OVHcloud offers a cold tape storage service in the cloud, thinking about compliance needs for archiving

Market figures say that European cloud providers can only compete with large American hyperscalers if they also know how to offer something different from standard services. Or something that meets the special needs of continental customers. In this theme of data sovereignty and privacy is undoubtedly one of those to be ridden. Now OVHcloud does this by offering a special service inspired by the protection of sensitive data.

It is basically a tape-as-a-service.

That is, very long-term data retention on a support that may not be too "trendy", but still valid, such as tape. The service is aimed at companies and institutions that must store, also for compliance reasons, large amounts of information,in a secure way. But this is information that is not accessed very often, ideally indeed accessed very rarely or never.

In this scenario, tape storage is a sensible

solution. For many companies it is even more so if in the cloud and as a service, without investing directly in tape systems. The cloud in this sense offers the possibility of storing a lot of data at low cost:"tape data storage costs only a few cents per terabyte and, if not used, requires zero power consumption, unlike hard drives and flash drives",explains OVHcloud.

The cost factor is combined with that linked to the reliability of conservation. According to the provider French, the data on tape will still be recoverable in thirty years. The information is stored on the territory French, protected through the activation of four new dedicated structures, each separated by several hundred kilometers. Each block of information is divided between the four sites, following a security scheme that involves both the "fragmentation" of the data and the creation of some parity fragments.

Tape storage technologies, however, must also be evolved according to how user companies expect to use them in the cloud. OVHcloud decided to develop a tape-as-a-service system that was compatible with the most popular and popular cloud storage service, Amazon S3. That's why it combined the base hardware – IBM Enterprise 3592 Enterprise Tape technology – with Atempo's Miria platform, designed for massive information storage.

There should be no problems regarding the longevity of the tape technology employed.

The 3592 format is proprietary, but IBM and Fujitsu have already demonstrated the possibility of having up to 500 TB of raw capacity on a 3592 cartridge, compared to the current 20. The standard LTO format - on which Fujitsu itself works, by the way - stops at 12 (LTO-8) or 16 (LTO-9) raw terabytes.

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