The Dell EMC Cloud Tiering Appliance (CTA) is policy-based software for file tiering, migration, and archiving. It is also called the Dell EMC Unity Cloud Tiering Appliance in some documentation. It is delivered either software on Dell hardware or as an appliance or as an integrated virtual machine for VMware ESX. It is no longer available as a Dell EMC-branded appliance.
The virtual machine product is called Cloud Tiering Appliance/VE (CTA/VE). Both can be configured for high availability (CTA-HA and CTA/VE-HA). For this product brief, CTA will be used to describe functionality, independent of delivery mechanism or HA configuration.
With the exception of special support for snapshots on Dell EMC Unity storage systems, called Block Archiving, tiering and archiving are essentially the same functionality, with the usage determined by the nature of the secondary and tertiary targets. Multi-level tiering is supported.
Retrieval of tiered files is directly from their current location via stubs left in the original location(s). Migrated files are moved to a new location without leaving stubs. File migration is supported from NetApp and EMC storage to EMC VNX, VNXe, Isilon, and Celerra storage systems. Cold file “repositories” can be migrated between cloud storage vendors, AWS/S3 to Azure, for example.