ClarityNow Software Gives Users New View on How Much Their Files Are Costing Them

Urging customers to consider their data management options, Quantum has integrated ClarityNow software from DataFrameworks, saying it’s a good way for users to clear capacity on primary storage tiers — and save money — by identifying and moving or deleting unnecessary or redundant files.

At a StudioDaily webinar sponsored by Quantum earlier this week, Dave Frederick, the company’s senior director of product marketing, said it had opted to integrate the DataFrameworks system partly because it’s a lightweight application with few bells and whistles that focuses on speed and efficiency. “It’s designed for speed,” he said. It also works with different file systems, making it well suited for use in facilities running volumes from different storage vendors, Frederick said.

The key challenge Frederick described is keeping track of which files reside on which tiers of a multi-tier storage system. By assigning a cost per terabyte-year to each level of storage, he said facilities can gain a mathematical understanding of how much it costs them to keep different files in different places.

Cost of different storage tiers

Facilities can save money simply by moving files off of primary storage if they don’t need to be there.

For example, he cited industry estimates that, including all the costs of management and maintenance, it costs about $700 to store 1 TB of data for one year on high-performance primary storage. The same 1 TB of data costs only about $200 to keep on a lower-performance nearline storage tier for the same period of time, while that same 1 TB of files can be offloaded to a tape archive where a year’s storage runs more like $40. That’s a powerful incentive to move files off primary storage whenever possible.

“Every TB of primary storage that you free up is a free TB of primary storage for you,” Frederick said. “It’s one that you didn’t have to buy again.”

ClarityNow interface

ClarityNow is “designed for speed,” Frederick said.

During the presentation, Frederick showed a ClarityNow screen showing how it can be used to browse storage volumes and file folders, with a graphical display offering a quick overview of usage, along with a tabular display with columns for sorting items according to size, age, and cost over time.

ClarityNow isn’t the only software on the market seeking to help facilities keep track of their storage usage, but Frederick said it works especially well with Quantum’s StorNext file system. “They have done a very good integration with our API that allows them to manually trigger archives and retrievals from their interface without having to involve admin intervention, if that’s the way the company wants to do it,” he explained. “They can give the line-of-business folks control of their archives on a directory by directory or user by user basis with permissions.”

The full webinar, Uncover Your Storage Potential: How Smart Data Management Can Restore Control of Your Storage Environment, is available for viewing on demand.