Note: I had the opportunity of working with Fujifilm on a new white paper discussing how Fujifilm’s Object Archive Software helps institutions deal with the challenges of digital preservation. In this Part 2 article (Read Part 1 on Digital Preservation and Its Challenges), I visit why institutions are leveraging on-premises object storage for digital preservation. And I cover how Fujifilm’s Object Archive software links the advantages of on-premises S3-compatible object storage together with the advantages of tape technology for an optimum digital preservation solution.
On-Premises Object Storage for Digital Preservation
As noted before, certainly,
there are good reasons why organizations should leverage the cloud for digital preservation. The ‘however’ is that for an institution’s primary archival storage, the cloud does not scale cost-effectively. Rising cloud costs place negative pressures on budgets. Consequently, many organizations are repatriating their data to on-premises or hybrid-cloud (on-premises and cloud) object storage solutions.
Other reasons IT decision-makers find on-premises object storage solutions attractive:
Unstructured data growth solution. On-premises object storage offers organizations an optimum solution for dealing with the rapid growth in their own unstructured data. As organizations create unstructured data, they can move cold data off primary storage to on-premises archive or active archive object storage. Enterprises may also use on-premises object storage to meet backup and disaster recovery needs.
Data ownership. Organization may find it simpler to store their object data on-premises for data control and chain-of-custody requirements. On-premises object storage also allows organizations to design security protocols tailored to their needs.
High-performance object storage. Object storage has evolved from its modest role serving backup, archive, and disaster recovery needs. High-performance on-premises object storage opens up new use cases for research and analysis of documents and media.
Transition to cloud-native workloads. Organizations may use on-premises object storage to develop, test, and deploy applications made for a cloud computing architecture. Developing these applications on-premises enables developers to work out issues before transitioning these workloads to the cloud. On-premises object storage also allows organizations to move applications developed in the cloud back on-premises.
Fujifilm Object Archive Software— An On-Premises Solution for Digital Preservation
Institutions exploring an on-premises object storage solution for digital preservation will want a solution that scales affordably and predictably, brings data protection and security features, and offers flexibility to integrate complementary storage services.
IT departments should consider Fujifilm’s Object Archive software solution for just these reasons. The software enables organizations to reliably, securely, and affordably store important digital files and grow as their data accumulates from petabytes to exabytes.
Object Archive software leverages tape’s data security, durability, and low cost per terabyte. Utilizing a new open-source file tape format (OTFormat) developed by Fujifilm, the software presents an S3 gateway to make a tape library appear as object storage for an on-premises, private cloud solution.
Object Archive software runs on LINUX and is designed to work with a wide range of tape library and drive technologies. The software works with other tape library manufacturers such as IBM, Quantum, and HPE for organizations already invested in these tape solutions. Object Archive software supports Linear Tape Open (LTO)* 7, LTO8, LTO9, and 3592 tape media.
Fujifilm makes Object Archive available directly and through its channel partners. Channel partners help institutions architect the tape library, servers, networking, and whatever else the customer may need to create a complete digital preservation solution.
The Benefits of Fujifilm Object Archive Software
Object Archive software brings advantages for organizations and their stakeholders for archiving digital history:
Object storage features. Object Archive leverages object storage’s scalability, rich metadata, and S3 API. Object Archive software utilizes a Mongo database for metadata (in addition to storing metadata on the tape media). UTF-8 format allows for the widest support of foreign language characters within metadata where this may be needed.
Tape’s benefits. Object Archive software benefits from tape media’s features of durability, scalability, low power requirements, and favorable cost of ownership.
Data protection. Object Archive software provides full chain of custody and auditing capabilities, so institutions ensure their digital assets are always under control and that objects remain unchanged from their archival state. Administrators can make up to three simultaneous copies for recovery in the event of data loss. The software automatically versions files for edited data, so administrators can restore a previous version if a current version is damaged. Object Archive software also supports HA clusters for high availability.
Data security. Object Archive software provides encryption to ensure digital objects remain unaltered once written to the tape library. Administrators can utilize air-gapped features within their tape library or physically removed from it to protect their organization from ransomware or other cyber security threats. Role-based access control helps protect an organization’s valuable digital assets by assigning permissions based on the principle of least privilege. With multitenancy features, administrators can isolate storage for specific departments or sub-organizations.
Flexibility. Fujifilm has partnered with multiple commercial and opensource organizations so that its software works with other object storage and data management software solutions. These include Cloudian HyperStore, DataCore Swarm, iRODS, NetApp StorageGRID, Starfish, and Tiger Bridge. These solutions integrate Fujifilm’s Object Archive software as an extension of their solution, expanding how organizations ingest, manage, orchestrate, and protect their digital collections.
Leverage for data growth. IT departments can leverage Fujifilm’s software to back up and archive data their institution generates. Institutions can use the multitenancy features to separate their administrative data from digital collections. These capabilities help organizations free up primary storage for a lean, higher-performing storage infrastructure for active data.
Predictable spend. Fujifilm offers a subscription-based model for Object Archive that starts at one petabyte of capacity. As part of the subscription, Fujifilm provides tape media that covers twice the licensed capacity for primary storage and at least one secondary copy. A plan includes software upgrades, support and maintenance. Subscription pricing gives organizations predictable spending.
An Optimum Solution for the Challenge of Digital Preservation
The difficulties of digital preservation will only increase because of data’s exponential growth. New technologies, legal complexities, and competing priorities for IT departments exacerbate preservation dilemmas in the face of limited resources and budgets.
A storage strategy that scales cost-effectively and reliably protects and preserves digital objects over long periods of time mitigates these challenges. Object Archive software brings the advantages of S3-compatible object storage together with the advantages of tape technology to provide the foundation for an optimum solution for preserving our digital heritage.
Business and technical buyer’s interested in digital preservation can learn more about Fujifilm’s solution for digitial preservation by visiting the Fujifilm Object Archive website.
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* Linear Tape-Open LTO, the LTO logo, Ultrium and the Ultrium logo are registered trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum in the US and other countries. https://www.lto.org/