Classifying data is the mainspring for many IT initiatives, including those related to tiered storage generally and MAID specifically. There are two primary organizational issues with regard to planning for MAID: 1) Determining how much data are actually candidates for MAID placement based on access frequency; and 2) Determining the business value of building MAID awareness into applications. The former exercise should largely be handled by the storage administration group with recommendations made to management including a business case for MAID based on energy savings and other TCO factors. The latter is largely an application/user group discussion to determine, for example, the ROI of enabling services that are MAID-aware and consequently provide nearline-like access to data that are write once, read infrequently (WORI).
Action Item: MAID is coming to the mainstream in multiple forms, both traditional MAID that isolates rarely accessed data and turns drives off, and in other gradations including a spectrum of power management features. Organizations should task the storage management group with determining the likely percentage of data that could reside on an inactive tier in the storage hierarchy and at the same time initiate discussions with application and user groups regarding the potential benefits of building MAID-awareness into applications.