Cutting the fat on primary storage
CNS does the trick for painless and user-friendly administration. But what if users crowd your expensive storage arrays with files that are seldom if ever touched? The Titan has some powerful tools to automatically and painlessly move old files to a different storage tier.
Setting up automated data migration takes only a few steps from the management GUI. I first defined a target file system, then defined a migration path listing my source and target file system, and finally created a migration policy.
In the migration policy, you define the files to be moved according to location, file name, and the date the file was last accessed. Naturally, you can combine those criteria.
I set my source to a crowded file system on my FC arrays, and created a target file system on the less expensive and larger SATA drives.
After the migration, my source directory still looked intact, because the process replaces every migrated file with a stub pointing at the target location. Clicking on the stub immediately opens the file.
Data migration is probably the most effective way to remove clutter from primary storage. You avoid disturbing users with annoying file cleaning campaigns, and it can save some money because you purchase less expensive arrays. Plus it's the easiest way I have seen to start with tiered storage.
During my evaluation of the Titan 3200 I ran across more interesting features than I have space to describe: For example, creating iSCSI targets, file systems with two levels of WORM, and the intriguing replication capability that requires an additional license for incremental, only-the-files-that-changed replicas, but are included at no extra cost if you can live with replicas consisting of full copies of data and metadata.
The Titan doesn't come cheap. BlueArc estimates that my test configuration including storage would run between US$600,000 and US$700,000, which is serious money but compares favorably on many levels with several competing solutions. For a company that needs unified storage offering fast performance, reliability, good management tools, and top-notch scalability, the Titan 3000 should top the list.