In the world of data storage, tiered storage architectures has its own prominence. Tiered storage definition in simple terms is an assignment of different categories of data to different types of storage media in order to reduce total storage cost.
Here, data categorizing might depend on levels of protection needed, performance requirements, frequency of data use, and other considerations.
Some vendors like StoneFly offer the process of tiering in an automated way where a software manages the process in an automatic way based on a user defined policy.
However, in generalized terms Tiering across data lifecycles looks more like this-
- Tier1- Flash tiers- either hybrid or all-flash format are used in an array. Generally, critical apps such as CRMs, incoming machine data, OLTP databases are the ones which depend on such media tiers.
- Tier 2- SAS or SATA disks are used in such tiers. Office application data, big data analysis, marketing media, are the apps which rely on such tiers.
- Tier 3- Warm data which is not so frequently accessed is put on such level 3 tiers composed of mainly tape media. Uses cases include active archives, backups less than a month old, broadcast files and surveillance data is stored on such media.
- Tier 4- Offsite tape or cloud based cold storage will be the chief components of Tier 4. Use cases include archives, backup, aging files subject to regulations and governance.
Note- There’s a myth in the industry that a storage tiering strategy is the same thing as policy driven replication or automated backup. While the former moves qualifying data to less expensive storage tiers instead of copying, the latter i.e replication and backups
Note- Storage tiers help save money on OPEX by storing data on lower cost media and extend the life of the expensive product storage.