Could cold storage solve the growing data problem?
The amount of data that businesses must store today, including small and medium-sized businesses, is astounding. In fact, most businesses now have to spend part of their budget on data storage alone.
As you can imagine, the complexity and cost of managing and storing data – including engagement data, behavioral data, customer personal data, supplier data, and more. – constitute a major challenge. On the one hand, it would be practical to delete as much data as possible to avoid cluttering the servers. On the other hand, this same data could have strategic value at a later date.
At the end of the day, it’s less about choosing what data to keep and what to dispose of, and more about what to cold store and what to keep âwarmâ. What is cold storage and how can it help solve the growing data challenges businesses face?
What is cold data?
Cold data, or cold storage, simply refers to data that is no longer actively used or viewed by a business.
Much of the cold data that is kept by businesses is kept for compliance purposes or to access information if needed at a later date. This is the kind of data that your business is likely to need to have on hand at some point in the future, but is irrelevant now or in the near future.
Most of this type of data is stored in cold storage “archives” which are meant to be accessed infrequently. Typical forms of inactive data placed in cold storage archives include media files, data stored as a backup, or data required to maintain compliance, such as PCI-DSS standards that require companies to store data. cardholders, for example.
This is in stark contrast to hot data or data that needs to be accessed quickly, such as financial transactions or data used in marketing campaigns. However, while hot storage requires more expensive and better performing servers, cold data can be stored on repositories which have slower recovery and response times, but are also much cheaper.
This is especially appealing to businesses with smaller budgets, and it’s one of the reasons cold storage is now the fastest growing data storage segment. In fact, the cold data storage industry, which is currently valued at $ 8 billion, is expected by Research & Markets to have a collective valuation of $ 19 billion by 2027.
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How is cold data typically stored?
There are different ways to store cold data efficiently, including through the cloud or on physical hard drives or SSDs on premises. On-premise storage devices are reliable, but also need to be tested regularly and will have a defined lifespan. Doing so could put your cold data, and especially data that needs to be preserved, at great risk.
Cloud storage options are likely to be a more practical option for SMBs than an on-premises solution. Cloud storage services are cheaper, more easily accessible, and come with various security and compliance controls.
Additionally, many cloud providers allow you to set service level agreements regarding how long it will take to recover data. Typically, data stored in cold storage will likely take a few hours to retrieve, while data stored in a warmer tier of storage should be available immediately or within minutes.
The exception to this principle is if you must use devices on site in order to meet compliance requirements. It’s also wise to perform annual assessments of your cold data where end users or contractors working for you can assess what data is needed to keep. It is unlikely that all the cold data you store will be kept permanently.
How is cold data storage the solution to today’s data problems?
It’s a basic rule that the more data you store, the more expensive it will be. That’s why businesses, and especially those that need to store a lot of digital media or that evolve rapidly, are always looking for the most economical and efficient solutions to store their cold data. It’s also why companies in the data storage industry are always focused on how they can âreinventâ the way cold data is stored.
When it comes to both the affordability and accessibility of data storage, it is likely that cold storage will prove essential in the long term. Indeed, as the amount of data that businesses must store grows exponentially combined with budget cuts, cold storage appears to be the only viable solution for most businesses.
The total amount of data consumed globally reached over 64 zettabytes last year, and the overwhelming majority of that data is either rarely recovered or completely inactive. If this type of data is stored in a high-performance storage solution typically intended for active data, it consumes resources: both actual storage space and the power needed to maintain the stored data. These are resources that would be better reserved for data that must be accessed quickly.
Then there’s the fact that many businesses have to keep data for long periods of time. To avoid legal consequences, businesses are choosing to switch to cold storage solutions that allow them to store important but unused data. Low cost, durable and high capacity data storage solutions.
Cold storage solutions simply offer a much more cost effective storage alternative to hot storage. Businesses don’t have to be faced with choosing what data they want to keep.
Especially since increasing data storage becomes a fundamental reality of digital transformation, businesses can instead decide what data they want to keep easily accessible and what data they want to put in a cold storage solution for future access. .
Read more : Public cloud vs private cloud for data storage: can we have the best of both worlds?