Tiers without tears: Discover easier tiering with ECS

The new features in EMC’s Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) bring intelligent cloud tiering to your archive.

Let’s break that down – first, what do we mean by an “intelligent” archive? Obviously it makes sense to move older inactive data off your expensive primary storage to a lower-cost repository – and your archive solution takes care of this. With an intelligent archive solution, you can further reduce your archive costs by setting policies in your storage to automatically move inactive older data (say after 30, 60 or 90 days) to even cheaper cloud-based storage.

This is archive made easier, which is absolutely essential in the face of today’s data growth. It makes even more sense in today’s big data world, where you want your archived data to be readily available for analytics or eDiscovery.

The “cloud” part comes when organizations think of storage costs – cents per gigabyte per month. Cloud archive storage could be public cloud storage like Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, a private cloud hosted by a service provider – or your own on-premise cloud based on EMC ECS.

Why would you need an on-premise object storage solution like ECS over public cloud? One good reason is ownership. You own your cloud, you control it and can do whatever you wish with it. With a public cloud, the storage provider is ultimately in control of your data – and if you stop paying them, your data is gone.

Another reason is cost of monetizing data. Data is the raw material of 21st-century business. When it comes to performing data analytics on your archive, public cloud platforms would usually require you to move data out of cold archive first – incurring time and data retrieval costs.

With ECS as your cloud storage platform, you own your data – whether in your own data center or hosted by an enterprise service provider. You can manage and interact with all your cold archive data, in any file format, with multi-protocol support – including HDFS for in-place Hadoop analytics.

So, we’ve covered “intelligent” and “cloud” – what about the “tiering” part? Data can first be moved to a ‘warm’ archive tier of higher-performance disk, where it can still be accessed quickly to meet RPO and RTO SLA’s. As you retain archives for longer, older data can then be moved to a ‘cold’ archive tier with better economics. (This is similar to the tiered storage cost/performance model offered by Amazon S3 with its “warm” Standard tier, “cold” Infrequent Access tier and “frozen” Glacier tier.)

Consider a typical scenario with EMC Isilon as your primary storage. You can leverage the new CloudPools feature to add ‘pools’ of remote cloud storage to your Isilon namespace – perfect for archiving. And that cloud storage can now be ECS – for an easy tiered archive solution, optimized for cost, capacity and durability.Tiered archive to EMC ECS with EMC Isilon CloudPools

The biggest advantage to this tiered archive setup with ECS is automatic geo-distribution, to protect your data against entire site failures. Of course, ECS is vastly scalable from petabytes to exabytes, to future-proof your growing archive as you store more data for longer.

To ensure compatibility of ECS with your preferred archive solution – and make tiered archiving even easier. ECS tiered archive also works seamlessly with EMC Documentum, SourceOne and InfoArchive.

So, in summary, ECS now makes it easy and stress-free to create an intelligent tiered cloud archive – in other words, “tiers without tears”.

Explore the Top Reasons to Choose EMC ECS for Archive.

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About the Author: Bob Williamsen