Five tips in five minutes: Tiered storage and ILM

This article offers a collection of expert responses to recent reader queries about tiered storage and ILM.

What you will learn from this tip: Users are asking more and more questions about tiered storage and ILM. This article offers a collection of expert responses to recent reader queries.

The storage world is steadily buzzing about tiered storage and information lifecycle management (ILM). These days,...

companies have ever-increasing amounts of data to store, and in many organizations IT budgets are flat or being reduced. As a result, these companies can no longer afford to keep all data on high-end storage systems and are scrambling for a way to reduce storage costs.

Tiered storage is defined as the assignment of different categories of data to different types of storage media in order to reduce total storage cost. Categories may be based on levels of protection needed, performance requirements, frequency of use and other considerations. And over the past year or so, there has been a growing interest in tiered storage, ILM and affordable disk among the readers of

Click on the links below to check out what people like you are wondering about tiered storage, and learn more about this often-discussed topic from our experts' advice.

  • Tiered storage with SATA
    Simply deploying low-cost storage doesn't always equal savings. Learn to calculate total cost of ownership (TCO) when planning a tiered storage system using lower-cost disk and save money.
  • How can I set up a cost-effective tiered storage strategy?
    When setting up a tiered storage strategy, the first step is not to buy a new class of storage devices. Before focusing on the technology, you need to classify the data sets, based on the business requirements for the applications. Learn some of the process steps and metrics you should consider when setting up a tiered storage strategy.
  • ILM in the large enterprise
    This advice discusses software that can help you manage your information and migrate specific files based on their age or value to the organization to a less expensive storage tier.
  • What is a storage group?
    A storage group can refer to many different things and is used by different vendors to mean various functions. For example, in the context of ILM and tiered storage, a storage group could refer to a tier, class or level of storage such as online, nearline or offline.
  • How do you determine which data to store on low-cost disk?

  • At a high level, a rule of thumb would be to keep high value data on your premium disk storage technology, then you could store less frequently accessed, perhaps aging data on lower-cost disk and finally, all remaining data that is kept for archive purposes on nearline, or even offline media such as tape, WORM, optical disk, etc.

    For more information:

    Data classification: Getting started

    This was first published in January 2006

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