With the recent profusion of tiered storage solutions into the enterprise storage market, organizations are increasingly adopting tiering strategies to accommodate rapid data growth while controlling costs. Almost all major offerings leverage multiple types of drives, with varying capacities and performance levels and an attempt to match data with the optimal drive type based on storage profiles. Typically, mission-critical data is stored on high-performance drives, while “less important” data is moved to high-capacity drives.
Yet most of those solutions fail to maximize the potential benefits of tiered storage. Poor integration of tiering into the storage platform; a lack of granular, real-time system intelligence; labor-intensive, inefficient data movement schemes; and limited scalability keep many solutions from meeting real-world business needs. Applications are tacked onto existing storage infrastructures. Data is migrated as large “all or nothing” pages, often according to outdated information. The tiering profiles are limited in scope, generally requiring manual intervention. Data must be reformatted from a disk group to a pooled configuration. And solution licensing is restricted to a particular hardware platform. Such limitations completely offset the cost- and time-saving benefits of a truly virtualized storage.
Unlike the many newcomers to the storage tiering market, Dell Compellent™ engineered its Fluid Data™ architecture from the ground up to include Automated Tiered Storage. This approach enables organizations to move data dynamically, intelligently and efficiently among multiple storage tiers and RAID levels. All writing transactions and frequently accessed data are placed on high-performance drives with performance-optimized RAID levels, while less frequently accessed data cascades to more cost-effective drives and/or lower-overhead RAID levels.
Since Dell Compellent™ Automated Tiered Storage, called Data Progression™, is built right into the virtualized storage platform, it does not require additional hardware or server-side agents to operate. Automated Tiered Storage also integrates seamlessly with the full range of other Dell Compellent technologies to maximize storage performance, efficiency, flexibility, reliability and manageability. In addition, because Automated Tiered Storage is not tied to just one storage system model or platform, organizations can take advantage of the functionality on systems in production without downtime or a costly forklift upgrade — and continue to benefit as they scale the solution in line with changing business conditions.