Long-term data retention, a new challenge for companies. Firms are looking for new hybrid or cloud solutions to keep all their information safe. The details of the new trend.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are increasingly turning to hybrid or cloud solutions that are more efficient and cost-effective in safeguarding, protecting, and recovering their data.
If data sharing remains a critical issue, companies must now ask themselves how they will preserve data to address future security and compliance requirements.
In addition, due to the rapid growth of data used, stored, connected, and analyzed by organizations, solutions must be used that are adapted to each type of data, whether for short-term or long-term preservation.
Data storage models and architectures have evolved a lot, from physical servers to data centers, through SaaS in VM and cloud, multi-cloud or hybrid solutions.
All of them have their advantages and weaknesses depending on the level of security, size, or type of data to be protected.
Many organizations are now turning to cloud and hybrid solutions to ensure flexibility, scalability, and anytime, anywhere data accessibility.
However, some data is better suited to different types of architectures. Such as block storage, for example, which is more efficient and suitable when dealing with critical data and intensive applications, better known as “hot” data, because elements are more easily and quickly modified.
The file architecture allows easier retrieval within hierarchical structures. But these structures, well suited for data exchange, are not necessarily the most efficient when it comes to storing large amounts of information.
They can be very demanding in terms of energy, infrastructure, and costs and are often also more vulnerable to security threats.
From structured to unstructured models: Object storage
Unlike structured data architectures, such as files or blocks, object storage allows companies to protect large data sets and retain them for a longer period.
Object storage meets several needs: the first is cost reduction if companies do not need to modify or access information very frequently.
An unstructured data architecture model allows information to be better distributed, thanks to a non-hierarchical indexing pattern using metadata.
In its 2020 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage report, Gartner states that the annual growth of unstructured data is between 30% and 60%.
Another benefit of object storage lies in its direct correlation with information security, as stored objects can be made immutable, i.e. impossible to modify or delete, even by administrators for a predefined period.
This makes it possible to better protect them against external attacks such as ransomware or internal threats and to better manage authentication processes.
In addition, each time data is modified, the fact that a new object is created can help avoid redundancies and cloud storage facilitates access, allowing organizations to meet compliance requirements more easily and cost-effectively for long-term data retention.
In turn, object storage supports REST APIs and HTTP encoding, making it easily accessible, while software-defined, flash-based object storage is gaining ground in the industry.
Most cloud providers offer long-term storage solutions. Innovations in this area are promising in terms of very long-term data retention.
The abrupt growth in the amount of data that companies must protect portends the coming growth of this type of storage to meet a growing need stemming from the current pace of digital transformation.