Although disk and cloud are gaining popularity as data storage tools, off-site data storage for tape is still the best option for backup and archiving. With the advent of LTFS, file system access is at the operating system level (available with generation 5 and up). Also, Linear Tape-Open 6 (LTO-6) products offer 40% more throughput and 2xs the capacity than the previous version with increased compression capacity.
Because the OMB’s Freeze the Footprint mandate is forcing federal agencies to make more efficient use of space, the best place to store all of these tapes is at a secure off-site facility. Agencies will be able to meet the mandate and securely manage backup and archival records plus meet the Directive on Managing Government Records by President Obama. This directive requires all permanent records to be electronically stored by 2019 making off-site data storage for tape a great solution. If you are not a government agency, your organization can also benefit from the use of off-site tape storage with footprint reduction and cost savings.
When reviewing off-site storage vendors for tape, consider vendors that:
- Meet the compliance requirements for your industry
- Safeguard your data both at the facility and during transit
- Do not charge excessive fees (exp: permanent removal or hostage fees)
Questions to ask off-site storage vendors Candidates:
1. Do you meet ANSI standards?
Is the environment controlled? – humidity, unregulated temperatures and dust can damage tape and other digital media.
Is the facility protected against natural and man-made disasters? – tornadoes, seismic activity, hurricanes, fire (is paper stored near digital media? Paper is fuel)
Is the facility secure? – restricted security card access, closed-circuit,
2. Are my tapes and information secure at your facility?
Having sensitive information at your location or office is not always smart. You are at risk if a fire or flood hit your building or if an unauthorized party accessed sensitive data. An off-site vendor will handle your records with stringent controls and maintain the security of your data during delivery, storage and pick-up.
Is there a secure, dedicated courier vehicle? Is there a chain of custody? Do drivers receive background checks?
3. Do you have a tracking and inventory system to manage our organization’s tapes?
Do you use barcode tracking technology?
Are on site audits available?
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