HDS Debuts Storage Hardware, Software For Cloud Computing

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Hitachi Data Systems on Monday updated its enterprise-class storage line with the introduction of its new Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) along with a new version of its management software.

The HDS VSP and Hitachi Command Suite of storage reporting and management software gives partners the ability to provide scalable storage infrastructures that can take customers securely to the public cloud, said Claus Mikkelsen, CTO of storage architectures at Hitachi Data Systems.

"The cloud needs scalability, quality of service, and encryption of data at rest," Mikkelsen said. "It's hard for customers to give up the management and storage of their data in public clouds."

The VSP, based on the fifth generation of Hitachi's crossbar switched architecture, offers what Mikkelsen called "3D scaling," or the ability to scale storage in three ways.

The first is to scale storage up simultaneously in terms of capacity and performance to meet demands for increasing I/O loads, Mikkelsen said. This scalability comes as new generations of Intel processors provide a new level of server virtualization which requires new ways to store data.

"As Intel starts to look at 48, 64, or 100 cores per processor, you need to be able to scale storage up to meet the needs of the increasing number of virtual machines being hosted on new servers," he said.

The second dimension is scale out, which is the ability to expand storage capacity without disrupting operations, Mikkelsen said.

The third dimension is scale deep, which HDS does with the VSP by consolidating customers' existing storage capacity, including from non-Hitachi platforms, into a single virtualized pool.

HDS can offer such scaling thanks to a new technology, Hitachi Dynamic Tiering, which allows customers to provision storage in 42-MB "pages" or managed LUNs, Mikkelsen said. Each page includes three tiers of storage ranging from flash memory to high-speed 2.5-inch SATA hard drive capacity.

The amount of capacity devoted to each tier of storage within a page varies dynamically with the type of data being managed in that page, Mikkelsen said. So if 10 percent of the data is active, then 10 percent of the capacity in the page will be flash drive capacity for the highest performance, he said.

HDS also unveiled Hitachi Command Suite 7, an update of its existing management software aimed at taking advantage of the company's new hardware capabilities.

A key change in version 7 is the ability to manage storage at the application level while aligning capacity according to the requirements of business-critical applications, Mikkelsen said

"We've done a lot to simplify the provisioning of storage," he said. "Now it's just a simple process of allocating capacity. Command Suite 7 can provision storage in just six clicks. All activity about specifying LUN size, location, and so on just goes away."


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