Hu Yoshida

Digital Transformation Requires New Architectures for Network Attached Storage

Blog Post created by Hu Yoshida Employee on Apr 22, 2016

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Digital transformation means that the usage of digital technology will enable new types of innovation and creativity in businesses rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods. Digital technologies around networking and file sharing will be key to this transformation. As a result the growth of unstructured data is exploding and businesses are struggling to keep up with the demand on traditional NAS systems. As the number of files increase along with the number of users, you run out of capacity and bandwidth and you continue to buy more NAS servers. File directory management begins to breakdown, backup becomes more difficult, dev/test becomes more disruptive, and outages increase. New files are being created faster than your ability to migrate them to newer systems. Traditional NAS systems can not keep up with these increasing demands due to limitations in traditional processor architecture cycles and software overhead.

 

Hitachi NAS (HNAS) 4000 systems take a radically different approach. Instead of a computer based NAS or an embedded system operating system NAS, HNAS uses hardware in the form of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) which enables the pipelining of NAS features and functions for higher performance and efficiency. Dedupe can be done in line for space efficiency with no impact to performance, and with no intervention required from IT staff. HNAS also uses an object based file systems which separates meta data from files and enables automated tiering and migration in the background.

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HNAS also deploys unique tree cloning, which enables the user to clone directory trees rather than volumes. Technically tree-clones are unlimited – there is no hard limit on the number you can create – only what the unit can sustain in terms of IO and capacity. One of our customers which has a large online sales presence has about 1500 clones of their Oracle data bases deployed for test/dev purposes. This is 4 to 5 time more than they could get out of their previous NAS solution.

 

Moscow –based Elektronnaya Moskva is a leading provider of integrated IT solutions for telecommunications projects including the Moscow City Government e-document management system. When the e-document system was implemented in 2011, NAS storage nodes were created on standard x86 servers and Linux operating system. With data volumes growing and millions of files being created every year, this technology solution could not cope with the growing demand.

 

After analyzing their usage patterns. Hitachi Data Systems proposed a midrange HUS (Hitachi Unified Storage) 150 storage array with two HNAS 4060 file servers that were clustered to facilitate fail safe operations. With this solution, their volume of files has almost tripled. In addition to solving the problem of storing a large quantity of files and their backups, HDS

was able to simplify and speed up file directory management. After installing Hitachi NAS Platform technologies, mean file-listing time in flat directories containing a large volume of data was reduced nine times, from 36 to 4 hours.

 

The customers demand for high operational speed was satisfied with a tiered file system approach which enables meta data to be placed on Hitachi Accelerated Flash and kept separate from the files on SAS drives. Flash was another major benefit of the Hitachi Unified Storage implementation.

 

Timur Malin, Consultant to the Technical Director of Elektronnaya Moskva,

Pointed this out. “Using Hitachi Accelerated Flash allows us to control metadata and file storage levels, use innovative error correcting code (ECC), and improve data management performance beyond that which is possible with SSDs (solid state disks),”

 

Last year Hitachi Data Systems announced the follow on to the HUS midrange storage family when we announced the VSP mid-range models G200, G400, G600 and G800 which runs the same Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) as the Enterprise VSP G1000.  This enables the VSP G series to address customer workload requirements from entry to the mainframe with a single software stack. Extending the reach of powerful software capabilities that are built into Hitachi SVOS allows the entire VSP family to offer native heterogeneous storage virtualization and multi-site active-active storage – as well as fully compatible data migration, replication and management. Customers now have the ability to choose systems based on the necessary capacity, performance and price required to meet their business goals, not because of functional differences.

 

The new VSP G models have all the capabilities of the G1000 except for FICON channels and mainframe support. These new models retain the rack configuration of the HUS and can be configured with 4U HNAS servers included in the rack for unified file and block based data services.

 

Today the Hitach NAS 4000’s are attached to FC ports on the VSP G series. What if we could integrate robust HNAS features such as deduplication and cloning management capabilities into the SVOS operating system and attach the servers as modules on the backplane of the VSP G series?

What benefits would this provide?

 

Stay tuned for my next post.

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