive deletion.

  • Non-RAID technology offers extreme data safety at a moderate maintenance and power consumption level.
  • Support for multiple availability zones, within the same data center or across geographically diverse locations.
  • Mix and match disks from various vendors: easily upgrade to higher-capacity disks when available, with the Archive Disk software automatically handling migration.
  • Archive Disk monitors disk health and performs energy management, auto-recovering data from failed disks and keeping as many disks as possible powered off.
  • Excellent basis for an ‘Archiving as a service’ model, where web-based users around the world can upload or request material, with features like e-mail notification when data is processed and usage-based billing.

The process of archiving on PetaBlock

Cloud

The ideal way to completely outsource your archive storage, if you have a 1Gb/s+ Internet connection.

  • Minimizes the amount of on-site hardware and media storage required.
  • Archive Disk distributes your data over 5+ object storage providers, avoiding cloud vendor lock-in. Redundancy is managed in such a way that an entire provider can go down without causing you data loss. Also, no single provider has a complete copy of your (encrypted) data.
  • Lost objects are quickly detected and automatically recovered. Migrations between providers are managed automatically as well.

The process of archiving on Cloud

Multiple Media

Archive directly to multiple media or migrate from disk to Tape to Blu-ray.

  • Archive to Petablock, Petatape and Blu-ray with the help of a simple to use Lifecycle management.
  • Redundancy on multiple media, restoring from multiple media.
  • Move data with a higher retension automaticly to the best media choice

The process of archiving on Multiple Media

Archive software

The included Archive software is a Microsoft Windows-based software with a platform-independent XML API.

We use RAID-LIKE Technology to protect data and significantly reduces the risk of data loss, even if the storage media degrade over time. Depending on archive set size and redundancy settings, you can still restore an archive set with one or more unreadable or missing media. All archive media are encrypted, so they can be stored at third-party locations, and in-transit loss of media does not create a liability.
Yes, archive sets are secured using a Public/private key infrastructure (PKI). To handle leaving individuals the software supports bulk key transfers. A disaster recovery key can be created to prevent archive sets from becoming unavailible due to loss of all other keys. This key can even be printed to paper and stored in a safe.
All Archive sets are protected by using AES-256 encryption. A strong random key is created for every new archive set. This encusres that the archive set is unreadable to anyone except to authorized users.
Archive sets can have mandotory or optional metadata added with it. This can be identifiers already used in the organisation, such as case numbers, customer numbers or time periods. The file properties like filename, filesize and timestams are stored in a database. This make it possible to search and find data that is archived.
The Long-time Archive software can retrieve on Direct attached storage (DAS) or directly from your SMB shares in the network. The hash of a file is calculated, the data is then copied to the local storage and verified.
Screenshot Archive Disk v2.0