Hitachi Data Systems redefines unified storage

Hitachi Data Systems redefines unified storage

* Hitachi Unified Storage is first to consolidate and centrally manage block, file and object data on a single platform. * Single unified management framework extends throughout HDS portfolio.

Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), today redefined unified storage with the new Hitachi Unified Storage (HUS) and single management framework.

HUS stores multiple data types with more flexibility and more balanced scalability than any other midrange solution. It helps customers manage their critical business applications and meet their growth requirements without compromising performance, scalability or cost efficiency. In addition, Hitachi Data Systems is announcing today that its entire hardware product portfolio, including the new HUS, will be supported by Hitachi Command Suite management software. As the first enterprise-class vendor to provide a single software management platform for all of its products, Hitachi Data Systems is helping its customers further reduce costs and complexity throughout the data centre.

According to Sean Moser, vice-president, Software Platforms Product Management, Hitachi Data Systems: “The roots of current unified storage products on the market today are based on the needs of smaller organisations that did not have the storage volumes, IT resources or budgets to acquire and manage separate platforms for block and file data. The traditional definition for unified management has focused on managing file and block on these general-purpose, lower-end storage platforms. This all changes today as we bring to market the first enterprise-class unified storage solution. Hitachi Unified Storage helps organisations meet application availability and performance requirements with lower investment. Customers can deploy storage for all data types and easily grow to meet expanding requirements, while still meeting service level objectives for critical business applications.”

“IT organisations in mid-sized and large enterprises are struggling with a deluge of data and increasingly diverse data management needs. They require storage solutions that meet their growth requirements while simplifying operations, reducing the total cost structure, and quickly adapting to changing business needs,” said Richard Villars, vice-president, Information and Cloud research, IDC. “Hitachi Unified Storage provides enterprises with a single foundation for efficiently managing block, file and object data without making trade-offs in performance, scalability or capacity utilisation.”

Unified without compromise: Strength across file, block and object

Hitachi Unified Storage consistently and efficiently provisions, tiers, migrates and protects all data, regardless of type, throughout its life cycle. HUS further saves costs with data efficiency capabilities such as thin provisioning and automatic tiering. Built-in automation optimises performance and makes it predictable to assure customers that they will get the most out of their investment. Intuitive and easy-to-use software that comes with each system has been designed to simplify even the most complex environments.

Hitachi Unified Storage supports object data through a unique object-based file system that intelligently adds metadata for each file and enables automated tiering and migration, fast file snapshots and clones, faster replication over WAN, and fast data searches.

Additionally, Hitachi Unified Storage supports Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) for a true object store with custom metadata and provides regulatory compliance. Unlike alternative systems, HCP can share HUS capacity with file and block applications from the same storage pool. Combined, this solution is far more space-efficient and cost-effective for customers than separate and siloed object store implementations.

HUS has the most balanced scalability in the industry. Unlike other solutions that scale only in capacity, HUS also scales by predictable performance, replicated data, block volume size and file system size. The benefit for customers is that the HUS platform will have a longer service life than competing products, and will be a better investment.

HUS is the fastest midrange storage system available today for block and file data access, enabling organisations to achieve performance goals at the lowest possible price. High-end storage functionality, such as page-based auto-tiering, is available with HUS to facilitate automated placement of data for the highest performance at the lowest cost.

The new Hitachi Application Protector, also introduced today, is an application-aware, snapshot-based data protection, backup and recovery software suite for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint environments. Integrated with Hitachi Unified Storage, Hitachi Application Protector lets administrators for each of these applications protect their datasets using familiar interfaces such as Microsoft Management Console. Application administrators can initiate backup and recovery jobs, and more easily meet service level objectives for critical business applications.

Unified redefined: Hitachi Command Suite now manages entire integrated HDS portfolio

The HDS strategy for unified management is to abstract the complexities of the underlying storage environment to create a service-oriented model in which organisations manage storage as a service to their consumers, regardless of the nuances of the underlying physical devices that serve up the storage. This strategy requires a fully unified approach, which is provided only by HDS.

