Mike Nalls

You Need Speed to Meet Business Needs

Blog Post created by Mike Nalls on Jan 19, 2016

We’ve all gotten used to the instant gratification of immediate access to information, downloadable apps for all purposes, high bandwidth networks and infinite cloud storage available in the palms of our hands. You now suffer from the resulting expectations created for technology at a different scale with more stringent requirements. Including cost, speed and efficiency.

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Flash storage is now the darling technology to promise immediate data access for enterprise applications. There are multiple solutions in shiny new objects that may tarnish quickly without some consideration in advance.

 

You need performance that's as good in year five as it is on day one

Flash storage can have an immediate effect on your application response times. The impression of course is it will remain fast in the future. Once available, everyone wants their application sped up. Not every all flash array can manage multiple workloads, mixed data types or even high capacity data growth. And commodity solid state drives also have their limits as your needs increase.

 

Hitachi Accelerated Flash features a patented flash module architecture designed with up to 8 times more channels and 16 times more NAND per channel than our first generation modules. Our all VSP F series flash arrays deliver up to 24GB per second system throughput which is 4 times more bandwidth over competitors. This combination allows our systems to support significantly more concurrent workloads. The Hitachi Accelerated Flash architecture is also designed to minimize latency. Using a parallel architecture with multiple task queues, the FMD DC2 is able to spread tasks across the flash modules in the drive and prioritize IO operations over background tasks like garbage collection. This enables us to maintain a very low latency for longer time than solid state drives.

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You need scalability that won't slow your growth

Similar to the scaling of performance is your need to scale capacity or connectivity. Your company probably doesn’t want to stay small and never grow. With many all-flash arrays you must purchase an entirely new array in order to accommodate more capacity or more host server connections. Such an addition means you have another island of storage with each array typically assigned to a single application.

 

The VSP F series scales from 8 to 40 FMD DC2 in a single all flash array. Thus capacity of each model can be grown to a maximum effective capacity of 448TB utilizing accelerated compression in the 6.4TB FMD DC2. In addition, host ports scale from 32 up to 48 fibre channel ports. These host ports are bi-directional and support over 200 hosts each. Hitachi NAS platforms help you with file sharing, file server consolidation and application storage with the highest performance per node in the industry.

Planning is made much more future proof when you don’t have to worry about limited capacity and connectivity.

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Management should be as simple at 1PB as it is at 1TB

Simple, intuitive GUI management consoles may cover your easier tasks in smaller environments. What happens when you grow the number of storage systems? Or need to manage replicated data? Or high capacity flash? Many all-flash array are very new and have yet to mature to an enterprise level.


Through predefined service templates and automated management workflows, Hitachi Automation Director now features self-service provisioning of flash storage to speed the deployment of new application resources. To reduce cost and complexity and increase the speed of application deployment, Hitachi Data Center Analytics provides you the tools for granular performance monitoring and analysis at scale. You can monitor Hitachi and third party storage to identify and resolve ecosystem performance issues and enable more effective capacity planning.

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You need less, not more, disruption than you had in a disk-based world

We’ve solved a lot of the disk-based storage problems with automated tiering, performance analytics, data protection and storage virtualization, but there’s still the inherent limitations of a rotating media device. For years, storage systems were built with the idea that the performance was held back by spinning disk drives, and system software was optimized to make the most out of that situation.  With flash, vendors are re-architecting key parts of their onboard system code to more quickly move data around the inside of storage systems to keep up with the high performance of flash.

 

Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) includes significant flash-focused re-engineering, with many fundamental changes to the code to enable higher thread-count processing and faster movement of data.  This includes cache bypass technology for flash to increase performance and decrease overhead.  Response times improve significantly and many storage functions become twice as useful. With Hitachi Accelerated Flash, the FMD virtualizes flash capacity which allows us to manage exactly how and where data is stored so that both read and write IO is as fast as possible. FMDs offload tasks from the VSP to the flash devices. This distributes data service tasks, reducing system overhead and preserving more processing power on the VSP for tasks like replication. With flash, there is less need to store data in cache to accelerate future read requests. By allowing the system to read directly from flash and bypass cache we accelerate read operations and minimize system overhead that can result in longer latencies. Improves read / write performance by providing multiple, parallel connections between controller and flash modules. This allows the controller to access a separate flash module if one is busy These devices feature 8 lanes of PCIe with a multicore processor, integrated DDR-3 interface, integrated flash controller logic supports 32 paths to the flash array of 128 flash memory chips.

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You need flash solutions that leave no workload behind

Applications drive the enterprise, so your storage must comply. And not just VMware as many would offer. Nor should you be constrained to one app per storage system to which you might be limited with other all-flash arrays.

 

Our flash storage systems offer application plug-ins, application-aware snap management via Hitachi Data Instance Director and deep VMware integration including VVol to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Our application specific plug-ins are extensive (Including Microsoft Azure, System Center, PowerShell, Volume ShadowCopy, SQL Server and Virtual Machine. For Oracle we offer Enterprise Manager, Recovery Manager, Database Cloning, ASM, Web Center and VM. For VMware we offer our Virtual Infrastructure Integrator and adapters for vCenter, vRealize Orchestrator, vRealize Operations Management, vRealize Logs and SRM).

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With the industry's only 100% data availability guarantee and robust data management, Virtual Storage Platform F series enables you to tackle complicated business challenges while eliminating risk of outages that can cost you revenue and customers and damage your reputation. Utilizing hardware-offload compression in patented flash modules, the VSP F series delivers increased capacity, accelerates applications and eliminates storage overhead that could result in slower response times when an all-flash array is under heavy load. Take a look for yourself.

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