Like most organizations, K-12 school districts are under pressure to do more with less. While all-flash storage such as the Lenovo DM5100F can provide blazing-fast performance for day-to-day operations, it can be an expensive option for storing “cold” data that needs to be retained, but is infrequently accessed. You can use hybrid models with a mixture of flash storage and spinning disks such as the Lenovo DM3000H to lower your costs, but even these can be an expensive option for data that is seldom accessed.
Another option is to use low-cost “cold tier” storage in the public cloud, such as Amazon S3 Glacier or Microsoft Azure Blob cold storage. These are very low cost options for long-term archive data that is seldom accessed, such as historical student records, data to meet regulatory requirements, older “snapshot” data of your disk volumes, etc.
Below are some reasons you may want to look at using ONTAP FabricPool to archive and manage your cold data:
- Cost Optimization: If the school has a significant amount of cold data that is rarely accessed but needs to be retained for compliance or other purposes, using FabricPool can help optimize storage costs. Cold data can be tiered to less expensive storage tiers, such as object storage or cloud storage, while maintaining seamless accessibility through the ONTAP interface.
- Storage Efficiency: FabricPool enables transparent data tiering, allowing inactive or less frequently accessed data to be moved to lower-cost storage tiers while keeping metadata and stubs on higher-performance storage. This approach can free up valuable space on primary storage and improve overall storage efficiency.
- Regulatory Compliance: Schools often need to retain data for compliance with regulations or legal requirements. By utilizing FabricPool, the school can leverage lower-cost archival storage tiers to meet retention policies while still maintaining access to the data when necessary.
- Long-Term Retention: If the school needs to retain data for an extended period without frequent access, such as historical records, FabricPool can be an effective solution. It allows the school to leverage economical storage options for long-term retention while keeping the data accessible if required.
Benefits of ONTAP FabricPool
ONTAP FabricPool offers a number of benefits to K-12 school districts.
- Simple, quick setup – You don’t need a special certification or specialized training to use ONTAP software to set up cloud tiering. Once the software is installed and configured, it is very easy to use the simple web interface to set up tiering parameters, choose cloud provider options, and mark data to be tiered.
- Security – ONTAP software provides encryption of your valuable data both on your own storage servers as well as in-transit and in the cloud. As long as you properly protect your encryption keys, your data is safe from prying eyes and hackers.
- Lots of options – Your server administrator can easily choose where to keep your cold data and move the data to a different provider if cost savings warrant a change. You are not stuck with one cloud provider for the life of your data. You can even contract with a private cloud provider to ensure your data is even further protected from public access.
- Cost savings – Up to 80% of most school district’s data is considered “cold” and seldom access. You can save significant costs and free up expensive flash storage by moving this cold data to low-cost cloud storage.
It’s important to evaluate factors such as the volume of cold data, access requirements, cost considerations, and compliance needs when deciding to implement ONTAP FabricPool for archival purposes. Hit me up if you have questions about implementing ONTAP FabricPool for your school district.