Tiered storage appliances take the utilization of the cloud to a completely different level. Leveraging information lifecycle practices, tiered storage solutions migrate data from the active storage network to cloud storage based on a number of factors, ranging from simple data aging to explicit control of what data is moved and when, by rules configured by IT. While there are a number of different products that are designed as tiered storage solutions, they fundamentally operate in the same way.
The tiered storage appliance is identified as a storage source on the network. In this appliance, data that is in active use is kept in the fastest storage, such as SSD drives. As a certain set of conditions are met, less-important data is moved to slower, less expensive hard disk storage. Finally, storage is migrated to the cloud when it becomes little-used or meets other, IT-determined requirements.