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HomeCloud ComputingSimplify and automate cost optimization with Autoclass for Cloud Storage

Simplify and automate cost optimization with Autoclass for Cloud Storage

There is a data explosion challenge that most IT admins and companies are tackling regularly. The cost-effectiveness, durability and scalability make object storage the first choice for unstructured data. Cloud Storage is an object storage service capable of storing data at exabyte scale and easily managing billions, if not trillions, of objects. However, cost optimization for data stored in object storage is a hard problem. 

Choosing the right storage class for your data requires you to know about the access patterns for this data. However, if the access patterns are unknown or unpredictable, it’s often difficult for customers to choose the right storage class for their data. Data placement can have a significant impact on cost as the storage price for the archive class is 6% the storage price for the standard storage class. Having frequently accessed data in colder storage classes can lead to unexpected operations charges. Having data that is never accessed in standard storage can lead to large at-rest storage bills.
As IT administrators and organizations enable different applications and workloads to start leveraging object storage at massive scale, optimizing for cost is only getting exponentially harder to solve. As they migrate workloads to cloud they would like to have predictability and control in their overall storage spend. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to automatically place your data in the best storage class?

Introducing Autoclass – a new managed data placement service for Cloud Storage. 

Simplifying Lifecycle Management while Reducing TCO

Autoclass is an easy to use bucket-level setting that simplifies and automates lifecycle management of all your Cloud Storage data based on last access time. 

This is very useful for workloads with unpredictable and unknown access patterns. It automatically moves data that is not accessed to colder storage classes to reduce at-rest storage cost. When cold data is accessed, it is automatically promoted to Standard storage class to optimize the operations costs for future accesses.

Autoclass automatically delivers cost savings and removes inefficiencies by moving data to the storage class with the most favorable pricing for customer workloads.
It helps organizations achieve price predictability by removing surcharges associated with colder storage classes – there are no early deletion fees, retrieval fees or operations charges for class transitions when Autoclass is enabled on a bucket.

What are customers saying about Autoclass?

“Redivis is a data platform for academic research. We connect data managers with researchers to discover, understand, and analyze Petabytes of data. With Cloud Storage Autoclass, this shifts the paradigm in the research community,” said Ian Matthews, co-founder and CEO of Redivis Inc. “We can now keep more data for longer periods of time while reducing our costs. In fact, I’d estimate 90% of our data will benefit from Autoclass.”

Ian adds “Not only would it cost valuable engineering resources to build cost-optimization ourselves, but it would open us up to potentially costly mistakes in which we incur retrieval charges for prematurely archived data. Autoclass helps us reduce storage costs and achieve price predictability in a simple and automated way.”

Using Autoclass

With this release, Autoclass can be enabled when you create a new Cloud Storage bucket by using CLI, API, or Cloud Console. Once enabled on a bucket, Autoclass will manage the lifecycle of all objects that are uploaded to the bucket until disabled. 

If you choose to disable Autoclass, all the objects in the bucket will remain in their current storage class. This disablement doesn’t require any data movement or any changes to storage classes of objects and hence, incurs no charge. 

The support for enabling Autoclass on existing Cloud Storage buckets will be available in an upcoming release in 2023.

All transitions carried out by Autoclass can be observed using Cloud Monitoring dashboards. This provides easy observability and allows you to validate what Autoclass is doing for your data in an automated way. These dashboards can leverage 2 new Cloud metrics published for Autoclass: 

Number of objects transitioned by Autoclass (autoclass/transition_operation_count

Number of bytes transitioned between classes by Autoclass (autoclass/transitioned_bytes_count)

Getting Started

All Cloud Storage customers can enable Autoclass on their new buckets and realize the cost savings for themselves. For more information and detailed instructions on how to enable Autoclass, refer to the documentation here.

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