pdated: 16 May 2017
Hitachi Data Systems is transforming the storage industry with Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F series of all-flash arrays. HDS ships more flash storage than anybody, and these new systems, built on the software-defined architecture of the Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS), have been a hugely successful addition to the market.
With the extremely high performance of the Hitachi FMD DC2 flash modules in these systems, our customers are most likely to use the VSP F series for their most demanding workloads. This will definitely accelerate their business, enable them to be more competitive in their markets, and provide better services for their customers.
But the question needs to be asked: “How are you going to protect that data?”. This is an extremely important conversation to have in any new system or storage implementation, but especially when talking about all-flash arrays.
The conversation should go something like this:
“We’re buying this extremely high-performance storage to accelerate our business. Do we really want to stop it for a few hours every day to back it up? Our legacy backup software is going to diminish the value of this new storage. We need a better solution that will eliminate that downtime and enable us to protect the data far more often, and recover it much faster if something goes wrong.”
It’s true that legacy backup software should run faster when protecting and recovering an all-flash array. The reads and the writes will be much faster than even the fastest tier 1 hard disk. But the process itself doesn’t change. Incremental backups can still take hours to determine what data has changed since the last backup, and full backups can still take hours to copy all the data.
Thankfully, HDS has a modern solution to this challenge. The VSP F series appliances include high-performance and space efficient local snapshot and cloning capabilities for operational recovery, plus optional remote replication for disaster recovery and data re-purposing. A key differentiator is that the VSP F series replication can pair with a non-flash VSP G series system to provide greater flexibility in configuring a data resilience topology.
Hitachi Data Instance Director (HDID) provides automation and orchestration of the local and remote replication capabilities built into the VSP F series. Together they eliminate backup windows, enable more frequent protection, provide for disaster recovery, and restore data almost instantly.
HDID also masks all of the complexity of enterprise-class replication configuration and management, with a simple whiteboard-like user interface that makes it easy to define, monitor and edit even the most complex data protection workflows. For example, a single business-defined workflow can be set up in a few minutes to:
- Create an application-consistent snapshot hourly (or more often) to meet tight recovery point objectives (RPO)
- Synchronously or asynchronously replicate the production data to a nearby system for fast fail-over for business continuity
- Also replicate to a 3rd site, anywhere in the world, for geographically-dispersed disaster recovery
- Automatically create a snapshot or a clone on the second or third site so that the data can be used for secondary operations, such as backup to tape, development system refresh, recovery testing, and more.