When it comes to storing data, businesses have several choices: online storage, offline storage, and nearline storage. Most businesses use a combination of online and offline storage. However, many can further reduce their costs and improve data access by adding nearline storage to the mix. What is it, and how will nearline storage cut costs and speed data access?
In order to better understand nearline storage, let’s first look at what online and offline storage are. Online storage is your primary system, whether its housed in a server on premises or in a remote data center. Users access this data in real time. It’s fast and accessible. For example, in a point of sale system, as orders are created, they are saved to online storage. Managers can quickly run sales reports based 收納服務 on the data stored within the online storage system.
Offline storage is used to archive data that’s no longer needed for day-to-day operations but yet shouldn’t be discarded just yet for any number of reasons such as legal compliance or for historical purposes. While you could leave that data on your primary system, doing so tends to be costly both in terms of costs as well as in system performance. For example, is it necessary to store 10 years worth of transactions in your point of sale system? How often do you need to pull up an order from 10 years ago? As your online storage system fills up with data, the time will come to increase capacity. From a monetary standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to store all of that older data on expensive, high performance drives. By moving older data to cheaper offline storage systems, you can reduce overall storage costs yet still have the archived data should you need it for some reason.
The problem with offline storage is that while it’s accessible should you need it, it’s not necessarily easy to pull up (Source: Data Informed, Use Nearline Storage to Cut Costs and Speed Access). For example, you may have tapes stored in a warehouse across town. In order to pull up the data, you’ll have to send someone to physically retrieve the tapes. As you can imagine, this is far from efficient.
Nearline storage falls somewhere in the middle. It is generally stored on-premises in a removable format such as a CD, magnetic disk, or magnetic tape (Source: Tech Target Search Storage, Near-line storage). It is much less expensive than online storage, but it’s close by. In other words, it is near you. As such, should you need to pull up an order from 10 years ago, you’d be able to do so quickly. Nearline storage resides in a more active state than offline storage.
Nearline Storage (NLS) solutions include optimized analytics, legacy decommissioning tools and support for the management of SAP data retention (Source: Dolphin Corporation, Data Archiving and Nearline Storage for SAP ERP and BW Applications). As an intermediate form of storage, nearline storage can reduce your storage costs by removing less frequently used data off of more expensive primary storage and onto much less expensive secondary storage. It speeds data access by being housed nearby where it’s readily accessible. Rather than taking days or weeks to retrieve offline data, your nearline data can be brought up in a matter of minutes.