Tiered Storage Management – Oh The Possibilities!

The best way to manage and support data is based on its importance to your business.  It is vital and can save you loads of administrative time and money if the right kind of data is stored in the right place at the right time.  Where data should go depends on performance needs, how often the data is used or accessed, the importance or amount of protection it requires, workflow and other such factors.  Not all data is created or accessed equally but yet we tend to store it all the same way.  Some are more important than others and some are accessed and edited very frequently, whereas others are untouched for years.  An appropriate data migration strategy is determined heavily by downtime restrictions, the criticality of the data, and user access requirements and frequency.

Also known as hierarchical storage management and other acronyms of the marketing past and present, ultimately, tiered storage automatically moves data from high cost to low cost media and storage as deemed appropriate by how it’s accessed or valued.  This concept became more widely adopted because of the explosive growth of our data and the innafordability of the high speed storage devices  required to maintain the required speed of access for the small percentage of data  blocks that require it. The result is block level intelligent movement of sub-LUN elements or blocks to their appropriate tier based on frequency of access and/or redundancy and compliance requirements. This technological implementation makes managing data and storage much easier, more efficient and quite cost effective.  For example, data that once was frequently used but no longer is accessed as much is eventually migrated to less expensive storage tiers or devices. The result? – More efficient usage of expensive primary storage blocks while buying back the space at lower tier price points.

Using this approach to store data results in significant hard and soft cost savings. As data’s storage is matched with its appropriate capacity, performance, and availability requirements, a more efficient solution emerges. Data with a lower current business value can be stored on less expensive storage types such as cheaper and bigger SATA disks instead of  15K SAS or the even more expensive SSD devices.  Imagine the possibilities if automated.

 

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