Tiered storage is the concept meant for the data storage infrastructure management in the IT industry. It is categorization of data storage, according to the need of the clients. That is splitting up the data storage into categories, based on function, capacity, price and performance. Probably, every organization has certain data priorities, in accordance with the principles. So, naturally, these priorities will also reflect on the data storage and so the need for proper storage architecture arises.

Here comes the Tier storage framework, where data is categorized and stored according to the requirements, formulated by the organization. An example will clearly explain this term, clarifying certain issues in detail. If suppose data storage meant for a particular organization is classified into Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 platforms.

The company’s top secret files, which are mission critical, will be stored in Tier 1 storage category. This storage platform is filled with top priority files and so one cannot compromise on the storage medium, related to it. Most expensive data storage tools are implemented into this category and additionally technologies such as RAID and iSCSI or Fibre protocols are also laid.

The second level of storage is Tier 2 storage, where qualitative and quantitative files are stored for daily access. So, the data must be readily available and must be saved and secured. So, less expensive but effective storage mediums will be deployed into this level of priority, where the need for backup is essential, in the advent of catastrophic disasters.

Then comes in the Tier 3 storage, where the storage devices will be discs and tapes and will be having less priority, but must be stored for future access.

Discs and tapes are deployed in such type of storage mediums, where scalability and performance, are also needed along with recovery options.

Tiered Storage Architecture

Tier storage architecture requires minimum tier count of 2 storage disks and must be within 10. Since, each Tier is individualistic; the performance and availability terms play key roles in the mastering this platform needs. Furthermore, this storage framework must also gradually work towards cutting down costs for the organizations, which implement it.

Storage Tier calculations needs huge periods of work to complete a design as it depends on factors such as the number of tiers to be included, the kind of data which an organization is producing, what are the needs of the organization’s work force and what type of functionality needs does the organization deserves along with the cost in implementing this architecture. At the same time, the tier storage framework must be flexible for any kind of spin off in strategy of the IT department, of the group.

A Tiered storage design must be prepared with the flexibility to depend on traits such as vendor tools, risk assessment, company related design tools and disaster planning checklist. A Graphical tool dilating the infrastructure, applications, service levels, project management and future aspects will also prove worthy.

Subsequently the design must be approved by the in-house experts along with the retrospection of application owners. Then the financial advisory will have to approve it after which the staff needs to be enlightened about this total framework.

In brief, a storage tier architecture needs setting up of time scales, sources of budget, designing of work plans, sizing the work effort, optimizing the information and establishment of goals.

Automated Tiered storage

In order to simplify things, the automated tiered storage has come into existence in the networking storage. This is a programmed tool, which automatically operates and shifts hot and cold data, to different tiered mediums. Manual data classification and migration is forbidden by this automation software, which superimposes policies, gathers and stores information and then executes, along with the monitoring of achievements and guaranteed progress.
Through this automated tier storage, the advantages of it can be measured in terms of cost savings and reduction in management skills.

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