The Differences Between Cold, Warm, and Hot Storage

Posted: 12th Sep 2019

It’s clear we’re in the middle of a digital transformation, as traditional file storage systems are being replaced by modern software-defined file platforms, and cloud revenues are increasing 50 percent year over year. But what does that mean for any organization, and how should you think about the different tiers of files and data within your organization?

At CTERA we think about this topic through the prism of edge to cloud and the notion of hot, warm and cold file storage. Here are the key differences between them:

  • Hot storage represents frequently used and critical files stored at the edge for fast local access
  • Warm storage is often illustrated as files stored on a cloud storage gateway or file server/NAS for fast retrieval, most often at a corporate headquarters or remote office/branch office (ROBO)
  • Cold storage doesn’t require fast access. It mostly represents archived materials and infrequently accessed projects and documents. These are increasingly stored in low-cost object and cloud storage tiers 

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