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But this one goes to 11! – Hierarchical storage management

When Nigel from Spinal Tap is showing Marty his amp, he want to show how he and the band can do more (and play louder) then other bands. When asked my his amp goes to 11 he says, “When other bands top out at 10, we just have that extra level.”

Don’t you wish your infrastructure was like that? When you are running out of disk space or network bandwidth, don’t you wish you could push it just a little more and get just one more level of performance out of it. Who would not want their IT to go to 11?

But this one goes to 11! - Hierarchical storage management 5We all know that data is growing and is growing very fast. We accept that! What if you could make your disk last longer and store more data? What if you could do it without adding hardware? Well you can and usually there is no extra cost to you.

There are two main ways to do this. The first is doing “archives with delete”. By that I mean you take the data off the primary disk pool and put it to lower cost non-production disk. You do this with your laptop today, where you take old presentations ad copy them to a USB drive and then delete them from the laptop, however most businesses do not do this with their production systems.

This is due to scope. There is a ton of data out there and it is spread out over many different operating systems and hardware. So how do you do it? Use your existing backup and recovery tool and turn on archiving. Once you get use to it and see what it does you then turn on “archive with delete”. The cool thing is that it will support your OS and Hardware variances that make scripts and manual monitoring so hard. Usually this functionality is imbedded in the backup and recovery product and is included for free (if not think of switching to an application that does provide this functionality for free”

But this one goes to 11! - Hierarchical storage management 6The second way is via Hierarchical storage management (HSM). While this is usually not priced in your existing project, it can be added for a price. Hierarchical storage management (HSM) is a data storage technique which automatically moves data between high-cost and low-cost storage media. It allows more flexibility then strait archiving as you can set policies or rules that guide files and data storage. For example, any file that is over 6 months old needs to be moved from production disk to slower disk and then to tape when over 1 year. Usually a file pointer is left behind at the original location so that the end user or application has no idea the file has actually been moved.

Why use these technologies? Gartner says that over 40% of your data is not used on a daily basis. If we move that data from the production servers then your backups are 40% faster, your restores are at least 40% faster and your production disk last longer because we are only keeping data on them that is actually being used.

Think about it, Nigel was right, it will go to 11.

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