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Storage tiering getting more automated

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In our latest survey, 50% of respondents currently use a tiered system in their storage shops, about the same as last year. But more automated methods are being used to move data from tier to tier.

 

The idea behind storage tiering is to put the right data in the right place and, in doing so, hopefully save some money by freeing up expensive tier 1 storage. In our latest poll, 50% of respondents said they're currently using a tiered system in their storage shops, almost exactly the same number as a year ago. Among the half who aren't currently tiering their storage, nearly two-thirds (63%) say tiering is, indeed, in their future, with almost half of them expecting to implement it within a year. For the most part, storage tierers like to keep things simple: 42% report they have two tiers, 34% have three tiers and only 24% run more complex operations with four or more tiers. The most popular choice for tier 1 storage is Fibre Channel (FC); 59% report their top tier as 4 Gbps FC storage, and a fairly even split have 2 Gbps FC (23%) or 8 Gbps FC (21%) at the top of their tiers. Creating the tiers is usually relatively easy, but moving the data from tier to tier can be a toughie. Thirty-two percent use automation tools to get the job done -- a jump from last year's 20% -- but 54% migrate data manually or semi-automatically. And a small contingent (14%) has solved the migration problem: they don't move data between tiers.

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"I hate to remember how we operated before we had tiered storage." Survey respondent

 




"I hate to remember how we operated before we had tiered storage." Survey respondent

 




BIO: Rich Castagna (rcastagna@storagemagazine.com) is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.

This was first published in May 2010

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