Cold Data Storage

Iceberg representing data storage with hot data above water and cold data below.

Cold data refers to data that is infrequently accessed, as compared to hot data that is frequently accessed. As unstructured data grows at unprecedented rates, organizations are realizing the advantages of utilizing cold data storage devices instead of high-performance primary storage as they are much more economical, simple to set up & use, and are less prone to suffering from drive failure.

For many organizations, the real difficulty with cold data is figuring out when data should be considered hot and kept on primary storage or it can be labeled as cold and moved off to a secondary storage device. For this reason, it’s important to understand the difference between data types to develop a solution for managing cold data that is most cost effective for your organization.

Types of Data That Cold Storage is Typically Used For

Examples of data types for which cold storage may be suitable include information a business is required to keep for regulatory compliance, video, photographs, and data that is saved for backup, archival, big-data analytics or disaster recovery purposes. As this data ages and is less frequently accessed, it can generally be moved to cold storage. A policy-based approach allows organizations to optimize storage resources and reduce costs by moving inactive data to more economical cold data storage.

Advantages of Developing a Cold Data Storage Solution

  1. Prevent primary storage solutions from becoming overburdened with unused data
  2. Reduce overall resource costs of data storage
  3. Simplify data storage solution and optimize the management of its data
  4. Efficiently meet governance and compliance requirements
  5. Make use of more affordable & reliable mechanical storage drives for lesser used data

Reduce Strain on Primary Storage by Moving Cold Data to Secondary Storage

Affordable Costs of Cold Storage

When comparing costs for enterprise-level storage drives, the mechanical drives used in many cold data storage systems are just over 20% of the price that high-end solid-state drives (SSD) can cost on average. For SSD’s at the top tier of performance, storage still costs close to 10 centers per gigabyte whereas NAS-level mechanical drives cost only around 2 centers per gigabyte on average.

Simplify Your Data Storage Solution

A well-optimized cold data storage system can make your local storage infrastructure much less cluttered & easier to maintain. As the storage tools which help us automatically determine which data is hot and cold continue to improve, managing the movement of data between solutions or tiers is becoming easier every year. Some cold data storage solutions are even starting to automate the entirety of the management process based on rules that the business establishes.

Meet Regulatory or Compliance Requirements

Many organizations in the healthcare industry are required to hold onto their data for extended periods of time, if not forever. With the possibility of facing litigation somewhere down the line based on having this data intact, corporations are opting to use a cold data storage solution which can effectively store critically important, unused data under conditions in which it cannot be tampered with or altered.

Increase Data Durability with Cold Data Storage

Reliability is one of the most important factors when choosing a data storage solution to house data for extended periods of time or indefinitely. Mechanical drives can be somewhat slower than SSD’s in providing file access, but they are still quick to be able to pull files and offer much more budget room for creating additional backup or parity within your storage system.

When considering storage hardware for cold data solutions, consider low cost, high-capacity options with a high degree of data durability so your data can remain intact for as long as it needs to be stored for.

See How Much Cold Data Is Costing You