How FPolicy passthrough-read enhances usability for hierarchical storage management

Passthrough-read enables the FPolicy server (functioning as the hierarchical storage management (HSM) server) to provide read access to offline files without having to recall the file from the secondary storage system to the primary storage system.

When an FPolicy server is configured to provide HSM to files residing on a CIFS server, policy-based file migration occurs where the files are stored offline on secondary storage and only a stub file remains on primary storage. Even though a stub file appears as a normal file to clients, it is actually a sparse file that is the same size of the original file. The sparse file has the CIFS offline bit set and points to the actual file that has been migrated to secondary storage.

Typically when a read request for an offline file is received, the requested content must be recalled back to primary storage and then accessed through primary storage. The need to recall data back to primary storage has several undesirable effects. Among the undesirable effects is the increased latency to client requests caused by the need to recall the content before responding to the request and the increased space consumption needed for recalled files on the primary storage.

FPolicy passthrough-read allows the HSM server (the FPolicy server) to provide read access to migrated, offline files without having to recall the file from the secondary storage system to the primary storage system. Instead of recalling the files back to primary storage, read requests can be serviced directly from secondary storage.

Note: Copy Offload (ODX) is not supported with FPolicy passthrough-read operation.

Passthrough-read enhances usability by providing the following benefits: