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Vol. 3 No. 12 February 2005

Big archives need big planning

Building out an archive requires a lot of planning if you want to be able to manage it as it balloons in size. "One [issue] we've seen get people is retrieval," says Jim Cuff, VP of engineering at Boston-based Iron Mountain, which provides a variety of electronic archiving and vaulting services. Working on the assumption that they're building a low-access archive, "they get caught flat-footed" as it grows and are unable to retrieve data at the rates they can write. Another issue is logistics: How do you procure, power, cool and protect that much disk? Iron Mountain has customers who archive 250GB daily, which at first "sounds like a conventional IT problem," Cuff says. But over, say, seven years, that 250GB per day approaches 650TB. What happens if that 250GB per day becomes 500GB? "You're in a different problem domain quite by accident," notes Cuff. Massive array of idle disks (MAID) storage is one technology that may help the archive cause. In a nutshell, a MAID array spins down disks that aren't being used to reduce wear and ...

Features in this issue

  • No-sweat SAN design

    Whether you're planning a new storage area network (SAN) or dealing with the growing pains of an existing one, SAN design tools can ease the process.

  • E-mail archivers keep companies legit

    Storage managers must deal with stricter government regulations and rapidly escalating e-mail stores. There are many e-mail archiving programs available, but finding the one that best meets your company's needs is the key.

  • D2D Backup: Disk's dual role

    In part one of a three-part series on disk-based backup, we describe how SAN disk-as-disk and NAS disk-as-disk work, as well as the pros and cons of each configuration.

  • Backup exec: Time to grow up

    New version of Backup Exec catches up with Windows growth.

  • Scaling SANs

    Horizontal and vertical scaling are two methods of improving a SAN's capacity and performance. We discuss how to choose the appropriate approach for your environment.

Columns in this issue