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Complement your cloud storage with HP StoreEver LTO Tape



Mark.jpgBy Mark Fleischhauer, HP StoreEver Tape Storage Solutions Engineering Manager


So you decided to deploy a cloud storage solution to protect your archive data. Now come some important questions: What are you going to do if you lose your network connection and you need your data? What if your cloud provider decides to close its doors? How are you going to deal with the slow upload speeds? How about data that you don’t want to store in the cloud because of security concerns? By adding a complementary tape-as-NAS (tNAS) solution on the front end, now you can address these issues using cost-effective LTO tape storage.


You’re not alone when it comes to cloud storage concerns

The issues described above are shared by a number of IT professionals. The Enterprise Strategy Group polled a variety of IT professionals from a variety of business sizes and found that 84% were using some sort of public cloud service. Of these users, 69% were very interested in using their own on-premise storage for storing some or all of its data. Most users were concerned with overall data protection and security. And 34% were also concerned about performance issues. By using an HP StoreEver tNAS solution on the front end of your cloud solution, you can easily mitigate these issues.


tNAS on the front side

Using the HP StoreEver tNAS solution with QStar Archive Manager (ASM) software, it’s easy to access your cloud storage just as if it were a disk solution. The cloud storage is simply a storage location, just like the HP StoreEver tape library, behind the QStar ASM server. The cloud objects are automatically created and written to or read from the cloud using Swift API commands. The StoreEver Tape library will also contain a copy of the data, which can be stored in the LTFS format, providing access to your data at any time, even if your cloud is inaccessible.



Dealing with bandwidth issues

Pushing large amounts of data to the cloud can take a significant amount of time. That means that the data on your primary servers can’t be deleted and space reallocated until the data transfer completes. By configuring the cloud storage location as a tier within the tNAS solution, the data can be first written quickly to the tNAS StoreEver tape target allowing for faster storage reallocation. Over time, the data on the tape library will get written to the cloud. As added protection, you can create duplicate tape copies as well. This method works well if you send data in bursts that can be trickled off to the cloud over time.


Data synchronicity

If it you need your tape data and your cloud data to stay in synch, then you can set up the solution as a mirror. In this configuration, the data is sent to both the cloud and the StoreEver tape library simultaneously. Overall performance will be limited to the slowest storage, in this case the cloud. To maximize network performance to the cloud, the ASM server automatically writes multiple objects concurrently to the cloud.


Data accessibility

With a tNAS solution providing the gateway to your data, you now have a local copy of your data on tape and a remote copy in the cloud. If your connection is lost to your cloud, the system will automatically pull the data from the StoreEver tape library. If your requested data is still in the disk cache, then it will be read from the disk cache directly. Should your cloud provider decide to cease operations, you can immediately begin to move your data to a new cloud provider directly from your local tape storage with a few clicks of the mouse. No need worry about trying to get your data back first. This capability also gives you the flexibility to migrate to a new cloud provider if you wish.


Any data that you wish to keep close to home, such as intellectual property or employee information, can be written to the tNAS solution for safe keeping as well on reliable, cost-effective HP LTO tape inside the HP StoreEver tape library. You can create duplicate copies for off-site storage for even greater protection and disaster tolerance.


Tape and cloud – a final word

Using cloud storage is great way to protect your data, however like everything else, it comes with its own set of concerns. Just like your personal savings, adding diversification is the best way to protect you valued investments. Using tNAS with HP StoreEver tape to complement your cloud storage provides additional data protection, data accessibility, and data migration opportunities so you can rest assure knowing your valuable assets are secure and accessible. For more details and implementation information, check out this technical white paper on reducing the complexity and risk of cloud with the tNAS combined cloud and tape solution. 

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