High-performance flash storage is quickly becoming the norm for many modernized data centers. However, that high performance can also come with a high price tag. By using object storage to tier hot and cold data, many organizations can reap the benefits of optimized flash storage while still maintaining their data center’s ROI goals.
Serving up Netflix’s Tiger King: a hot solution for cold data
To better understand how your organization should tier your flash storage, it’s important to define which of your data is frequently accessed at a moment’s notice (hot data) and which of your data is rarely accessed or dormant (cold data).
Netflix offers a great example. Remember when Tiger King went viral just a few months ago? In its first 10 days, the series was watched by more than 34 million viewers.
In a situation like this, how does a content provider handle the increased workload and distribute that content for the best user experience? In most cases, it all comes down to tiering data.
When millions of copies of data need to be automatically served across the globe with no administrative interaction and the lowest latency possible to the user, it makes sense for a content provider to tier the data by region or time zone. This means that this data would be classified as “hot” in regions where there are more requests for it, since that data should be accessible to viewers at a moment’s notice.
Once “hot data” is no longer hot, the provider needs to decrease the number of available copies to make room for new “hot” content and allow regions without the same demand for that data to archive it while keeping it accessible.
This is where an object storage platform like NetApp StorageGRID can help.
The object storage solution
An object storage platform with an intelligent policy engine is able to change the way a given application interacts with storage infrastructure, allowing it to read and write from a single path, and to place the object closest to its requested location.
This means that when widely disseminated data is “hot,” it can be dispersed to other sites so access to it is fast and efficient, resulting in a seamless user experience. When that data is no longer “hot,” the policy engine will reduce the amount of stored data, and when it’s no longer being accessed but still needs to be available, it will move that data to more inexpensive storage media.
Why optimized flash storage is important
While most companies don’t have the data demands of a content provider like Netflix, many still struggle with data placement, access and archiving. With proper assessment and implementation, optimized storage can translate to significant cost savings and better-performing storage infrastructure in the long run. In fact, the correct mix of object storage and flash storage can save some organizations up to 30% compared to an all-flash deployment alone.
Learn more about object storage and NetApp StorageGRID in our on-demand webinar, Optimizing Flash with Modern Object Storage.