What is Tiering?


In the context of data storage, tiering refers to the practice of organizing data into different tiers based on its value or frequency of access. Each tier is assigned a different level of performance, cost, and capacity, with the goal of optimizing the use of storage resources and reducing costs.

The most commonly used tiers are:

  • Tier 1: This is the highest-performing and most expensive tier, typically using solid-state drives (SSDs) for fast access to critical data that is frequently accessed or requires low latency.
  • Tier 2: This tier is less expensive than Tier 1 and is typically made up of hard disk drives (HDDs) or slower SSDs. It is used for data that is still frequently accessed but not as critical as Tier 1 data.
  • Tier 3: This is a low-cost and high-capacity tier, typically using slower HDDs or object storage. It is used for infrequently accessed data or data that is older and less valuable.


Unstructured data is typically moved automatically between tiers based on predefined data management policies that consider factors such as data age, access frequency, and cost. This ensures that frequently accessed data is stored in the higher-performing and more expensive tiers, while infrequently accessed data is stored in the lower-cost tiers. The goal of tiering is to optimize storage utilization and reduce costs while ensuring that data is accessible when needed.

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