PoINT advises intelligent storage management against hard disk shortage

According to unanimous reports, the flood catastrophe in Thailand is expected to have a massive impact on the production of storage drives until the end of 2012. Industry associations are expecting sharply rising prices and tight delivery times for hard drives. To mitigate the resulting consequences for companies, PoINT Software & Systems GmbH recommends the use of intelligent storage management solutions.

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Analyses show that companies store up to 80% of data on their file servers that are inactive, i.e. that have not been worked with for months. These occupy unnecessary storage capacity on expensive hard disks. To ensure compliance, however, the data must not simply be deleted.

With PoINT Storage Manager's HSM or Tiered Storage approach, companies can outsource these inactive data or data to be archived to a non-disk-based secondary or archive storage. For this purpose tape-based or optical storage devices supporting e.g. LTO 5 or Blu-ray Disc technology are particularly suitable. Depending on the requirements and data volume, single drives, loaders or libraries are possible.

The criteria for swapping out inactive data from primary storage are defined by the administrator by so-called policies in PoINT Storage Manager. Based on these policies the inactive data is automatically swapped out to the secondary storage. The software ensures that the data remains accessible via the file system of the primary storage without any changes. This is realized by means of so-called links, which refer to the migrated data and occupy very little storage space in the primary storage. When a migrated file is accessed, it is read from the secondary storage and made available to the calling application. By default, this provision is done in the so-called "Pass Through" procedure, which avoids an undesired restore of the read data into the primary storage. In addition, the "On-Access" policies allow for a targeted re-storage, e.g. if a restore is explicitly desired in case of multiple access.

If e.g. LTO 5 tapes are used for secondary storage, up to three terabytes (compressed) can be swapped out per cartridge. In addition, the high price advantage in terms of cost per gigabyte makes tape technology very interesting for this approach. Blu-ray Disc based storage, such as a BD library, is also an attractive alternative, as this technology offers better random access performance than tape and, as "True WORM" storage, better meets requirements for long-term archiving.

PoINT Storage Manager already includes support for alternative storage technologies like LTO Tape and Blu-ray Disc. The purchase of expensive additional modules or products is not necessary. The Windows-based software can be easily integrated into the existing storage infrastructure, works in the background and ensures an effective utilization of the existing primary storage. Expensive new purchases of hard disk shelves can be avoided. Nevertheless, transparent file system access via primary storage is still available for users and applications by means of PoINT Storage Manager.