Sunny in Phoenix: Agile Cloud for Hitachi
by Miki Sandorfi on Oct 13, 2009
Today, Hitachi announced a new portfolio of agile cloud solutions at SNW in Phoenix, including the release of the Hitachi Content Platform version 3.0 (formerly Hitachi Content Archive Platform — more on that later). With this announcement, Hitachi is poised to help end-users, service providers, telcos and system integrators deliver cloud services that reduce the TCO of IT environments.
First, I think it worthwhile to highlight what “cloud” means (and does not mean) to Hitachi. Unlike most of our contemporaries, we view cloud as a delivery mechanism and NOT one particular product. To us, cloud represents:
- The ability to rapidly provision or de-provision a service
- A consumption model where you pay for what you use
- The agility to scale-up or scale-down the service without pre-planning
As Hu Yoshida wrote, Hitachi has been providing solutions to our customers that enable many of the attributes I’ve outlined. In fact, we’ve done that for many years, including integrating into customer workflows where resources are provisioned via a portal to internal business units whom are subsequently charged for what they use — sounds like private cloud to me.
What’s new is the addition of capabilities to HCP 3.0 which simplify delivering these services over the internet or in geographically-dispersed situations; in particular, these features directly enable service providers, telcos, and system integrators to provide cloud services. Some of these capabilities include:
- Secure Multitenancy with multiple namespaces: easily provision service to multiple customers (for public clouds) or multiple business units (for private clouds) with secure data partitioning. Namespaces allow shared administration rights — service providers deliver a “tenancy” and the end-user self-administers one or more “namespaces” within the tenancy
- Hard and Soft Quotas: consumption of resource can be restricted to a maximum per tenant, allowing either warnings when the threshold is breached (soft quota) or disabling write priveleges (hard quotas)
- Chargeback: allows the “pay for what you use” model — granular reporting on a tenant and namespace basis which easily integrates into billing systems
It should be noted that HCP not only provisions storage for public clouds, but still includes the rich capabilities of its HCAP predecessor: enforced compliance with WORM, compression, single-instancing, and integrated full-content search among others. These capabilities are fully available within cloud deployments, and can also be provisioned and delivered as value-added services. Consumers simply pay for what they need, and they don’t have to build the solutions for themselves.
So why rename HCAP to HCP? There are many reasons, but perhaps the most important one is that “archive” is just one use case of the Content Platform, and including it in the name unnecessarily constrains where HCP plays. This is also in line with our “cloud is not one product” approach. In fact, one of the most powerful aspects of HCP is that it can directly (and simultaneously) address multiple tiers of storage: Flash, Fibre Channel, SAS, SATA, etc. By policy, data can move from one class of storage to another — others will force you down the path of desktop SATA as the only choice. With Hitachi, the choice is the user’s, and it’s an especially important choice to enterprise consumers.
I’ll be posting more details on Hitachi’s agile cloud solutions over the coming weeks and will look at topics like cloud Service Level Agreements and data durability in the cloud. In the meantime, be sure to also check out Michael Hay’s blog on the subject here.
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[...] more insight on today’s announcement, please read my fellow HDS bloggers, Michael Hay and Miki Sandorfi, who have also provided their perspectives on today’s [...]
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