This is the third and last part of my interview with Brendan Sullivan of SullivanStrickler and Fred Moore of Horison Information Systems about the increasing value of tape as an archive medium. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
This section first focuses on the security benefits of tape archives and then looks at the way the market is likely to develop.
Security issues and cybercrime have been steadily increasing over the last few years, and are among the primary concerns of most organisations and their IT departments. I asked Brendan Sullivan and Fred Moore if tape archives offered any help with security.
A tape archive is off-site and, except when it is actually being used, is off-line. The media is usually on a shelf, giving what is known as the “tape air gap”. Most cybercrime is effected on an online storage device; someone would have to break into SullivanStrickler’s vault and steal a tape in order to get access to its contents.
As to future developments, Brendan Sullivan said that these could involve several possible directions. Clients are increasingly tackling mountains of unstructured data, partly because of discovery and regulatory requirements, but also in order to get value from the data (see the earlier videos about this).
SullivanStrickler is not involved in the creation of data or in backups. Users of its product Invenire do not have to maintain old hardware installations and backup software. They do not need regular access to the data, but they do need to get hold of it, usually quickly and always securely, as and when they need it, to meet a discovery requirement for a regulatory event. To access a backup session, the client merely logs in, searches for a backup event, clicks on its name and downloads it. They do not want to pay a lot for it, but when they need it they need it.
Fred Moore sees the development of specialised clouds, one of which will be an archive cloud. Why bother to archive data at all if you will never be able to find it? If you put intelligence around it, as SullivanStrickler does, that intelligence makes it easy to find what you want when you want it.