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What is the Active Archive Alliance?

Originally launched in early 2010, the Active Archive Alliance represents a collaborative effort to promote the awareness, knowledge and accessibility of data archival services and solutions in the 21st century. With a list of partners that includes the likes of Dell, HP, Western Digital, Fujifilm, Spectra Logic, Quantum, HGST, DDN Storage and Crossroads Systems and more, the Active Archive Alliance is dedicated to drawing attention to the best and most efficient means of data backup and archival.

What is an Active Archive?

If you aren't already familiar with the term, an Active Archive is a tiered storage platform that is meant to facilitate data access between a multitude of storage devices and even different storage mediums, such as flash-based storage, traditional hard disk storage, magnetic tape-based storage, optical disc storage and even cloud-centric storage. Best used for data that isn't accessed on a regular basis, the Active Archive provides plenty of benefits to users, including reduced operational costs.

As stated by David Hill, founder and principal of the Mesabi Group: "Tape libraries paired with file system interface software makes active archiving cost efficient while providing necessary speed and administrator control." He was also quoted as saying: "The adoption of active archive is increasing as enterprises realize it makes sense to store fixed content data more cost efficiently and they are able to quickly and continuously access this data for ongoing business purposes."

The Problem With Data Storage Today

According to the Active Archive Alliance, the team was formed as a means of introducing a single, centralized solution that is able to meet all of the internal business requirements, including industry-specific regulations, on behalf of today's enterprises. More specifically, the Active Archive Alliance was formed to "reduce the complexity of long-term data storage," to "provide scalable storage solutions," to "reduce total cost of ownership" and to "reduce risk of non-compliance and data loss."

There's no doubt that the Active Archive Alliance has their hands full. Given the continued growth of data creation, processing and storage to date, as well as future projections, it's easy to see how no one vendor has been able to meet every single business requirement of their customers. If anybody can do it, however, it just might be this coalition.

Barbara Murphy, vice president of marketing with HGST's Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, emphasized the growing data needs of enterprises in the 21st century by saying: "Organizations today need rapid access to increasing amounts of data across multiple locations and platforms, and they require real-time, easy access to data archives." She continued her statement by saying: "To address this, active archives need to be highly reliable and cost effective while supporting new and legacy requirements. With the HGST Active Archive System, we own the entire stack from the drive to the object store, so we bring a unique perspective about cloud-scale architecture to the Active Archive Alliance team."

For more information regarding the Active Archive Alliance, including membership details, access to online resources and a list of upcoming events, please visit their official website at


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