Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has launched a new storage technology to enable hot disaster recovery sites that can be utilised without service loss and they’re so confident of the technology they’re giving a 100% uptime SLA. The solution which creates an exact copy of data across two sites is initially an on-premise solution – there’s a cloud version available in the US and Europe will have to make do with HDS partners if they need a cloud solution.
The new DR solution is part of HDS new “Business Defined IT” solutions initiative which acknowledges the universal truth, that most businesses are looking for a solution to a business problem rather than a piece of kit with a list acronyms and features as long as your arm.
HDS have named this closer linking of a company’s business and technology objectives a “Continuous Cloud Infrastructure”, and aims to create efficient IT solutions that are based on a “responsive, software-rich architecture that can quickly react to changing needs without continual redesign and disruption.”
As part of the DR solution and the new initiative, HDS are shipping the Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS), Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000, and a new version of the Hitachi Command Suite management platform and significant enhancements to its Hitachi Unified Compute Platform converged computing offerings.
“Our customers across industries have told us that to keep up with the frenetic pace of business they are aligning the IT and business functions more closely than ever,” said Brian Householder, COO, Hitachi Data Systems. “In order to execute in this business defined world, IT teams are looking to new infrastructure strategies to deploy more continuous, adaptable and scalable infrastructure. Businesses need solutions that don’t require constant and disruptive changes to the technology they support. And that is what we are delivering today.”
The new Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System
Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) is the first stand-alone software implementation of Hitachi’s storage virtualisation technologies. This new storage OS is intended to provide a common software architecture that will double the useful life of hardware architectures – Hitachi are talking tens of years here rather than the normal life of three to four years – and will be used by HDS themselves and according to Bob Plumridge CTO Emea, HDS, will “form part of all of their systems for the future.”
Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000
Those people in IT with a love of large grey racks and a hatred of all things cloud will be happy to see that HDS also launched the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) G1000, a big grey cabinet that’s also the first available system on which customers can natively deploy SVOS. The system can start small and scale block-storage throughput performance to well over 3M IOPS, has over 48GB/sec of usable bandwidth and NFS ops/sec performance of over 1.2M in unified configurations.
Additionally the VSP G1000 is big enough to allow most businesses to put all their data in one place and is designed to work in a number of configurations, including:
A virtualization controller without internal capacity.
Unified storage system with up to 8-node Hitachi NAS Platform (HNAS) clusters.
The highly available infrastructure for Hitachi Content Platform environments.
No lock-in intended
Anyone thinking that this is just another proprietary solution with a lock in via the OS software are probably right, for now, but Plumridge was keen to point out that HDS “were not planning to lock-in customers” and were “looking to provide ways for businesses to migrate their data to other platforms.” To this end HDS has been working with partners such as Microsoft, SAP and VMware to ensure that SVOS and the VSP G1000 are certified in key initiatives like Microsoft Private Cloud deployments, SAP HANA’s Tailored Data Center Initiative and extended integration within VMware ecosystems.
Early users of the device – the first devices shipped to beta testers in February - include the Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Telefonica have been enthusiastic. Richard Carter, Systems Architect at Seattle Children’s Hospital is keen on the zero downtime, but acknowledges its still early days for the system. “We think this new HDS platform will provide a lean, efficient technology solution that demonstrates unrivaled availability and reliability. The increased assurance through automation and reduced human error could allow us to focus on providing the safest, most effective care possible. The streamlined solution could drive lower costs that support our founding promise to care for every child in our region, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.” He said.
New Platform and command updates
On top of support for VSP G1000 and SVOS, there are new entry-level configurations of Unified Compute Platform (UCP) for VMware vSphere and increased capabilities in UCP Director 3.5, such as server profiling for simplified provisioning and enhanced disaster recovery integration. Additionally , the latest version of Hitachi Command Suite (HCS) their integrated management platform supports the new global storage virtualisation features in SVOS, and offers a common REST API across the platform, as well as an updated, streamlined user interface.
The new Continuous Cloud Infrastructure initiative has to be applauded and HDS are doing much to support standards with this solution, however we’re not 100% sure where cloud particularly comes into the solution. However you need to start somewhere and as both Mike Walkey, SVP, Partners and Alliances at HDS and Frank Koelmel, Senior Director, EMEA from partners Brocade pointed out “the current customer base is looking at cloud in the long-term with a gradual move from private, to hybrid.” Which is, just the sort of solution that these products can support out of the box.