Nearline storage is a type of data storage that lies between online storage (instant access) and offline storage (backup or archival access). Although nearline storage methods may not make data instantly available, they can make it ready quickly without human involvement. The phrase ‘nearline storage’ combines the words ‘near’ and ‘online storage.’

Benefits of Nearline Storage

Since nearline storage systems are not always active, they are considerably cheaper to maintain than online storage. Also, the automation mechanisms that present stored data online make it more accessible than offline storage systems.

As a result, nearline storage strikes a balance between the high performance of online storage and the cost-effective solution of offline storage. This makes nearline storage systems suitable for crucial data that is not always necessary but must be recovered quickly when need be.

Examples of Nearline Storage

The Massive Array of Idle Disks (MAID) technology uses a set of disk drives, with only a subset of the drives active at a time. To conserve energy, the remaining drives stay inactive or are turned off. When data is required to be accessed from an idle disk, the system activates it without necessarily waking the rest.