If you are trying to get more from the disk capacity you already have in your SAN environment, you aren’t alone.

According to a survey published in October’s Storage magazine, 53% of responding companies have invested in storage tiering to help them improve the efficiency of their current capacity.*

Why Storage Tiering?

Storage tiering has practically become a requirement for capacity optimization because it moves data to the most appropriate and affordable storage hardware.

Tiering can be especially useful for those who have a mix of SATA, fibre channel, and solid-state drives in their storage array. By moving “hot” data to high-performance drives and “cold” data to high capacity, lower cost drives, companies can make the most of their current high-capacity hardware and improve the performance of their high-speed fibre channel and solid-state drives.

By adjusting data placement on a daily basis, companies can optimize the way they use their storage capacity to improve performance and keep costs down.

Auto-Tiering versus Manual Tiering

In the same Storage magazine survey, 54% of all respondents who said they were using storage tiering used an automated process to manage the data movements. Auto-tiering, or moving data according to a set of rules, allows IT administrators to reduce the time they typically dedicate to storage tiering freeing them to spend more time working on more important tasks.

It is typically accomplished with software, such as EMC FAST, which significantly helps to alleviate the traditional turmoil associated with moving data between different storage tiers.

What challenges have you encountered in implementing storage tiering? What tips would you like to share with others? Leave your tips and challenges in the comments below.

*Storage Tiering Gets More Automated, Storage Magazine, October 2012.

Photo Credit from top right: Daniel Mitchell, Flickr. CC Licensed. Kari Fuller, Flickr. CC Licensed.

Want to improve the efficiency of your disk capacity? Talk to a dedicated Reliant Storage Specialist today for expert advice on storage tiering solutions that fit your enterprise storage environment and your budget.