Hitachi Data updates storage roadmap for cloud

The road to the cloud

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has unveiled a new strategic cloud roadmap to unify data storage and access in cloud computing environments.

It estimates that, by 2020, there will be 42 times the amount of data generated in 2009 alone and that more than one billion applications will exist, where the HDS roadmap has been designed to help customers make a transition to managing 'big data' storage needs in the cloud.

As a result, Jack Domme, HDS chief executive said that company was now well positioned to help customers to cope not only with big data challenges, but to optimise their management in cloud-based environments, while maximising the use of existing physical storage investments.

"What sets our approach apart from others is that we provide an open framework that enables customers to transition their data centres to information centres at their own pace, leveraging their existing assets with vendor lock-in," Domme stated.

The HDS roadmap centres on a three-tiered strategy made of infrastructure, content and information components that is designed to build a single virtualisation platform for data storage management.

At the infrastructure tier, HDS wants to use its existing technologies, including virtualisation, to unify server, storage and networking resources to provide a single, on demand, cloud-based data platform. In support, it is introducing new cloud services, solution packages and a cloud management portal for accessing billing, payment and chargeback information.

The Hitachi Cloud Services are designed to provide on-premise managed, pay-as-you-go, private file tiering, serving and Microsoft SharePoint archiving management capabilities. Likewise, it has packaged up components of its technology stack into Cloud Solution Packages for file tiering and serving.

HDS's acquisition last month of storage software vendor BlueArc is at the centre of its content cloud strategy, tying together the infrastructure used to deliver cloud storage models with its file-based virtualisation and intelligent tiering and automated data moving functionality for unstructured data.

The company said its tight integration with the Hitachi file, content and block storage products would facilitate cost effective, long-term access, search, retention and archiving requirements.

The HDS information cloud vision is based on its acquisition of ParaScale in August 2009, which it said would offer fast ingest and integrated data movement and search to meet the need for big data analytics.

The direct cloud storage access software will be deployed with the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform, network attached storage from BlueArc and other existing HDS products, as well as others it said were in development, to connect disparate data sets and identify trends within and between them.

Clive Longbottom, founder and business process facilitation service director of analyst Quocirca, told Cloud Pro that the HDS roadmap seemed sensible, but was lost in translation.

"EMC have been talking in the same terms, but about block, file and object data. The fact is that a 2TB database will work in very different ways to 2TB of file data," he explained. "But the EMC vision only makes sense to techies. My fear, however, is that the HDS vision will make no sense to techies or business owners either."

He said the use of the BlueArc and ParaScale acquisitions made sense, but left him wondering how HDS would meet more traditional content management requirements in the 'information cloud,' as the acquisition of Greenplum recently did for EMC.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.