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Commvault adds “tape killer” AWS Glacier Deep Archive cold storage

Backup provider to offer 1-cent-a-gigabyte AWS Glacier Deep Archive as a target in a move that mirrors a trend towards the cloud and away from tape among Commvault customers

Backup software provider Commvault has extended support to Amazon’s S3 Glacier Deep Archive cold storage product.

The move comes alongside what Commvault believes is a trend among its customers to migrate long-term data retention from tape to cloud storage.

The addition of Glacier Deep Archive support comes in service pack 15 to Commvault’s version 11, which was released recently.

Glacier Deep Archive was announced in December 2018 at Amazon’s re:Invent event. Amazon positions Deep Archive as a “tape killer” with costs of $1 per terabyte or less than 1C per gigabyte.

Commvault executives think the move towards the cloud and away from tape is a key trend among its customers.

Marketing director Penny Gralewski said the company had found in a survey conducted last April among 260 Commvault users that 39% that use the cloud for data retention had opted to turn off tape.

Addition of Glacier Deep Archive brings to around 40 cloud services that Commvault supports, including those from the biggest three cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform – and their offerings, as well as others from the likes of IBM, Oracle and private clouds.

Commvault also provides cloud-to-cloud backup and, according to marketing director Lance Shaw, it is seeing increasing moves by customers towards moving applications to the cloud plus the deployment of cloud-native applications such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft Office365.

Quoting the same survey as Gralewski, Shaw said 63% of customers that keep data in the cloud use more than one cloud. “People are choosing different clouds for different use cases,” he said.

Cold storage in the cloud is offered by all three of the big three cloud providers. The various services – such as Azure Cool Blob and Google’s Coldline – provide storage for data that is likely to be very infrequently or never accessed again, but which must be kept. Similar service exist that are based on tape, such as that from Iron Mountain.

Compared to in-house tape archiving, cold storage in the cloud reduces management cost and overhead for the organisation internally, but will incur costs for data movement in and out of the cold storage service.

An advantage of tape is that it is insulated from the wider network, while cloud storage is potentially vulnerable to intruders.

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