Hitachi Command Suite software is a unified management framework for advanced data and storage management that improves operations, provisioning, performance and resilience for Hitachi block, file and unified storage environments. By enabling efficient management practices across all Hitachi storage systems, HDS lets organisations effectively manage their IT infrastructures with limited staff resources while building a sustainable foundation for future growth.

HDS unified management includes:

* Unified management across all storage models: Block (eg Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform), file (Hitachi NAS Platform, Hitachi Unified Storage), content (Hitachi Content Platform) and specialised appliances (Hitachi Data Ingestor)
* Unified management and control across all tiers of storage in the HDS storage portfolio: Enterprise and midrange systems, along with externally virtualised heterogeneous storage environments
* Unified management across functions: Encompasses all the management tools needed to configure, analyse, mobilise and protect data; includes a unified business intelligence layer that adds the critical functions needed to become more service-centric.

New unified features and customer benefits

Built on a heritage of market-leading innovation, Hitachi Unified Storage provides organisations with a reliable, dynamic and open architecture that lets them meet their service level objectives more efficiently, save costs and protect their long-term investments. HUS is supported by a proven services organisation and a network of partners to help reduce operational and capital costs. HUS also simplifies virtualised application management and deployment for both block and file requirements, including Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft Exchange Server, VMware View (VDI) and Oracle databases. See related press release also issued today: “Hitachi Unified Storage Embraced by Partner Ecosystem”).

Features and benefits include:

Manage data growth

* Scale system capacity to nearly 3PB without affecting performance.
* Automatically correct performance issues and provision more quickly with dynamic virtual controllers.
* Use Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning to pool and grow file and block storage for maximum flexibility without capacity limitations.
* Leverage 256TB file systems and a single name space to reduce administrative effort.

Meet service level agreements (SLAs)

* Meet SLAs with 99.999% data availability and advanced management tools.
* Manage storage from an application management portal.
* Perform system maintenance without interrupting host I/Os.

Reduce downtime and business risk

* Dynamically manage replication and backup.
* Remotely replicate all capacity across systems and locations.
* Utilise crash consistent snapshots for application-aware backup and recovery.

Supporting customer quotes:

* A*Star Computational Resource Center: “Hitachi Unified Storage has demonstrated significant improvements compared to the modular storage platforms of past generations. With today’s ever-changing and growing business requirements, a unified platform that is able to address block, file and content data, while being able to scale and perform at the highest level, is of utmost importance to our organisation. We believe that the new HUS has successfully addressed these challenges and have set a high benchmark for others to follow.” – Lai Loong Fong, deputy director

* University of Utah Health Care: “We have chosen the new Hitachi Unified Storage to help ensure that medical records and images are reliably backed up, which is critical to our operations. Our backup windows have been significantly reduced as a result of the system’s powerful write throughput performance. And we have saved on footprint and operational expenses through replacing four separate storage systems with a single HUS. The high-density packaging leads to further power, cooling and floor-space reductions. Overall, the operational cost savings will lead to a rapid payback on our investment.”

John Fagg, manager, Storage Management Services

Future information cloud strategy milestones

Today’s announcement represents a major milestone in the ongoing commitment of Hitachi Data Systems to transform data centres into information clouds where access to blocks, files and objects is seamless and resides in a fluid and virtualised environment. Later this year, Hitachi Data Systems will make a series of announcements that will further advance its information cloud strategy. HDS will continue to expand its unified storage offering, which will include a new product coming later this year that will redefine the capabilities available to medium-sized and large enterprise customers. HDS intends to introduce the new Hitachi NAS Platform F series of products within its file portfolio this year to help customers manage the growth of their unstructured data in the low tier of the market. As part of its ongoing effort to help customers further optimise their storage capacity and better manage large and ever increasing volumes of data, Hitachi Data Systems also plans to introduce a purpose-built backup appliance later this year. This appliance will be based on deduplication IP developed by Hitachi Data Systems that enables faster, more reliable and more cost-effective data protection.

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* Hitachi Unified Storage
* Hitachi Command Suite
* Read what Hu Yoshida has to say about Hitachi Unified Storage
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