Tier 1 storage is a reference to the higher performing systems in a tiered storage environment. In such an environment, important data is stored on more expensive, higher performing storage systems while less critical data is stored on less expensive, lower performing storage.
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Tiers are referred to as Tier 0, Tier 1, Tier 2, et cetera, with the lower numbers representing a higher performing storage system. Tier 1 commonly refers to high-performance hard disks that store an organization's more critical or frequently accessed data, such as transactional data.
See also: Hierarchical Storage Management