What is Cold Data?
By default, data that is not accessed for 31 days becomes inactive, which is displayed at the aggregate, cluster, and volume levels. This data is known as inactive (cold) data. The default setting for data to become inactive in ONTAP is after 30 days as defined by the volume tiering policy. This can be changed to suit your business needs.
Benefits of identifying Cold Storage
NetApp AFF systems offer best-in-class performance with an all-flash architecture with front-end NVMe/FC host connectivity along with back-end NVMe-attached SSDs that help achieve latencies as low as 100µs. But this extra performance comes at higher cost and is best utilized on more frequently accessed (hot) data. By identifying your non accessed (cold) data, you can save data storage space on your high-performance systems by moving the cold data to a lower cost cloud solution such as Amazon S3 object storage. This saves on storage costs and allows you maximize both your high-performance data system space as well as your cold data storage by separating the two.
Cold Data Dashboard
The NetApp Cloud Insights Cold Data Dashboard allows you to quickly identify the source and location of cold data so it can be moved to a lower cost storage option. When you first enter the cold data dashboard, you can see immediately how much cold data you have, what type of drives it is on and what volumes the data is on. As you can see here, there is 91.7 TiB of cold data in this environment, 66.3 TiB is residing on high performance SSD drives, 18.8 TiB on HDD drives and 140.7GiB on Virtual drives.
The Cold Data Volumes report will break down all the volumes with cold data on them, including size cold, disk type, aggregate name, etc.
The Cold Data Dashboard also has a breakdown of how cold the data is. You can not only identify data that is cold but also how infrequently the data is accessed. You can also get a breakdown of your hot and cold data distribution across your data tier.
Finally, you can get a list of the cold data by cluster as well as broken out by drive types. If you would like you can also export these reports to CSV files.
The Cold Data Dashboard can quickly help you identify infrequently accessed (cold) data taking up space on your high performance tiers. This will help you move the cold data to a lower cost solution, saving you money on cold storage but also freeing up space on your high performance systems allowing you to efficiently use the storage that you have already purchased instead of overspending your storage budget, maximizing your overall storage environment.