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Unclog your HP 3PAR StoreServ array with an HP StoreEver Tape-as-NAS solution


By Mark Fleischhauer, HP StoreEver Tape Storage Solutions Engineering Manager


Ever wonder how you can keep up with all the data on your HP 3PAR StoreServ or any other inactive disk array? Do you know where it is or if anyone is even using it anymore?


This kind of old, stagnant data clogs up an array and consumes valuable storage space. Enter hierarchical storage management (HSM)—and yes, it can be a challenge to implement. HSM comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, varying levels of complexity and price points. Not everyone needs or wants a complex solution but you may need help moving your old data to less expensive, reliable storage without drastic changes to your workflow. With an HP StoreEver tape-as-NAS (tNAS) solution working in conjunction with QStar Network Migrator, you can deploy a solution to help unclog your array. 


How it works: HP tNAS for data migration

The HP StoreEver tNAS solution provides an easy way to access tape as if it were NAS storage. You mount the tNAS volume as a traditional NAS mount point, giving you simple drag-and-drop access to the files. Note that this storage is comprised of a disk cache and highly reliable, cost-effective and scalable LTO tape. With the tape solution in place as a target for data, you still need to know which data to move to it and you need an engine to move it. Using Network Migrator from QStar (QNM), this process is easily accomplished in just a few steps.


QStar Network Migrator for data identification and movement

QStar Network Migrator (QNM) sits on the host and monitors the data. A centralized, web-based policy manager is used to create quite sophisticated data movement policies for each host client that allows you to determine which data to move off of the array and over to the tNAS target. You can use file size, file type or last touched—or combinations thereof—as components to build a policy for triggering data movement. When data is moved, a file stub is left behind that points to the new location of the data on tNAS. Within the tNAS solution, you can configure the solution to create multiple copies on tape that can be kept online and offsite. This gives you a highly resilient solution that can withstand system faults or even disasters such as floods or fire.


Data retrieval and your workflow

When you need data that has been migrated, users or applications can access the data as though it is still there by simply “double clicking” on the file. QNM automatically retrieves the file from the tNAS solution with no additional interaction by the user or application or assistance from an administrator. If the data is in the tNAS cache, it will be available immediately. If it needs to be pulled from tape, a short delay will be experienced while the data is retrieved. No workflow changes are necessary.


Backup operations will benefit from this solution as well. When data is migrated to the tNAS and the stub is left behind, only the stub is backed up. This means that your backup job will no longer need to back up the old, stale data. Backing up these stubs is still very important as you need to know where your data resides if and when you need it.



Result: disk array unclogged 

As just described, deploying an HSM solution may be easier than you think. To see just how easy, check the technical white paper entitled Auto-migrating cold data to HP StoreEver Tape using QStar software that steps you through the process.


The HP StoreEver Tape-as-NAS solution with QStar Network Migrator provides everything you need to help you clean your array of old data—as you optimize your overall storage costs while minimizing disruption to your workflows. HP tNAS provides the cost-effective LTO tape storage target and QSM manages data identification and movement so you can unclog your arrays making room for the new, more current data that your business needs.




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