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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM)

Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) is a data storage technique which automatically moves data between high-cost and low-cost storage media. HSM systems exist because high-speed storage devices, such as hard disk drive arrays, are more expensive (per byte stored) than slower devices, such as optical discs and magnetic tape drives. While it would be ideal to have all data available on high-speed devices all the time, this is prohibitively expensive for many organizations.

Instead, HSM systems store the bulk of the enterprise's data on slower devices, and then copy data to faster disk drives when needed. In effect, HSM turns the fast disk drives into caches for the slower mass storage devices. The HSM system monitors the way data is used and makes best guesses as to which data can safely be moved to slower devices and which data should stay on the fast devices.

A hierarchical storage system extends the storage hierarchy beyond primary memory and secondary storage to incorporate tertiary storage — usually implemented as a
jukebox of tapes or removable disks.
It usually incorporates tertiary storage by extending the file system.
* Small and frequently used files remain on disk.
* Large, old, inactive files are archived to the jukebox.
HSM is usually found in supercomputing centers and other large installations that have enormous volumes of data.

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