The Storage Effect

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Tiered storage at home…it’s not just an enterprise play anymore

One of the biggest movements in enterprise storage these days is the idea of  storage tiers.  The fact that data now has a relative level of importance and the need for systems to automatically ascertain what pieces of data are most important and least important.  Such importance is often defined by usage.

In the enterprise space, there is now 4 storage tiers:

  • Tier 0: the most critical data that demands extreme, almost instantaneous performance (SSD)
  • Tier 1: Mission Critical data that demands very high performance and seamless integration with existing systems (10,000 RPM & 15,000 RPM drives)
  • Tier 2: Less frequently accessed information that needs to be online and available (7,200 RPM drives) – also called Nearline or Business Critical
  • Tier 3: Information that is no longer accessed on a normal basis, but needs to be available when needed (Tape or even Disk backup)

Well, this trend is not only reserved for the enterprise. Even consumers are now deploying tiered storage techniques at home.  I know I am.

Take for instance the introduction of consumer SSD or even Hybrid drive technology.  The use of flash in consumer devices has largely created a tiered storage environment for many home users. Take for instance my tiers:

  • Tier 0: 4GB of SSD on my Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive (SSHD)
  • Tier 1: 500GB of disk storage also on my Momentus XT drive.
  • Tier 2: 500GB GoFlex portable drive
  • Tier 3: 1.0TB of backup / archive on my GoFlex Home NAS device.

Now, factor in the tablet craze…

  • Tier 0:  64GB of flash inside the tablet
  • Tier 1: 500GB of disk storage on a GoFlex Satellite wireless hard drive
  • Tier 2: Any amount of GB stored  / accessed via the Cloud, or your GoFlex Home NAS device.
  • Tier 3: 1.0GB GoFlex Home to backup your GoFlex Satellite drive. (You can even access your GoFlex Home from your tablet as well)

The fact of the matter is that we as home users are also “ranking” our content, our data.  We put the most important stuff on SSD (or in the case of Hybrid, the drive does it for us). We put the stuff we access more frequently on local storage, and less frequently on external storage. Finally, we back it all up on either another external device, or a Home NAS.

And to think I actually have something in common with a Fortune 500 company.

What are your tiers?

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