Flash Storage​

 View Only

New Hitachi VSP 5000 Series Accelerates Enterprise Storage and Optimizes Converged Infrastructure Workloads Part 3

By Sean Siegmund posted 01-03-2020 08:00



Part-3 Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure Resiliency at Scale   

If you haven’t already read Parts 1 and 2(Need Links) of my blogs on this topic, take a few moments to get caught up.

The term “enterprise-class” may seem easily used out in the IT industry, this commitment to quality and engineering should only be used by a select few.  Cisco has been operating in the networking space since 1984, and the Unified Compute System is working towards its 11th year since its release.  Hitachi’s storage products have been in the market since 1989, while the greater Hitachi has been around since 1910.  

Having set a level of trust, you can expect for more innovations from Cisco and Hitachi. You can confidently lean into why we think your data and Converged Infrastructure needs a platform that only we can offer. It can be easy to group resiliency in with Fault Tolerance, no single point of failure (nspof), High Availability, and Disaster Recovery, but it should not be. All Adaptive solutions from Hitachi and Cisco will include those.  Resiliency is part of another design category that will separate enterprise-class from the wannabes. 

You would expect behind the names Cisco and Hitachi an open data platform open to consuming and consolidating multiple workloads while achieving the performance. Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for CI have built the resiliency using years of experience supporting business-critical customer workloads. The newly released Hitachi VSP 5000 Series has eight nines of reliability, and it starts with the controller of the VSP 5000.

A Hitachi VSP 5000 Series storage array has two 4U controller chassis (CBXs), each of these chassis you will find controller boards (CTLs), Disk Boards(DKBs), Channel Boards(CHBs), Interconnect Channel Boards (HIEs), LAN Boards, Power supplies(DKCPSs), Cache Flash memories(CFMs), and finally Backup Modules (BKMFs). Each component has redundancy built into it the platform and upgrades happen in pairs. The Hitachi VSP 5000 product line has four models we offer VSP 5100/5100H and 5500/5500H (where H means hybrid or mix of media types). When configuring the system, a 5100 array will come with 2 CBX “a CBX pair” with 2 CTLs in each CBX. As you grow the system to 4 CTLs, you can add two additional CTLs to the original CBX pair. Up to 3 CBX pairs are allowed allowing the maximum of 12 CTLs. We connect all of the 3 CBX are 2 to 4 Interconnect switches (PCI-e switching) or ISW. The main point here is we build the system to handle faults with nspof allowed, and it’s resilient enough to grow without a forklift upgrade, and many of these components are hot-swappable.  

All Hitachi storage systems come with a 100% data availability guarantee, which you will find nowhere else.   Below you will see a diagram that depicts carefully what this configuration looks like from a high level, but if you are still interested in knowing more, please view the extensive amount of documentation via the following link.


Hitachi understands the financial consequences of applications being down for any duration so, while we engineer the hardware with these service levels in mind, the platform must be agile enough to protect, grow, and live through the lifecycle of the application investment.

With simple, easy to use management, you can quickly manage this new VSP 5000 series system with the latest release of the Hitachi Ops Center Administrator Ops Center allows you to dynamically and intelligently configure and manage the storage with ease using AI enabled technology. Another management tool utilized within this stack is the Hitachi UCP Advisor, which can provision storage and upgrade storage firmware from your VCSA screen.

Hitachi Dynamic Pools and Dynamic Tiers efficiently handle changes to your environment. These technologies build off each other to provide the highest level of resiliency. They provide up-front cost reduction, reducing the need to immediately grow capacity as you grow while reducing management labor and keeping the availability of the resource high. And they do it while increasing the performance of the disk by wide striping across multiple physical LDEVs and utilizing different media types to efficiently optimize your workload.

The resiliency of this solution does not stop with the storage alone in fact Business realized $1.44 million in business productivity benefits with Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure solutions. Cisco products have flexibility as a core engineering principle in addition to many of the other features needed in a business capable infrastructure solution.  Cisco UCS Product pioneered the ability to make hardware configurations portable, but they also greatly simplified the consolidation of racks within blade chassis.

The UCS Unified Fabric, enables the consolidations of both FC, and ethernet to travel out of the chassis IOM modules and on to the Fabric Interconnects. With UCS Unified Fabric you reduce cabling complexities by 78%, providing redundant paths through the SAN and LAN fabrics. End-to-end top to bottom, the network is resilient in the paths needed, and bandwidth supplied, all while simplifying network cables. 

UCS Manager is used to complete the setup of all UCS chassis and Fabric Interconnects and is embedded into the fabric interconnect switch.  Using Cisco UCS Manager service profiles, you can create templates for building boot characteristics, interface addresses, and firmware versions. These configurations are separate from the physical hardware allowing administrators to enable stateless computing. You can also orchestrate UCS Manager using UCS Director handling multiple UCS domains.

And finally, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), is a software-defined network, which manages both physical and virtual networks, taking intent-based networking to the next level. With ACI, the network can apply policies to adapt for new applications, support SLA’s and automate network tasks to efficiently operate on premise and in the cloud. You can also accelerate these features by using machine learning to monitor and verify that the network continues to optimize and tune it to operate as efficiently as possible.

In summation, Hitachi’s DataOps advantage, our future proof storage performance, technology, and overall resiliency of the Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for CI creates a platform of confidence in attacking business and data challenges your company needs to solve without the worry of architecting a platform. The ability to handle high performance I/O and be agile, to consolidate workloads while reducing datacenter latency, set your IT strategy to compete for the long haul. As an enterprise-class solution, comprised of two best-of-breed technology companies, you have assurance this platform has all that it takes to perform now and into the future, turning your data into a tangible asset.   

If you have deployed any of the Cisco Compute, Networking or Hitachi Storage, HCI, CI Solutions and would like to share your experiences, please join our community. We’d love to hear from you!


Sean Siegmund

Technical Advisor, Hitachi Vantara