The traditional solution to the ever-growing ocean of data that every organisation must store has been to throw more and more storage media at it. Recently, however, sophisticated storage management technologies have emerged that allow organisations to take a more intelligent and cost-effective approach.
One such example is Hitachi Data Systems’ recently launched Virtual Storage Platform, winner of the Data Centre Innovation Award.
Released in September 2010, VSP builds on HDS’s previous Universal Storage Platform to combine the latest storage hardware technologies with an intelligent management software layer.
Integral to the platform is its automated storage tiering, known as Dynamic Tiering. This intelligently allocates data to a virtualised storage array within the VSP according to its unique capacity and performance needs.
Dynamic Tiering also allows automatic tiering not just within the VSP array, but across an entire multi-vendor data centre. HDS says this makes VSP a springboard for “data centre transformation”.
“[Dynamic Tiering] is important because now you can take a bunch of arrays and present them to the VSP, and allow it to automatically manage data placement across them as a pool of storage,” explains UK CTO Francois Zimmerman.
The highly scalable nature of VSP, HDS says, removes the burden of businesses having to forecast storage requirements for individual projects. It claims that VSP is the ideal solution for businesses looking to move from buying “siloes of infrastructure to shared utilities or private clouds”.
“There’s a requirement for data centre transformation to enable existing infrastructure to support private cloud services, and we look at this in terms of a move to end-to-end virtualisation,” Zimmerman adds. “We’ve already seen phase one of this trend in a move from stand-alone servers to virtualised servers, and the industry has seen massive operational benefits.” Virtualising storage across whole data centres, he continues, is the next logical step in this process.
There are other benefits to VSP technology too, HDS says. For example, VSP can make a significant positive impact on the energy costs associated with running a data centre, boosting storage hardware utilisation, it argues; and improved utilisation decreases the total cost of ownership of storage technologies too.