The Comprehensive Media Audit Is Your Path To Data Liberation

Today’s data-driven companies continue to recognize the value of having ease of access to legacy data collections. Whether it be to apply cloud-enabled technologies like AI and & ML or for driving cost and productivity efficiencies. However, for many organizations, migrating their tape bound media to the cloud is a complex and resource-intense process.

So how do you migrate massive collections of legacy tapes, some in a fragile condition, some in obscure and obsolete formats, to the cloud within the shortest time period possible with a view of understanding predictable cloud costs? How do you navigate ‘data as a hostage’ commercial terms often imposed by the offsite physical storage records management provider, who are reluctant to relinquish your tapes but happy to impose an eye-watering penalty withdrawal fee?

Tape Ark has been working with organizations to gain access to their legacy data as efficiently and inexpensively as possible, while at the same time adding additional value to the data, where possible. Our technology solutions service model places the needs of the end-user first and encourages software vendors to focus on developing compelling SaaS products, which attract customer loyalty rather than non-collaborative proprietary closed systems.

Tape Ark’s Comprehensive Media Audit is a program specifically designed to help organizations, worldwide, access their data holdings, (both on tape and in private clouds), and plan out the most cost-effective way to consolidate the data in readiness for well-informed decision making.

Objectives of A Comprehensive Media Audit

Migrating collections of data to the cloud from large tape-based media collections is commercially viable, but also fraught with uncertainties if you’re not experienced. Some of the questions organizations struggle to answer of their collection prior to cloud ingest are:

  • How many tapes do they actually have?
  • The volume of data on the tapes?
  • Can the tapes be read?
  • How to limit data loss?
  • How to identify duplicate data?
  • What penalties will apply to picking tapes from offsite storage?
  • How to minimize exit storage costs?
  • Which cloud storage tiers provide the best balance of cost and service levels that meets the various stages of data maturity?
  • How to forecast cloud storage costs for predictable budgeting.

The Comprehensive Media Audit Process

Tape Ark views an initial media audit as the most important aspect of a project that will determine the long-term success of a cloud storage strategy. Almost all activities in a digital transformation to the cloud hinge on knowing what you have to migrate, and if the audit is done correctly, should deliver significant and long-term benefits to the overall project. Tape Ark has performed data audits for a range of industries from oil and gas, broadcast through to media and entertainment on three continents. Geographic spread, numerous storage provider locations, vendors, and decades of legacy tape media present no shortage of concerns for companies in understanding the value of their archive and backup data collections.

Undertaking a Comprehensive Media Audit delivers the following customer benefits aimed to alleviate concerns:

  1. Confirm with a high degree of accuracy exact volumes of media and data.
  2. Confirm with a high degree of accuracy not only media counts but also the types of media in the collection – distinguishing between every type and sub-type of media such as LTO1,2,3, etc. Knowing if an LTO is a version 1,2,3, or 6 is extremely important in predicting the volume of data that tapes are likely to have recorded on them. As an example, LTO1 has a capacity of 100Gb, while LTO6 has a 2.5Tb capacity (25 times more data). Knowing which tapes are which and how much data resides on each tape can help reduce surprises for cloud ingest timing and ongoing storage fees.
  3. The application of automation and Artificial Intelligence to conduct the audit correctly and quickly can produce stunningly accurate and in-depth results that aid in numerous activities moving forward.
  4. Provide a current and accurate stock take of all media throughout the project via a project dashboard that also provides insights into data volumes expected for cloud ingest, at-risk media, country of origin, etc.
  5. Using AI will immediately identify and characterize the most at-risk media so that project planning can be done to decide on tape ingest priorities and ingest sequence order.
  6. Identify duplicate data across all tapes (even those on separate continents and in separate storage facilities) to reduce the potential of duplicate data being ingested to the cloud, reduce costs, and help increase price certainty.
  7. Allow a company to assign the right media types to the most efficient transcription partner on capacity by media type.
  8. Save significant costs by not having to pay for ongoing storage during the project. The cost savings will likely cover the costs of the audit itself.

Tape Ark’s insightful Comprehensive Media Audit empowers organizations to understand their data volume prior to migrating their collections to the cloud, plan for the relevant cloud storage tiers, and sequence tape ingest based on known media risk profiles. Duplicate data is identified to reduce total cloud storage volume and price certainty is achieved. Tape Ark’s low-cost media storage model gives companies the ability to understand their valuable legacy collections by offsetting the exorbitant ‘picking’ and exit fees charged by the tape storage providers.

The Comprehensive Media Audit is applicable to all customers looking to make informed decisions about their backup and archive tape collections.