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YOU NEED DIFFERENT TYPES OF ARCHIVING TO MEET DIFFERENT DATA NEEDS

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Financial-technology

Written by Nik Stanbridge, Marketing Director, Arkivum

I read with interest the announcement this week by storage vendor HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital, around its new Active Archive System array.  I can certainly see the need for more of these types of solutions with the vast amounts of unstructured data that data centres and other institutions now have to deal with. This is fueling the need for new data and object storage approaches that can retain it all, whilst also making it accessible.

Emerging mandates for retaining more data is also driving demand.  For example the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UK’s main agency for funding research in Higher Education institutions, has set out clear expectations for how data from funded research is managed, curated and preserved, requiring that data is made accessible for reuse by other researchers with as few restrictions as possible. Its new policy framework comes into force on 1st May 2015 and those conducting funded research projects need to be aware that it’s their responsibility to do the data management planning under the auspices of their institutional Research Data Management policies.

These new mandates will affect all UK universities and other research institutions conducting funded research. Add the petabyte-scale requirements on data centres nowadays to archive data beyond the ‘create and modify’ stage and you have two major contributing factors that are radically changing the storage technology sector.

Going back to the new HGST offering, this system is all about what we call ‘active’ data archiving  in that the data is always there on the spinning disc, which is great for real-time data analytics and ‘big data’ activities, also great for speed and faster-than-fast access times. That said, the new HGST system doesn’t come cheap.  You get 4.7 raw petabytes per rack at a cost of $850,000.  If you do the maths that equates to around $180 per terabyte as a one-off cost once you’ve bought the rack.  But this doesn’t take into consideration the cost of maintenance and upgrades or, crucially the resources needed to manage it and the utility costs to run it.  HGST claims the drives consume one watt/terabytes which is low for spinning disks but much higher than tape.  So while it offers lower power and running costs than traditional spinning discs, it’s still much higher than tape.

This leads me onto point out that there are different types of archiving for different data requirements and it is worth thinking about that before you opt for a particular solution.  The one aspect about the HGST solution that customers need to be aware of is that the integrity of the data is not guaranteed – i.e. you cannot guarantee that you will get back what you archived.  There are other solutions, like Arkivum/100 for example, that guarantee that you get back all the data you archive.  We provide large scale, long term, and cost effective digital archiving services with a unique 100% data integrity guarantee.  For some organisations and industries this might not matter in the same way that speed won’t matter as much for others. For example, we work closely with UK Higher Education institutions who have to meet the curation and preservation expectations of EPSRC. Here data integrity matters big time.    Also, when I talk about long term archiving, long term means anything up to 25 years and large-scale means petabytes of data.   Our solutions meet the particular needs of organisations that have very large data volumes, long retention times on that data and where there is a high cost of data loss.

All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when you are looking for the right archiving solution.  One thing for sure is that volumes of data are only set to continue to increase and many of the traditional storage offerings are struggling to keep up with not only the volume of data but also the increased demand for high speed data processing.  Customers are also finding it increasingly difficult to buy solutions at an affordable price. My advice is that organisations rethink their storage needs, now and into the future, and consider in context the potential benefits of new technologies, whilst also understanding that if they handle their storage requirements badly they may be putting their business at risk.

Finance

Sterling gets vaccine boost to hit 8-month high vs euro

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Sterling gets vaccine boost to hit 8-month high vs euro 1

By Joice Alves

(Reuters) – Sterling rose to a fresh eight-month high against the euro on Wednesday as Britain’s faster COVID-19 vaccine rollout than in the European Union offered support to the pound.

Although Britain’s deaths from the coronavirus pandemic passed 100,000 on Tuesday, its faster initial vaccine rollout has fuelled hopes for economic recovery.

Sterling was up 0.3% at 88.28 pence at 1049 GMT, after hitting a fresh eight-month high of against the single market currency.

Graphic: Sterling 27 Jan, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/jbyvrnbbbve/Sterling%2027%20Jan.png

Geoffrey Yu, senior EMEA market strategist at BNY Mellon, said “the general theme of UK doing well with vaccinations is playing a role” in lifting the pound, which is “not expensive and not over-owned yet”.

On the other hand, “the euro is clearly being undermined by ongoing concerns over vaccine rollout speed and supply,” Yu added.

Versus the greenback, sterling was flat at $1.3736, not far off a May 2018 high of $1.3759 touched earlier.

