WORM Your Way into 2016 and Beyond with EMC Centera Support
Many CIOs and IT directors are asking themselves which is better: long-term EMC Centera support or a move to the cloud?
Certainly, the cloud is the future and in many cases the present for IT. But there are key considerations of cloud storage when it comes to archival data—and especially the compliance-oriented documents the EMC Centera often houses—which make today and tomorrow good for WORM systems.
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A Specially Designed Solution
Write Once Read Many (WORM) disk technologies are finely adapted to compliance. Organizations required to meet document-retention requirements from SEC, FDA, HIPAA, and other agencies have gravitated toward this technology for the on-site security, content authentication, non-erasability, etc.
Is the cloud changing all of that? Will it be easier and more cost-efficient to foist off the maintenance of this rarely touched data to a cloud-service provider? Should you integrate such archives into a hybrid cloud?
The answers will be unique to the IT organization, but here are a few things to consider. First, data migration is not a simple action:
If you’re migrating data from an existing archival storage solution — such as an EMC Corp. Centera, NetApp Inc. SnapLock or Permabit Technology Corp. Enterprise Archive — to cloud storage, it isn’t just a simple copy-and-paste operation. “There are lots of ‘gotchas’ when migrating archival data,” said Joe Kvidera, founder of Procedo Inc., a data archive migration company. “You can’t just read, copy and paste, and expect the applications to understand that the data is now in the storage cloud.”
With various competing demands, taking on the archival data transfer likely falls to the bottom of the list.
Another downside can be cost. Although an on-site private cloud is a different story, the overhead costs of maintaining volumes of data with a cloud-service provider can get steep. Continued maintenance on an existing Celera box is a much more cost-efficient option.
The final nail in the cloud coffin, at least at present, may be the lack of features that fit the compliance function. The same source as above mentions that:
One of the reasons organizations archive their data to CAS devices is to preserve it in an unalterable format that satisfies internal and external compliance concerns. This is something you won’t find in most cloud storage offerings.
A Third Way for Centera Archives.
The factors outlined above will not alter the fact that many of the Centera systems are now end-of-support-life (EOSL). EMC simply will not support anything but the large Generation 4 LP systems. For some time, that had left data center managers with few options: upgrade the systems (or transition to the cloud) or go it alone for support.
Fortunately, third party maintenance is responding to the urgent need for a third way. Park Place Technologies now offers comprehensive support contracts on EMC Centera equipment. These highly affordable arrangements come in an assortment of SLA flavors, and all levels include our signature In Touch program, which comprises:
- 100% component coverage;
- 24/7 remote monitoring with daily diagnostics;
- An experienced, local EMC engineer assigned to the account;
- Escalation process-free access to Level 3 support;
- Global capabilities;
- Conveniently located, certified spare parts, including on-site kits for mission critical systems;
- Up to four days of engineering time for non-break/fix tasks;
- Online support portal;
- Free systems analysis;
- Quarterly account review meetings.
WORM is no longer cutting-edge. Unlike cloud deployments, it won’t make for great cocktail conversation. Yet you simply can’t overstate the value of a Centera system that is paid for, stable, reliable, and perfectly adapted to archival and compliance data.
For data center managers in possession of such systems, there are strong arguments for extending their lifespans by many years. The right EMC Centera support solution can help you do that—and reap significant financial and operational rewards.