If the data in a General-purpose NAS file system is not accessed for more than 14 days, you can enable the lifecycle management feature. Then, you can dump the data to an Infrequent Access (IA) storage medium to reduce costs. This topic describes the scenarios, benefits, and workflow of an IA storage medium.

Scenarios

  • Web content management

    Most web content management systems are used to upload and download data. These management systems include WordPress, FTP, and Internet Information Services (IIS). In most cases, the backends of the content management systems are used to provide shared file storage. However, an increasing volume of data that is not often accessed may become cold data after a time range. An IA storage medium provides a cost-effective solution to store and manage cold data for web content management.

  • Big data analysis

    An IA storage medium provides a cost-effective storage solution for large volumes of unstructured data, such as gene sequencing, GIS, bill image, and audio recording data. IA storage media also provide the same throughput as General-purpose NAS file systems.

  • Backup storage

    If you use General-purpose NAS file systems as the backup media for databases such as MySQL, Redis, and MongoDB, IA storage media provide a cost-effective storage solution. You can also integrate General-purpose NAS file systems with Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to back up Windows servers.

Benefits

  • Easy configuration: You do not need to write scripts or manually migrate cold data.

    After you configure a lifecycle management policy for a directory, the files that meet the policy are automatically dumped from the directory to the IA storage medium. You do not need to manually perform complex or high-risk data migration.

  • Lower cost: You can dump files of cold data to an inexpensive storage medium.

    The file system automatically identifies cold data based on the lifecycle management policy and performs an immediate dump of the cold data. Compared with the method that is used to archive the data by directory, the lifecycle management feature dumps only cold data to minimize your overall costs.

  • Instant access: You can access cold data without the need to modify the lifecycle management policy or manually migrate cold data from the IA storage medium to the file system.

    After cold data is dumped, the content and structure of the file system is unchanged. Applications can access the cold data as normal. Therefore, you do not need to modify applications or interrupt your business.

Workflow

Lifecycle management
The workflow of lifecycle management includes the following steps:
  1. A lifecycle management policy is configured for a file system based on the access frequency of the data in the file system. For more information, see Manage a lifecycle management policy.
  2. The lifecycle management module checks for cold data in the specified directory at regular intervals based on the lifecycle management policy. If cold data is identified, it is dumped from the General-purpose NAS file system to the IA storage medium (1 in the figure).
  3. When you attempt to access the cold data, it is cached from the IA storage medium to the General-purpose NAS file system (2 in the figure). The latency for access to cold data for the first time is slightly higher than the latency for access to cold data for the second time. From the second time, the access latency is the same as the latency for access to the data stored in the General-purpose NAS file system. If you access the cold data in the IA storage medium, you are charged for the read/write traffic of the cold data. For more information, see Billing of IA storage media.
  4. If you require frequent access to data in the IA storage medium, we recommend that you create a data retrieval task. This allows you to retrieve the specified file or cold data from the specified directory. Then, you can store the retrieved data in the storage space of the general-purpose NAS file system (3 in the figure). If you run a data retrieval task, you are charged for the write traffic of the cold data. For more information, see Create a data retrieval task and Billing of IA storage media.