50068375_MYou might have heard of the term “tiered storage” but what exactly does it mean? And how is it relevant to your operations?

In simple terms. tiered storage means data storage is carried out on various types of media based on price, performance, availability and recovery attributes. This technique ensures that data that’s going to require restoration during the event of a loss or corruption can be available locally with fast recovery in mind. On the other hand, data that might require use later down the road could be archived on low-cost media to drive down costs.

In order to better understand tiered storage, consider the landscape. Mission-critical data, which requires ease of access, often is stored on expensive and high-quality media such as Flash. This eliminates unnecessary downtime. The data can also be stored elsewhere with fault tolerance and redundancy top of mind.

At the same time, less-critical data is stored in less expensive media in the traditional Storage Area Network (SAN). An increased number of tiers means cheaper media is deployed. Therefore, tier three can contain data that is event-driven or less commonly used or has files that aren’t confidential.

Today, a tiered storage model can range from a simple two-tier architecture which may consist of SCSI or Fibre Channel attached disk and tape storage. If more sophisticated in nature, it may be comprised of five to six or a maximum of ten tiers. However, regardless of the number of tiers, organizations are looking for tiered storage that fits into their budget and can improve operational efficiency.

The cost associated with losing data and the related downtime can be negligible with the implementation of tiered storage infrastructure. Based on use and requirements, the data can be classified in order to meet different objectives. Also, relevant policy-based data migration also means that the exact data is in the correct place at the right time.

Since assigning data to different tier levels can be a complex activity, automated tiered storage software can be deployed in this event. By means of Automated Tiered Storage software, an automated progression or demotion of data across different tiers or storage media can take place. This auto migration of data on different storage media will be based on performance and capacity requirements.

If your IT department is experiencing a surge in the amount of data, a multi-tiered storage system is essential to ensure business continuity. Contact us today to learn more about how our engineers can architect a tiered storage solution that automatically moves inactive data to the most cost-effective storage media, and ensure that it is kept secure, accurate and tamper-resistant.