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Definition: HSM


(1) See hardware security module.

(2) (Hierarchical Storage Management) The automatic movement of files from costly to less expensive storage media. A typical HSM hierarchy is from HDD/SSD storage drives to optical discs to tape cartridges, or from HDD/SDD drives to tape. HSM software constantly monitors storage drive capacity and moves data from one storage level to the next based on age, category and other criteria.

An HSM system often includes routine backup. When a file is moved off a storage drive, it is replaced with a small stub file that indicates where the backup file is located.

Tier 0 Storage
Increasingly, solid state drives (SSDs) are used to hold data that are most frequently accessed and are one level higher than the hard drives. Consequently, data may migrate back and forth between the HDD and SSD before being stored on optical or tape drives. See tape backup, active archiving, demigration and SSD.




Data Migration
This is a more elaborate HSM migration path, but it can be as simple as magnetic disk to tape. A distinct advantage of optical and tape media is that they are removable and can be taken off premises for protection against fire and accidents.