Tiered storage is the assignment of different categories of data to different types of storage media in order to reduce total storage cost. Storage that solves for different application needs is typically referred to as Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 storage.

The following characteristics are used to establish the requirements for a storage tier.

Example Matrix of Storage Tier Characteristics
Matrix of Storage Tier Characteristics

In a typical IT environment, mapping these different storage tiers to application types results in targeting workloads requirements to different storage tiers.

Storage Tier to Application Workload
Storage Tier to Application Compatibility

Tiers are determined by performance and cost of the media, and data is ranked by how often it is accessed. Tiered storage policies place the most frequently accessed data on the highest performing storage. Rarely accessed data goes on low-performance, cheaper storage.

By using a tiered storage approach with your vCloud Air instance, you have the ability to divide workloads in your environment based on your performance requirements and you can dynamically blend storage types to best fit workload requirements.

Examples of tier 1 data include a high-access database, which is part of a three-tier application, a host cache, or a virtual machine boot (primary) disk.