Beyond Tiered Storage: A New Approach to Workflow Storage

If you’ve worked in storage for decades as I have, you’ve heard all the debates about which storage works best for each step in media workflows. But one thing that’s clear is that not every step has the same storage requirements, and that some kind of tiered storage strategy is needed. With every-expanding digital asset libraries, storing it all on high-performance disk isn’t practical or cost-effective. Traditional tiered storage is straightforward: store the most active, most recently used data on fastest, expensive disk storage, and store the less active, older data on slower, less expensive storage, generally tape or lower cost disk arrays. Hierarchical storage management (HSM) software was built to automate the data migration between tiers, and make file system access transparent regardless of where the data is stored. When the primary storage filled to a capacity watermark, for example, 90% of capacity, the HSM system would find the files that were least recently used and move them to the secondary tape tier until the disk storage had sufficient available capacity. This model of tiered storage was built for business data where the focus was containing costs. Disk storage was expensive, tape was cheap, and older business data was rarely relevant except for an occasional audit. The criteria was simply performance vs cost. But media workflows don’t manage business data. Here are the 3 biggest considerations for developing a new approach to workflow storage.

Choosing Which Secondary Data to Migrate to the Cloud – Part 1: Disaster Recovery

As I noted in an earlier blog, customers planning to move data applications (e.g., backup and archive) to the cloud must consider five key factors in selecting and migrating data. These are: Ongoing data transfer volume, expected frequency of ongoing data usage, data recall performance requirements, and application integration. In the next several blogs, I’d like to illustrate the importance of these factors by illustrating how they impact your design and planning as you migrate a few common data use cases to the cloud. The four use cases we’ll consider are: Site disaster recovery, data center off-site copy (for backup), compliance archive, remote site primary, archive and backup and ongoing management. Let’s start by looking at central site disaster recovery.

What’s in Store for Storage in 2014

This article originally appeared on Wired Magazine’s Innovation Insights. With the start of the new year, it’s time once again for those of us in enterprise storage to look ahead and offer our predictions for what the industry will see in 2014. So without further ado, here are ten trends that will have a big impact in the coming year.