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How to Keep Investments in Firm’s IT under Control?

08.10.2012, 09:12

Or “All (block-, file- and object-) rnData on One Platform”

The data storage is a significant budget article for the firm’s IT department. The rising demands on reliability, output and also data volume increase lead to the necessity of considerable investment into storage instruments. How can IT budget stop being a nightmare of management? Effectively-thinking IT department tries to classify data and assign optimal sources to them. 

Firm creates large amount of data during its existence. Data indexing is a process of classifying into categories according to demands like output, capacity, block-, file- or object-access. The correct choice of suitable technology for each individual category is a path to achieving of significant savings.

On-top Technology and Specialization as another Step to Success

Hitachi Data System (HDS) has been a long-time specialist at the disk arrays area of classes like midrange, enterprise and related technologies: NAS (Network Attached Storage) a CAS (Content Archive Storage).

The strong suit of Hitachi Data System is already mentioned specialization. The area of data storage is not only an accessory but the groundwork of portfolio, which is typical by extraordinary reliability and technical maturity. HDS portfolio covers needs of medium and larger companies (midrange systems) up to extreme demands on performance and reliability i.e. in the banking (enterprise systems).

We mentioned savings resulting from the optimal assignment of storage items to different data categories. The conception allowing the realization of these demands (within the frame of one system) is called Unified Storage. Unified Storage is an ideal solution, which allows the administrator to assign the suitable type of capacity to variously classified data categories. The universality lies in storing the block-, file- and object data into one single system in unified administration.

  • File
  • Digital Photography
  • System Metadata
  • File Name
  • Created
  • Modified
  • Optional Metadata
  • Subject
  • Category
  • Location
  • Sharing

Solution for various demands = Unified Storage!

Hitachi Company took up the new conception “Unified Storage” with a name of new modular disk system generation and brings the Hitachi Unified Storage, HUS for short.The essential idea of this generation is to provide one platform, which may be used as classic block-based data storage or file-based data storage (NAS) and eventually object-based archival storage (CAS).

The new generation of disk systems HUS 100 as well as the last one consists of 3 models that are HUS110, HUS130 a HUS150. Individual models differ in controller performance and maximum extensibility while the types of disks (SSD, SAS, NL-SAS, SATA) are free-configurable.

HITACHI disk systems offer remarkable reliability, capacity and efficiency extensibility, which is in conformity with the increase and needs of customer. In the Enterprise class the disk virtualization allows networking of the external disk arrays under unified administration of Hitachi Enterprise system including third parties’ disk arrays that the user came off during his existence. This mechanism enables to lend the Hitachi system’s intelligence (replication cross-locations, tiering, dynamic provisioning, snapshots, clones and other). Thanks to this the investments made into storage units are thoroughly protected.

A typical example: A company operates post, information and economic systems in a virtual setting. They need performance-oriented block-based data storage for that. But they also need capacity-oriented storage for other applications such as archiving. At the same time the users share number of documents and the file-based data storage (NAS) fits for that. The firm while existing has to deal with the question of safe archiving because of creating number of documents. Object-oriented archive storage (CAS) suits for that.

Applying Hitachi Unified Storage and unification of these various demands into one system considerably simplifies the infrastructure and administrators’ job. Which means no small savings for the firm and improvement of IT services reliability for the internal customers (employees) and external customers (firm clients).

Though the class of Unified Storage is traditionally related to the common data administration, Hitachi satisfies also the users with the requirement of archival object-oriented data storage. The hardware extension of storage - “Hitachi Content Platform” – is created for long-term guaranteed data storage purposes.  Guaranteed storages are lately the most dynamic developing field in this branch. Their use lies in the public and private sector – especially where demonstrably unchanging and auditable data storage is required. 

Hitachi Unified Storage Advantages

  • Adaptability to the data building up of user
  • Scalability of capacity almost 3 PB without negative impact on performance
  • New Virtual Dynamic Controllers brings faster mechanism of automatic hardware load balancing that raises performance
  • Dynamic Provisioning simplifies environment administration (definition of virtual capacity independent of physical) and allows creating of performance areas
  • 256TB file system in the role of “single namespace” simplifies administration
  • Complying with the guaranteed service-level agreement (SLA)
  • 99,999% reliability category and advanced administration tools
  • Storage administration via application portal
  • Online breakdown-free systems’ upgrade
  • Minimisation of downtime and business threats
  • Dynamic replication and backup administration
  • Replication of all capacity across various Hitachi systems and locations
  • Usage of “crash snapshots” when data restoring

Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) is a centralized online digital archive allowing indexing, archiving and searching of object with unchanging content (data files and to them assigned metadata) while using retentive and other regulations to data protection. For its characteristics it is determined to data archiving for a very long time (50, 100 years). It is a massive archiving solution allowing storing and authentication of unchanging data via digital signature and the possibility of verification that data are not changed since saving (retentive period).

HCP system is an ideal final storage for older static data transfer from the expensive primary disk storage. It significantly economizes the backup costs and dramatically improves the time spent on archival information searching.

Hitachi Content Platform fulfils the conditions laid by Czech Act on Archiving (§ 499) and relevant European regulations such as ISO 14721:2003 specifying the reference model for an open archival information (OAIS) and also ISO 15801:2004, recommendations for trustworthiness and reliability of electronically imaging and stored information.

“The basis of maximal usage of Hitachi Unified Storage advantages when data increase and business continuity solving is setting of efficient reticules. Technological partnership with the BROCADE Company enables to provide multi-protocol solution for designing and implementing of scalable and resistant Fibre Channel, iSCSI a NAS storage environment. Our solutions offer the highest reliability and energy efficiency in the branch and they are ready for transforming into virtualized cloud environments.” 

Jason Nolet, vice president, Data Center and Enteprise Networking, BROCADE
Brocade Net Components for Hitachi

Brocade fabric-based switches and adapters provide high performance and resistant nets for Fibre Channel, iSCSI and NAS storage environment:

  • Brocade Network Advisor and Hitachi Command Suite work reliably with hypervisors by Microsoft and VMware. Thus the data centre administration is possible from one spot.
  • Safe and solid solution brings to the common customers of Brocade and HDS a better flexibility of their business and providing uninterrupted access to their information.

The family of VDX switches by Brocade brings an uncontested reliability and performance for Ethernet Storage environment based on Hitachi Data Systems products:

  • Thanks to Brocade VCS Fabric technology and its 10 Gbit Data Centre Bridging (DCB) the data transfer has low latency, it is loss-free and able to run in any type of operation including iSCSI, CIFS, NFS and FCoE.
  • Summary – Brocade technologies allow united net solution, which complies with strict criteria for block-system and file-system data storing.

Hitachi Data Systems is an important OEM partner of Brocade and offers their full product portfolio including maintenance services. 

Shared Corporate Storage or Network Attached Storage (NAS) Anew and Better

The most of shared network storage producers has their own architecture built on x86 processors, which is linked to series of performance limitations. Compared to that Hitachi NAS Platform (HNAS) allows massive parallel data transfer processes and attendance of file systems thanks to the FPGA architecture (Field Programmable Gate Array). NAS conception with number of processors operating above performing bus reminds more likely architecture of switches or routers. Models 3080 a 3090 belong to the category midrange – up to 4-nod cluster, model 3200 is an enterprise system – up to 8-nod cluster. HNAS is typically applied when there’s a medium or large customer requiring reliable and efficient shared network storage for hundreds or tens of thousands simultaneously working users.