Application workloads are hard to predict. Auto-Tiering is a real-time intelligent mechanism that continuously positions data on the appropriate class of storage based on how frequently the data is accessed. The result is superior application performance and lower TCO across the entire storage architecture.

Auto Tiering

Auto-tiering will move frequently accessed data to the faster tier and less frequently access data to the slower tier.

Auto-Tiering avoids the need to invest heavily in expensive Flash technology. Industry statistics show that, on average, only 15-20% of a company’s entire data footprint benefits from Flash storage since the remaining percentage is considered largely dormant. According to a Gartner report published in April 2013,

“The access patterns, value and usage characteristics of data stored within storage arrays varies widely, and is dependent on business cycles and organizational work processes. Because of this large variability, data stored within storage devices cannot be economically and efficiently stored on the same storage type, tier, format or media.”

Auto-Tiering leverages any combination of Flash and traditional disk technologies, whether it is internal or array based, with support up to 15 different storage tiers. For example:

1 Ultra-High-Speed Disk (Flash)  15%
2 High Speed Disk (SAS 15k)  25%
3 Capacity Disk (SAS 7.2k NL)  60%
4 Test/Dev Disk (SATA)  As Needed
5 Archival Cloud Disk  As Needed

As more advanced disk technologies become available, existing tiers can be modified as necessary and additional tiers can be added to further diversify the architecture.

Feature Highlights Summary

  • Automatically provides most demanding workloads with fastest tier of storage

  • Increase application performance while contributing to total usable storage capacity

  • Works with existing storage hardware and future storage technologies

  • User defines which disks make up each tier (e.g., high performance, mid-range, low cost)

  • Access frequency determines which disk blocks should be moved into each tier

  • Monitor tiering effectiveness through real-time heat maps

  • Override automatic migration for special circumstances

  • Supports up to 15 different storage tiers

  • Modify the ratio of Flash to spinning disk as needed non-disruptively