Tiered Storage, Pizza and the TTFB

Tiered Storage, Pizza and the TTFB

We often get asked how best to describe where MatrixStore object storage sits in the hierarchy of tiered storage or to explain tiered storage itself. To do this I sometimes turn to silly food analogies to accomplish this.

One way to consider tiered storage is think about the desire to eat pizza and how quickly you can get it in your mouth. By desire I mean it’s the day after your second fasting day of the week and you would eat cardboard right now just to get something inside you. Anyway, here goes with an explanation:

Tier 1 Pizza

Tier 1 Pizza

If I have a delicious hot pizza in front of me, on my plate, the time for me to stuff that pizza in my mouth is sub 1 second. This is known as the Time To First Bite (TTFB). Super fast, super satisfying. But my plate is only so big any excess pizza will go stale if I leave it out too long. So I need to park some leftover Pizza somewhere.

Nearline Pizza

Nearline Pizza

Over in the fridge, I know there is some cold pizza from last night and also some fresh pizza I can cook up pretty quickly. It’s the 2nd tier of pizza storage that will protect my pizza for longer but might take slightly longer to go and get it.

Frozen Pizza

Frozen Pizza

Now that the fridge is quickly filling up with the most popular pizzas I need to push some of the less popular ones, anything with pineapple on it, down a storage tier. After all no-one in their right mind would eat savoury pizza with fruit on it but the legal department say we need to keep these heinous creations around just in case. So the pizza goes in the freezer and I know for sure I am going to wait a little while before I can actually get to eat it.

Public Cloud Pizza

Public cloud

The ultimate pizza. Someone else, somewhere, makes your pizza and delivers it to your door. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours to arrive, depending on your Pizza SLA. Trust in this pizza is still an issue for some as its integrity could be in question since you are not entirely 100% sure that no-one else has licked your pizza before delivered to your doorstep. Whilst the CFO loved the idea of PaaS (Pizza as a Service), the cost of getting the pizza delivered regularly is a whole lot more than initially thought.

Apply this analogy to the Media industry (Post-Production, VOD, Digitisation, Masters Library)

Tier1 Storage

Shared editing storage. Guaranteed streams of access to your data. It’s like having the pizza in front of you.

Tier 2 – Nearline Storage

MatrixStore object storage is your nearline for re-purposing content and putting archived clips or finished masters at your fingertips. Nearline platforms really do need to be disk based in order to guarantee sub-second Time to First Byte (TTFB). From terabytes to multiple petabytes this tier of storage offers scale, security, metadata manipulation and business rules support (Data retention, DR and Business Continuity etc.).

Tier 3 – Cold Storage (Boom Boom)

Your frozen pizza is your LTO or ODA. It has a longer TTFB given it may take a while to find the cartridge you need. Perfect platforms for sending content to clients or putting archived legacy content into a deep archive for insurance or to satisfy internal policy purposes.

Alternative Tier 3 – Public Cloud Storage

Pizza delivery is just like ‘public’ cloud, someone else is looking after your data and is responsible for delivering it to you when you ask for it. Again it could take a while to get hold of and you tend to have to pay to get your own data back. Many organisations are looking at this OPEX model but even the cheapest of public clouds become prohibitively expensive when it comes to retrieving multiple terabytes of content a week. What media company needs to do that?

Note: Private and hybrid cloud platforms make a lot more sense for organisations looking for Storage as a Service offering both in terms of commercial flexibility and tighter technical integration. Get in touch to find out how Object Matrix can help.

Most organisations will implement a mixture of all of the above based on the requirements placed on the data. If you do need frequent access to content and you need secure, audited workflows then having a copy on the nearline tier is a must.

Right that’s enough food analogies! I’m starving and it’s a fasting day!

Pass the lettuce please.