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Intersight Cloud Orchestrator (ICO) Series - Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) Local Operational Copy Capability

By posted 08-22-2022 18:33


Data protection is top of mind for every application administrator to guarantee business continuity and zero down time for end users. For many legacy administrators, creating backups comes at a cost, whether offloading to another point of contact to create restore points with unsure turn around, or investing a magnitude of time in installing, deploying, and understanding a new interface to complete data copy operations.

With Cisco ICO and Hitachi VSP, administrators now have the ability to take advantage of a single tool to manage, orchestrate, and restore data protection sets across the datacenter ecosystem managed by Cisco Intersight.

Along with the capabilities covered in our previous ICO blog, which included full operational copies, the list of VSP capabilities has now expanded to include Hitachi Thin Image (TI) snapshots, allowing point-in-time backup and restore orchestration using workflows built into ICO. Eliminating the need for administrators to offload mundane tasks to a separate point of contact, along with using a single unified interface, this can potentially save hours to days in terms of turnaround time. The following images highlight the added functionality of ICO.

Hitachi TI snapshots are fully read/write compatible and can be used for operating system patches, system backups, application testing, and application development, allowing seamless restore of point-in-time copies in case of issues or data corruption. TI creates up to one million point-in-time copies of mission-critical information within any Hitachi VSP without impacting host service or performance levels. Because snapshots store only the changed data, the volume of storage capacity required for each snapshot copy is substantially smaller than the source volume. As a result, a TI snapshot can provide significant capacity savings over full volume cloning methods. The following figure shows Hitachi TI snapshots differential data capture stemming from source primary volume (P-VOL) to point in time virtual volumes (V-VOL) within a VSP, all being managed by Cisco Intersight.

Adding to the expanded functionality, Intersight users have a full view of native VSP resources which now include a snapshot tab from the inventory view, enabling a single point of contact to manage and understand system wide resources.

Additionally, it is common for teams across technological entities to analyze data repeatedly on an erratic schedule. With ad-hoc snapshots, data can be mounted to a newly spun up VM to conduct live data analysis for a specific point-in-time while reducing recovery point object (RPO) and recovery time object (RTO) to sub-minute timeframes. With the Intersight Role Based Access Control (RBAC) feature, workflows can be assigned to various user groups to take advantage of self-service capabilities, breaking the legacy backup admin model, and enabling local teams to utilize workflows in a self-service manner.

We look forward to expanding additional capabilities for Hitachi VSP on top of Cisco Intersight and want to thank our customers and partners. Check out our Intersight Kubernetes Service series blogs for Hitachi and Cisco users for additional insight into expanding integration of Hitachi persistent storage backing Cisco Kubernetes environments, as well as our data protection and long term archival/analysis with Hitachi Ops Center Protector on Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions implementation guide utilizing hybrid cloud environments.

Tune back again for future updates on our ICO series! For more information on the Cisco and Hitachi alliance visit



Arvin, Solutions Architect