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, the feature can dump the data to an Infrequent Access (IA) storage medium at a lower cost. This topic describes the scenarios, benefits, and workflow of an IA storage medium.

Notice
  • If your General-purpose NAS file system was created before June 1, 2020, you cannot enable the lifecycle management feature or configure lifecycle policies for the file system. The lifecycle management feature is unavailable for file systems for which the data encryption feature is enabled. If you want to enable the lifecycle management feature for file systems that are created before June 2020, submit a ticket.
  • You cannot dump data from an Extreme NAS file system to an IA storage medium.
  • You cannot directly purchase an IA storage medium or write data to an IA storage medium. If you want to use an IA storage medium, you must first purchase a General-purpose NAS file system and enable the lifecycle management feature for the file system. For more information, see Create a General-purpose NAS file system in the NAS console and Create a lifecycle policy.

Scenarios

  • Web content management

    Most web content management systems such as WordPress, FTP, and Internet Information Services (IIS) are used to upload and download data. In most cases, the backends of the content management systems are used to provide shared file storage. As your business develops over time, more and more data is infrequently accessed and becomes cold data. You can use an IA storage medium to store and manage cold data in a cost-effective manner.

  • Big data analysis

    You can use an IA storage medium to store large amounts of unstructured data at a low cost. For example, you can store gene sequencing data, geographic information system (GIS) data, bill image data, or audio recording data. IA storage media provide the same throughput as General-purpose NAS file systems.

  • Backup storage

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

Benefits

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

    After you configure a lifecycle policy for a directory of a file system, the files that meet the policy are automatically dumped from the directory to an IA storage medium. You do not need to manually migrate the data.

  • Lower cost: You can dump cold data by file to minimize your costs.

    After you configure a lifecycle policy for a directory of a file system, the file system identifies cold data and dumps files in time based on the lifecycle policy. Compared with data archive by directory, data dump by file based on lifecycle policies allows you to implement finer-grained data management and can minimize your costs. If you need to frequently access files in an IA storage medium, you can retrieve the files or the file directories to the file system. This way, you are not charged traffic fees that are incurred when you frequently read data from or write data to the files.

  • Instant access: You can access cold data in an IA storage medium without the need to migrate the cold data back to the original file system or modify your applications.

    After cold data is dumped from a file system to an IA storage medium, the content and structure of the file system remain unchanged. Applications can access the cold data as expected. You do not need to modify applications or interrupt your business.

Example of cost optimization

Before you enable the lifecycle management feature, we recommend that you use the following method to estimate the costs for your specific scenarios. This way, you can decide whether to enable the lifecycle management feature and dump infrequently accessed files to IA storage media.

Costs (A) that can be saved if all files are dumped to an IA storage medium Read and write traffic fees (B) of the files in an IA storage medium
A = (Unit price of storage usage in a General-purpose NAS file system - Unit price of storage usage in the IA storage medium) × Estimated storage usage B = Unit price of read and write traffic × Estimated read and write traffic
  • For more information, see Apsara File Storage NAS pricing.
  • Estimated read and write traffic: You can estimate the read and write traffic of the IA storage medium based on your business scenario.
After you calculate A and B based on the preceding formulas, you can compare A and B.
  • If A is equal to or greater than B, we recommend that you enable the lifecycle management feature.
  • If A is lower than B, we recommend that you do not enable the lifecycle management feature.
Example:
Mr. Wang created a Capacity NAS file system in the China (Hangzhou) region in August 2021. The estimated storage usage of the file system per month is 1 PiB. The estimated read and write traffic of the associated IA storage medium is 5000 GiB.
Costs (A) that can be saved if all files are dumped to an IA storage medium Read and write traffic fees (B) of the files in an IA storage medium
A = (Unit price of storage usage in a General-purpose NAS file system - Unit price of storage usage in the IA storage medium) × Estimated storage usage

A = USD (0.06 - 0.02322)/GiB/month × 1 PiB × 1,024 × 1,024 = USD 38566.62528

B = Unit price of read and write traffic × Estimated read and write traffic

B = USD 0.00929/GiB/month × 5,000 GiB = USD 46.45

The calculation result indicates that A is greater than B. To reduce storage costs, we recommend that you enable the lifecycle management feature.

Workflow

Lifecycle management
The workflow of lifecycle management includes the following steps:
  1. A lifecycle policy is configured for a directory of a General-purpose NAS file system based on the access frequency of the data in the file system. For more information, see Manage a lifecycle policy.
  2. The lifecycle management module checks for cold data in the specified directory at regular intervals based on the lifecycle policy. If cold data is identified, the module dumps the cold data from the General-purpose NAS file system to an IA storage medium (1 in the figure).
  3. When you attempt to access the cold data, the cold data is cached from the IA storage medium to the General-purpose NAS file system (2 in the figure). The latency of the first access to the cold data is higher than the latency of later access. The latency of the second or later access to the cold data is the same as the latency of 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 and write traffic of the cold data. For more information, see Billing of IA storage media.
  4. If you need to frequently access data in the IA storage medium, we recommend that you create a data retrieval task. This way, you can retrieve specified files or directories to 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.