Hopes for a large U.S. fiscal stimulus package has fuelled risk sentiment in markets in recent weeks, benefiting sterling. Market participants are expecting Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to renew a commitment to ultra-easy policy.

“It’s FOMC today so the adjustment in dollar positions may be playing a role as well,” Yu said.

As Britain left the bloc in December, the City of London said the capital’s loss of some financial business due to Brexit has not been catastrophic and it will thrive even if the European Union “irrationally” blocks access.

“For now Sterling continues to trade more on hope, vaccines, than current reality,” said Jeremy Stretch, head of G10 FX Strategy at CIBC Capital Markets.

(Reporting by Joice Alves in VARESE, Italy. Editing by Alexander Smith and Andrew Cawthorne)

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Dollar advances as investors shy away from risk

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Dollar advances as investors shy away from risk 2

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar edged higher against a basket of currencies on Monday, as a burst of volatility in stock markets around the globe sapped investors’ appetite for riskier currencies.

Concerns over the timing and size of additional U.S. fiscal stimulus sent major U.S. stock indexes briefly more than 1% lower before they recovered to trade little changed on the day.

The sharp move in stock markets soured FX traders’ appetite for risk, Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto, said.

“Your high beta currencies – currencies that are highly correlated with equity markets and global risk appetites – are tumbling in synchrony with equity indexes,” Schamotta said.

Market sentiment turned more cautious at the end of last week as European economic data showed that lockdown restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus hurt business activity.

The U.S. Dollar Currency Index was 0.19% higher at 90.396, after rising as high as 90.523, its strongest since Jan. 20.

The euro was down around 0.28% against the dollar. German business morale slumped to a six-month low in January as a second wave of COVID-19 halted a recovery in Europe’s largest economy, which will stagnate in the first quarter, the Ifo economic institute said on Monday.

The Australian dollar – seen as a liquid proxy for risk – was 0.16% lower against the dollar.

U.S. stocks have scaled new highs in recent sessions even as concerns about the pandemic-hit economy remain. Investors are trying to gauge whether officials in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration could head off Republican concerns that his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal was too expensive.

Despite the dollar’s recent rebound – the dollar index is up about 1.3% since early January – analysts expect a broad dollar decline during 2021. The net speculative short position on the dollar grew to its largest in 10 years in the week to Jan. 19, according to weekly futures data from CFTC released on Friday.

The U.S. Federal Reserve meets on Wednesday and Chair Jerome Powell is expected to signal that he has no plans to wind back the Fed’s massive stimulus any time soon – news which could push the dollar down further.

Sterling strengthened on Monday against the weaker euro as Britain’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout over the weekend offered support to the British currency.

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Sonya Hepinstall)

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London and New York financial services treated the same, EU says

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London and New York financial services treated the same, EU says 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – An EU forum for discussing financial services with Britain will be similar to what the United States has, and it must be in place before market access will be considered, the bloc’s financial services chief said on Monday.

Britain’s Brexit trade deal with the EU from Jan. 1 does not cover financial services, leaving its City of London financial center largely cut off from the EU.

Both sides are committed to creating a forum for financial regulatory cooperation by March, but talks have not started yet, the EU financial services commissioner told the European Parliament.

“What we envisage for this framework is similar to what we have with the United States, a voluntary structure to compare regulatory initiatives, exchange views on international developments and discuss equivalence related issues,” Mairead McGuinness told the European Parliament.

U.S. and EU regulators took about four years just to agree on rules on cross-border derivatives.

Trading in euro shares has already left London, along with a chunk in swaps trading. That questions the value of any future EU access given that many banks and trading platforms from the UK have opened units in the bloc.

McGuinness said regulatory cooperation will not be about restoring market access that Britain has lost, nor will it constrain the EU’s unilateral equivalence process.

Equivalence refers to EU access when Brussels deems a non-EU country’s rules are similar enough to the bloc’s.

“Once we agree on our working arrangements, we can turn to resuming our unilateral equivalence assessments… using the same criteria as with all third countries, including anti-money laundering and taxation cooperation,” she said.

Britain plans to amend some EU rules.

“The United Kingdom intention to diverge requires a case-by-case discussion in each area. Equivalence and divergence are polar opposites,” McGuinness said.

“I am optimistic that over time, through cooperation and trust, we will build a stable and balanced relationship with our UK friends.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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