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George Crump considers the role of disk for archive storage

Turning to disk archive for specific uses can be beneficial, but storage administrators need to weigh those assets against other potential options.

"I'm good with disk archive. You just need to think, 'Do I really want to power this thing for 25 years?'" George Crump, founder of Storage Switzerland, told his Storage Decisions audience.

Crump said that disk archive has a role for storing data for five to 10 years, depending on the environment. "But once you get beyond that, you really need to think about something else," he said.

Some administrators have turned to extending disk archive storage into tape and into cloud for certain kinds of data, Crump said.

"There is value there. Again, the problem for cloud is [that] the price per terabyte per month is pretty cheap, but it's the price per terabyte per month times 12 … it starts to add up eventually," said Crump, who noted that other archive methods, such as tape, can be a one-time investment.

Some administrators have also implemented archive storage that use both disk and tape, Crump said. "There are an increasing number of archive systems on the market that have a disk front end and a tape backup," he said. "And your users interface with this as if it was a mount point on the environment."

Crump said archiving that uses both disk and tape can help make it easier for users to access their data from archive storage for data protection purposes, so long as IT staff can train users on how to do it. "If I can accomplish that, everything just got a whole lot easier," he said.

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