Instantly Modernize Your Data Center with Hitachi External Storage Optimization

By Mark Adams posted 10-09-2019 07:00

One of the exciting new capabilities that we’re bringing to market with the VSP 5000 series launch is ability to instantly modernize data center storage systems.  We know that many customers want to upgrade to the latest storage technologies, such as NVMe, intelligent data reduction and automation, that come loaded in the VSP 5000 series models (VSP 5100 and VSP 5500) but budget realities preclude them from replacing all or even the majority of their current storage systems.  We have a solution.  Our new Hitachi External Storage Optimization extends the VSP 5000 models’ blazing performance and the latest data services on to external storage arrays.  External Storage Optimization can add years to the lifespan of storage systems by transforming them from near obsolescence into systems that perform and operate as capacity pool extensions of a state-of-the-art VSP 5000 series solution.  This solution can be applied to older generations of Hitachi storage as well as most competitive models.

At the heart of Hitachi External Storage Optimization is the native storage virtualization capabilities that we pioneered 15 years ago.  The VSP 5000 series is the 8th generation of storage systems from Hitachi that offers storage virtualization.  It’s tried-and-true technology that has many customer success stories over these years.  What’s new with the VSP 5000 series is the ability to extend its data services out to virtualized systems.  Want to easily create a metro-cluster to protect applications from a regional outage?  We’ve got you covered with our Global Active Device software which can be used to synchronously replicate data that resides on ANY virtualized system through External Storage Optimization.  Have a volume that isn’t meeting its applications performance SLA?  Then seamlessly migrate it up to an NVMe pool within a VSP 5000 model.  Ready to ditch your costly backup appliances?  Use the self-protecting storage capabilities that come with the VSP 5000 models to create up to 1024 snapshots of every volume which, when implemented hourly, provides more than 42 days of history from which you can rapidly restore.

The best thing is that External Storage Optimization enables the intelligent data reduction services to be extended to systems that have been virtualized by a VSP 5000 series system.  This provides instant savings when modernizing older systems.  If the data that’s stored can be reduced through de-dupe and compression by a 5:1 ratio, then you will get 80% of your installed capacity freed up and available for future growth.  And the VSP 5000 series does data reduction intelligently by optimizing between immediate reduction and max performance based on data access rates. By creating more available capacity on existing systems, you can realize a very rapid return on your investment in the VSP 5000 series.

The other advantage customers will see with External Storage Optimization is that they will consolidate their diversity of administrative tool sets that comes with each vendors’ array.  One tool for provisioning, one tool for system analytics, one tool for data protection, and so on.  Even more is that the automation tools that are available with the VSP 5000 series can be used with those virtualized systems. The Hitachi Ops Center Automator software provides a number of benefits that lead to administrative time savings, cost savings and error rate reduction.  For example, customers that have used Automator have reported that their steps for provisioning new capacity have been reduced by more than 90%.  

Concerned that putting a single system in the IO path between your SAN and your storage arrays will create a bottleneck, think again.  The VSP 5000 was designed to move IOs as fast as possible.  It’s been measured at an industry leading 21 million IOPS.  Systems that are virtualized with External Storage Optimization have been tested to run 40% faster than when those same systems are connected directly to a SAN.  This is due, in part, to the large onboard cache on the VSP 5000 series controllers which will complete most IO requests before destaging the data down to the media.  For applications that need more than a 40% performance boost, their volumes can be nondisruptively migrated to an NVMe pool within a VSP 5000 model.  In this scenario, the performance increase can be 3x to 5x better.

When it comes time to finally retire your older systems, External Storage Optimization is the perfect solution for non-disruptive migrations.  No more planning migration services to be done over nights or on weekends and hoping you can bring those services back live before the outage window expires. With External Storage Optimization you can choose to move data off of your aging external systems to either the capacity installed within a VSP 5000 series or to another new system that’s been virtualized.

As you can imagine, we’re pretty excited to be able to deliver the benefits of data center modernization not only to our customers that chose to store their data on a VSP 5000 series but also to customers with that are struggling to keep up with systems that are not as fast, scalable or feature rich as what we can offer.