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How the channel can help customers keep storage costs down with a two-tier model

Author: Betsy Doughty, VP Corporate Marketing, Spectra Logic

Cost is never far from the top of IT concerns and with continued exponential data growth, the storage budget is often stretched to its limit. A key part of the issue is suboptimal data management. This presents an exciting opportunity for the channel to take the lead in educating data-driven users about new storage strategies that can cut costs and simplify data management. Ultimately, this supports an organisation’s business continuity and ensures access to business-critical data, a concern amplified by the current impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One such strategy is the two-tier approach to storage management. The traditional four-tiered storage pyramid comprising of flash (SAS then SATA), disk and tape, has run its course. Instead, adoption of a more streamlined two-tier storage architecture that defines data by its usage and business value rather than the underlying storage medium is becoming widespread. The two-tier model was first adopted by the high-performance computing industry, where the high demands of managing massive data sets could be put to the test. But recent software innovations are making it readily available for all market segments, such as media and entertainment, health care, education, oil and gas, or smaller businesses.

It’s estimated that approximately 80 percent of the world’s data is stored on the wrong tier of storage, which can cost businesses millions every year. In the new two-tier model, organisations move their inactive data off the expensive Primary Tier of storage (made up of flash, NVMe and other solid-state technologies or high-performance disk), to a more economical tier of storage, called the Perpetual Tier, which can include any combination of cloud storage, object storage disk, network-attached storage (NAS) and tape. This can result in savings of up to 70 percent in storage costs.

The high level of flexibility offered by this model means that users can then keep multiple copies of data on multiple storage media, able to be accessed onsite or from disparate locations, globally. The Perpetual Tier can be used for secondary storage, distribution, backup, archive and disaster recovery. In fact, the Perpetual Tier can be configured to be as responsive as customers’ workflows demand – enabling users to create responsive copies on NAS and disaster recovery copies on cloud and/or tape. Modern storage management tools based on this two-tier model are an effective way to bring visibility and analytics to digital assets for thorough and intelligent tiering of data relative to its perceived value and access patterns.

With this approach to data management, channel partners are in a perfect position to support their customers in tackling rising data storage costs to maximise their IT budget.

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