– Deirdre Mahon, VP of marketing at RainStor (www.rainstor.com), says:

The explosion in data volumes and the increasing complexity of new data types have added stress to traditional data warehouses and raised the cost to store years of data on expensive hardware environments that require specialist DBA resources. Information lifecycle management initiatives, while attractive as an architectural concept, have proven difficult to implement, as organizations struggle with defining the business rules for which data classes require disk versus lower-cost storage options. For many organizations, a more straightforward and practical step has been to keep recent data on disk – such as up to 60, 90 or 180 days old – and archive older data, while enabling the archived data to be online and query accessible.

Operational data stores are well designed to store the recent data that enable insights about customer demand and business opportunities. For many companies, user populations are constantly in flux, growing and changing in various ways. Recent data that is not more than a few months old is the most sought after by business managers and data analysts.

Historical data is necessary for compliance, accounting and long-term trend analysis. However, many businesses no longer fit the traditional model of an enterprise data warehouse that stores all data from the beginning of an organization’s existence to the present. Keeping older analytics data in an expensive data warehouse is not a good use of budget and resources. Organizations are now grappling with how to keep that data online and accessible to business queries and regulatory requests.

RainStor is a pioneer in database technology for the online preservation of enterprise data. Addressing the Big Data problem and associated challenges with long-term data retention, RainStor provides a specialized repository that significantly reduces the total cost through extreme data compression, simplified data management and near-perfect scalability on commodity hardware. RainStor is designed to provide greater control over long-term historical information for organizations in industries with stringent compliance regulations and high standards of data governance by auto-purging data at the record level once expiry times are met. Retaining data for longer than required is not only costly but also poses risk and liability.

Unlike traditional database technologies better suited to active operational data in application systems, RainStor is designed to ingest large volumes of historical data that is often generated by machines or sensors. RainStor is purposely built to keep data secure, online and accessible in addition to keeping it tamper-proof and immutable. With extreme data compression, RainStor reduces the overall footprint and can deliver 10x cost savings compared to traditional database approaches. Information can be retrieved using full SQL query language or through standard reporting or BI tools. Coupling cost-efficient historical data retention with on-demand retrieval, RainStor is sold through ISVs, resellers, SIs and MSPs.

Why Rainstor is useful in today’s enterprise Data Centers
RainStor offers a new class of Big Data repository, focused on long-term data retention with continuous online query access. With RainStor, data centers can go on a “Big Data Diet” and offload 180-day-old+ data for archival, while retaining the ability for on-demand access to that data via standard SQL Query and various BI tools. Rainstor delivers continuous access to historical data sets, but at a much lower cost per terabyte stored. The technology also eliminates any time delay and manual effort to retrieve data from tape backups, which is risky if data sets are large and schemas have evolved since the original transaction.

RainStor benefits enterprise data centers in the following ways:

  • Dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of storing large volumes of historical structured data as compared to traditional databases
  • Provides continuous access to historical data, which enables organizations to meet compliance regulations and to give business users access to broader data sets for ongoing analytics and BI
  • Allows organizations to retain historical data, on-premise, via public or private cloud and hybrid storage

Any organization that needs to retain data long-term data will benefit from the following RainStor capabilities: Specific use-cases would include compliance data retention, query and reporting and situations where you need to archive legacy application data on systems you are retiring due to consolidation or modernization efforts.

  • Continuous online access to data sets that are query-able through standard SQL query language
  • Ability to compress or reduce data sets to a smaller, manageable footprint (40 to 1 or greater) in order to reduce overall storage costs and scale as data volumes inevitably grow
  • Ability to retain specific data sets by pre-configured business rules which allow organizations to easily purge data at exactly the right time. (Keeping data longer than needed makes little sense and can in some cases be risky so automating this keeps data retention costs down.)
  • Ability to run on a broad range of hardware and operating systems, which ensures future flexibility
  • Compressing and reducing data to 95 percent means less footprint and provides not only significant savings for on-premise data center deployments but is even more economically attractive with cloud deployments.

Advice for Data Center and IT Managers
Big Data presents a challenge for telecommunications, financial services, healthcare and other industries that face significant regulatory and legal requirements for retaining and providing quick access to historical data for inquiries, audits and reporting. IT must select the best possible technology solutions available for keeping data for extended periods of time and in the most cost effective way.

Investing in technology that will compress data at a high rate, satisfy stringent compliance and government regulations, be easily retrievable/query-able and scalable, is critical for organizations that want to manage Big Data long term. RainStor delivers this–previously only available in an active data warehouse–but at a much lower price point, while eliminating the time delay and manual labor required to retrieve data from tape backups. Often operational systems become bloated over time with historical data sets, which can be offloaded to a RainStor archive repository for continuous data access. Additionally, in lieu of putting data on tape which is risky because you can never reinstate the data to the original system especially if it is voluminous. Data warehouse repositories can also be offloaded with large data sets to RainStor where that historical data can be pulled if deeper analytics are required in the future.