New wave of automated tiering software eases migration, adds control


New wave of automated tiering software eases migration, adds control

Storage tiering has largely been a manual or semi-automatic process to date, but the momentum behind sub-LUN automated tiering in

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block-based storage systems could start to drive greater interest in, if not adoption of, solid-state drives (SSDs).

Moving only the most critical, performance-sensitive data to ultra-fast SSDs is crucial because of their cost premium over hard disk drives (HDDs). The latest wave of sub-LUN automated tiering products can ease the migration process, while also giving an IT shop the level of customization and control it needs to ensure the system will perform as planned.

In this tutorial on automated tiering, we outline the sub-LUN offerings the major storage vendors are promoting alongside their SSD options. We also explore five questions users need to consider as they evaluate sub-LUN tiering options. Finally, we spotlight the case study of an early adopter, Princeton Radiology Associates P.A., and its use of Compellent Technologies Inc.'s Data Progression auto-tiering software to illustrate some of the reasons why policy-based control and monitoring tools can be so important.

>> Auto-tiering software set to boost adoption of SSDs

Block-based auto tiering is poised to make expensive SSDs more practical for a wider group of IT shops. Find out how sub-LUN auto tiering improves on prior generations of the technology, which companies have waded into the market, and how auto tiering can be accomplished outside of the SAN.

>>  Sub-LUN tiering: Five key questions to consider

Each data storage vendor in the auto-tiering space takes a unique approach to sub-LUN tiering. If you're considering implementing it in your IT shop, it's important to understand how your storage vendor's technology works. We've identified the five questions to ask before you move ahead with sub-LUN tiering.

>>  Radiology firm uses Compellent Data Progression to cut disk costs

One New Jersey-based radiology firm reports that automated tiered storage from Compellent (which has been acquired by Dell Inc.) has had a dramatic impact on its need for expensive tier-1 storage. Read how Compellent Data Progression has changed the company's hardware buying patterns, how the system works and what stumbling blocks the firm has encountered.

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This was first published in February 2011