StrongLink Autonomous Data Management – The Modern Alternative to HSM
Any-to-Any Data Mobility
Traditional hierarchical storage management (HSM) solutions got their start in the 1990s and weren’t architected for today’s complex storage environments with multiple storage vendors, different file systems, public cloud, and different locations. Today’s sophisticated workflows and the sheer volume of unstructured data requires a deeper insight into the data and its value to the business, as well as specific requirements for long-term retention. Modern alternatives to HSMs must support robust policy controls, multi-vendor storage infrastructures, and dynamic data movement during the data’s life cycle. Legacy HSMs cannot support these rigorous requirements. And those HSMs do nothing for data classification or advanced metadata features for effective data management across any vendor storage platform.
Traditionally, HSMs rely on symbolic links, file stubs, or similar proprietary tricks so that data appears to still reside on primary storage, but in fact redirects user requests to the actual location of the data. These systems then retrieve the data from where it actually resides on tape or other lower-cost storage and rehydrates it back to the original storage location via the same path. This process adds latency and increased risk, and requires data to be restored back to where it started, even if that is no longer where it needs to live. Stubs & symlinks can also become brittle. When stubbed data is moved from its original storage to another location, those symbolic paths can become confused and break. Stubs and symlinks are also a proprietary format owned by the vendor for accessing the moved data, creating unneeded vendor lock.
StrongLink does away with the fragile HSM paradigm, enabling policy-based data tiering from any storage type to any other — including flash, disk, tape, and cloud — without needing proprietary symlinks or stubs, and also without the need to rehydrate data back to the same place it originated. In this way, StrongLink bridges multi-vendor storage systems and dynamically migrates data based on policy to the right storage at the right time. StrongLink eliminates the identified HSM problems, presenting data in a global namespace that can span multiple incompatible storage platforms. StrongLink’s policy-based data movers ensure data is automatically stored on the right storage platform according to lifecycle or other user-defined policies. In this way, customers can select any vendor storage type, including disk, tape, or cloud at any time, confident that their data is always accessible and protected.