Public Cloud Storage: The Case for Infrequent Access Storage

Posted 10/06/2015 by Luke Walker

Posted in

I strongly believe in choosing the right storage to fit the requirement, instead of trying to push a square peg into a round hole. With Public IaaS, this is most pertinent because selecting the right (or wrong) tier of storage has a major impact to not just your underlying cost model, but also the availability of those datasets and the user experience.

The challenge for Backup and Archive datasets residing in cloud-based storage is that as backups age over time, the frequency of restore requests diminishes – but the requirement for instant or near-instant access to that data, or the defined business RTO does not change.


At this point, you would have to make a decision – at which point (and for which dataset) do I choose between keeping my backups & archives always online, and when do I move it into deep archive storage?

By shifting to deep archive storage too early, wait times for recalling and accessing your data become much longer and disruptive, however if you wait too long to shift that data, then more infrastructure spend is required to keep that backup/archive storage always online.

But is there a better way?

Bridging the gap with Infrequent Access storage

Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and VMware’s vCloud Air have recently announced a new storage class that addresses this gap, providing a lower cost model but retaining the advantages of Public Cloud Object-based Storage – instant access & provisioning, high durability and low latency.

  • AWS – S3 Standard – Infrequent Access (S3-IA): AWS recently announced the S3 Standard – Infrequent Access storage class at $0.0125 / gigabyte / month, with a 30 day minimum storage duration for billing and $0.01 / gigabyte charge for retrieval. This storage can be used alongside both S3 Standard buckets and Glacier configurations with Commvault.
  • Google Nearline Storage: Recently announced, the Google Cloud Platform group offers access to infrequent storage with a 3 second average response time for $0.01/GB/month and $0.01/GB for data retrieval.
  • vCloud Air Object Storage (powered by Google): Showcased at VMworld 2015 San Francisco, Google and VMware teamed up to offer enterprise-grade Google Cloud Platform services to VMware customers through vCloud Air. As part of this offering, vCloud Air Object Storage (powered by Google) allows you to access the Google Nearline Storage offering as a simple, low-cost ($0.01 / gigabyte / month), fast-response infrequent access storage class (in addition to Standard and Durable Reduced Availability storage classes, also supported by Commvault).

Utilizing Infrequent Access storage in your Data Management strategy

Commvault is proud to support this new storage class with the recent release of Commvault v10 Service Pack 12 on Oct. 1, 2015, and the current offerings (S3-IA / vCloud Air / Nearline Storage) will be natively accessible through the MediaAgent’s Cloud Connector, and can be configured in as little as 5 minutes.

With this support, you can seamlessly integrate infrequent access storage into your strategy with the application of Commvault software’s automated storage tiering. Through this added support, you can seamlessly integrate AWS S3-IA and Google Nearline into configuration, coordinating and managing your workloads to transition from the standard storage layer, into the infrequent access before its final resting place in deep archive storage.