Near Line Storage

Written by Thomas Neighbors
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Near line storage refers to data or files that are stored off the network but that are also within reach if a backup is needed. This can create problems if a fast recovery is needed, but can save a company a great deal of money otherwise spent on hardware or system resources. Storing data in a near line setup can shift information to other facilities or off-line servers to reduce network traffic.

Advantages of Near Line Storage

Let's suppose that a company stores all of its historical data on the network and it occupies over 100 gigabytes of memory out of a 250 gigabyte capacity server. As backup files continue to accumulate the amount of disk space occupied will continue to grow as well. Storing files on a near line server will allow the company to take advantage of additional disk space and allow users to quickly access network files.

Having a jukebox or data library where tapes or discs are stored will alleviate the need for additional network servers and not tie up valuable system resources. Additionally, having copies of data backups in a near line storage setup may allow the company to move that information to a different location. This is an added bonus should fire or water damage a company's storage facility.

Slower Retrieval

Although it is a much more cost effective solution, storing data in a near line setup can create longer periods of restoring. Because the data is not actually kept on the network, retrieving historical data may require an employee to load a tape or disc into an online server. A data manager can help ease the process but if time delays are unacceptable then other alternatives may need to be explored.

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