We guarantee the integrity of data archived in our cloud for up to decades
Legal, accounting and administrative documents must be archived by law for 10 years, others for much longer periods, sometimes indefinitely.
However, traditional storage systems do not last so long. After 4 or 5 years on average they become obsolete, and are no longer supported by the manufacturers. This is why the data must be migrated over and over again through its life cycle, an aspect frequently overlooked by cost analysis. On top of this, the vast majority of on-premise Tier 1 and Tier 2 disk storage space is used for inactive data (around 80%), files which do not change for months and sometimes even years. All this means a huge waste of resources and money, which is especially worrying for anyone on a tight IT budget and increasingly limited resources.
Underestimating these aspects inevitably leads to exorbitant costs over the years. It’s not just the new storage systems, but also the migration services (storage consolidation) needed to carry out this complex task repeatedly onto new devices without endangering the data.
StorEasy Long-Term Archive Service
StorEasy’s Long-Term Archive service is built on an extremely secure, economical and high capacity platform. Our Long-Term Archive environment makes all content available online (object storage) or near-online (e.g. tape libraries) using the best storage technologies for this specific purpose. The hybrid architecture uses different storage tiers to ensure high performance and extremely low operating costs.
StorEasy offers Long-Term Archiving based on secure LTO/LTFS technology
The service is based on a secure, extremely reliable and resilient yet economical technology, that can store and safeguard data for periods of up to decades! An elastic memory that can be used to store unlimited quantities of data at a fraction of the cost of any other storage technology available on the market today.
The service is provided thanks to a hybrid architecture made up of Object Storage for the front-end and LTO/LTFS technology tape libraries for long-term data archiving. StorEasy virtualizes the tape libraries to Object Storage either accessible directly via S3 protocol, or through the StorEasy Cloud Gateway solutions (which convert SMB/NFS protocols to S3). A simple, secure and fast way to write and read the data, virtually compatible with all applications on the market today.
The LTO/LTFS technologies make the solution ideal for long-term data conservation.
LTO/LTFS technologies actually play a key role in medium and long-term data conservation and in Information Lifecycle Management (ILM). There are many factors that make LTO/LTFS technologies the ideal choice for the safe archiving of data. There are the technological characteristics of the physical support, the interoperability of LTFS with the vast majority of today’s operating systems, the safeguarding of your investment thanks to a well developed LTO support roadmap that looks ahead to the future, and the intrinsic reliability and resilience of LTO technology, which for example offers an error rate 10,000 times lower than a SATA disk. LTO tapes guarantee data archiving for periods of over 30 years, support a million recordings and 20,000 writing cycles per tape, and an MTBF (mean time between failures) of 250,000 hours at a 100% duty cycle.
LTO technology - unparalleled reliability for data integrity
Among the various data integrity controls on LTO media are a block level checksum and CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) validation performed directly by the LTO drive. LTO drives perform an on-board data check for each write to the physical tape. The LTO drive head is engineered so that each block written to tape is reread in real time from another section of the same head, so you can be certain that the data written to the medium is correct. In addition, each block is accompanied by a CRC with a numeric value that unequivocally identifies that particular block of files. These CRC numbers are also checked during read operations to detect and correct any errors.
High reliability and integrity for long-term archived data
In addition to the manufacturers’ guarantee of the integrity of data recorded on tape for long periods of time (30 years), StorEasy has introduced further levels of data integrity control to ensure that the archive is readable in the event of damage, wear and tear or corruption of the magnetic support, including scheduled scans of the media to read checksum data introduced during the writing of each individual file.
The data integrity check is achieved via the hash function, an algorithm which, for an arbitrary quantity of input data, generates an output of a fixed size as a “fingerprint” of the incoming data. This operation is repeated for each archived file, and the hash created mathematically is stored together with the file in the archive.
The hashes are recalculated and compared during the scans to check the integrity of the media. If a hash is found to be incorrect during validation, the associated file is marked “bad” and another copy of the file (security copy) is retrieved in real time to replace the corrupted one. In order to ensure the correct number of copies, a second (or third) copy of the retrieved file is made immediately to a new media.
The Long-Term Archive environment executes multiple copies of the data across the distributed data center (Milan – Empoli) and multiple copies of the LTO tapes in several libraries. If a copy of the primary archive in the tape library becomes illegible for whatever reason, the second or third copy of the damaged file is automatically retrieved and used. All tapes in the library are subject to systematic integrity checks following automatic policies.
Linear Tape File System – LTFS
The LTFS format is ISO/IEC 20919:2016 compliant, a standard that guarantees the interchangeability of media among different producers. The LTFS operating system divides the tape into two independent areas, one partition for the metadata (file information such as name and size), and the other for the actual data. When an LTFS tape is loaded, the metadata partition is read and the content catalogue is made available to the applications.
Importing LTFS media
StorEasy handles the import of LTFS file systems created outside the main archive, for example by a remote site using the Cloud Gateway LTFS solution or another manufacturer that has adopted the same standard. The most significant feature of the LTFS format is the ability to move recorded media between different operating systems, applications and platforms, allowing us to use the tape to all intents and purposes like a traditional disk or USB flash drive.
WORM Archiving (Write Once – Read Many)
WORM technology can archive data in non-rewritable, non-erasable format. Using this technique, recorded data can no longer be overwritten, modified and/or manipulated. The WORM protection process offered by StorEasy complies with the strictest national and international regulations covering sensitive data archiving, document management, electronic record storage and log file archiving.
The solution guarantees secure and lasting validity of archived data that is binding on third parties thanks to full compliance with the requisites of law.
Data at Rest Encryption for data archived on LTO media
The Long-Term Archive Service uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), one of the most popular and secure cryptography algorithms on the market. AES is impregnable to attack, and it is no accident that this is the standard chosen by governments, banks and high security systems worldwide. Cryptography ensures that the LTO tapes can only be read by those who possess the correct decryption key. The data is encrypted directly on the LTO tape units, using the AES-256 key, by specialized hardware in the tape library drives.