Low-cost, high capacity drives such as SATA drives are used in a RAID system for archive. RAID that is directly attached to the archive server using SCSI, SAS, iSCSI or FC interfaces can be used as the performance copy in an archive solution. Hard disks that have capacities of 10TB and when combined in RAID sets can provide capacities in the multiple hundreds of TB range. RAID5 and RAID6 based solutions are designed to continue operating in the event of drives failing. It is possible to create a pseudo-WORM (write once read many) environment on RAID that prevents deletion of archived data using retention management tools, like those available from QStar Archive Manager software.
A drawback of using RAID within an archive is the relatively short life of RAID products. It is almost impossible to get a hardware maintenance contract on a RAID system greater than 4 years old. Even if this is possible, it would be uneconomical to do so, as disk capacities increase and cost per TB decrease at an alarming speed. RAID, even with built-in recovery, is still susceptible to data loss. Disks fail and rebuilds sometimes do not complete. RAID is therefore not a secure form of storage for archive data, on its own.
As part of a 3-2-1 Archive, RAID can play a very important role. As more archives are required to comply with regulatory or government edicts and, as e-discovery orders become increasingly necessary, the need for a fast archive increases. One option is to purchase a Object Storage solution, which offers similar performance but also provides higher levels of data security. A second option is to use QStar Archive Replicator software and pair RAID with another low-cost form of storage such as tape or optical.
We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your archiving needs and encourage you to contact us.