Substantial technical differences exist between how the interfaces of storage clouds are presented, managed and secured. But from a business point of view, a cloud is a cloud is a cloud and the sooner that the technical challenges associated with managing these different storage clouds from a single platform are overcome, the sooner that businesses can ramp up their cloud storage adoption. It is this acceleration towards delivering a singular storage cloud that the Hitachi Data Protection Suite (HDPS) powered by CommVault that we see today.
It is no secret that organizations want to take advantage of cloud computing in general and are rapidly moving in that direction. For example, one third of healthcare providers already claim to be using cloud applications with that percentage of healthcare providers expected to grow to 73% by the end of 2010. Gartner also forecasts that business expenditures on cloud services are expected to approach $68.3 billion in 2010 and jump to nearly $150 billion by 2014.
The trouble with any cloud solution and specifically a cloud storage solution is navigating the transition from today’s siloed storage stacks to tomorrow’s cloud storage solutions. Today’s in-house storage solutions are:
- Complex, customized and expensive to manage
- Intended for specific integrated application stacks
- Require large in-house IT teams to manage them
Conversely, tomorrow’s cloud storage solutions are expected to be:
- More economical
- Automated while simplifying the backend data and storage management
- Less cumbersome needing fewer IT staff to manage them
It can already be said that today’s cloud storage solutions are doing a good job of delivering on this first requirement of becoming more economical. Already the cost per GB associated with cloud storage solutions is in the pennies per month range and there is no reason to believe that those costs will do anything but decline in the years to come. Yet when it comes to making storage clouds easier to manage, automating the movement of data and reducing the time to manage them; those solutions are typically still in the works.
That said, there are those solutions that are definitely ahead of the pack in terms of creating and delivering a singular storage cloud and HDPS powered by CommVault falls into that category. HDPS has for some time supported both disk and tape targets, the automated, policy-driven movement of data across different tiers of storage and even interfaced with private clouds that offer CIFS and NAS interfaces.
Today’s announcement of Hitachi Cloud Service for Private File Tiering brings the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) and HDPS together to provide seamless movement of data into the clouds to HDPS. This helps users in three ways as it pertains to them creating and managing a singular storage cloud.
First, HCP scales to over 40 PBs of storage capacity. In addition to the steadily growing amounts of email and file data that every organization has to manage, more organizations are deploying desktop virtualization, adopting social media for collaboration and information exchange, installing video surveillance systems and creating endless amounts of web content.
This puts them in a position where they will need to deploy massively scalable storage systems that are not bound by traditional file system and volume management software limitations. HCP gives organizations this flexibility to grow and scale their storage as needed.
Second, HCP uses an object store. Object store architectures are viewed by many as the primary architecture that public storage clouds will use in the not-too-distant future for a majority of their data storage.
Third, it makes the cloud more flexible. One of the complaints about private storage clouds has been the upfront investment that they require. Hitachi Cloud Services for Private File Tiering removes many of those concerns as it can start small with a minimal investment so users can scale its capacity and pay for what they need when they need. Further, since HDPS is used to manage the entire cloud, it can forecast when additional storage capacity is needed and then dynamically move the data into the cloud after the additional storage capacity is installed and available.
The corporate adoption of cloud infrastructures is fully underway but this is putting new pressure on organizations to identify solutions that enable them to take full advantage of the cost benefits they offer. Today’s announcement that HDPS is an integrated part of the new private file tiering solution is just another indication that it is possible for organizations to do more than just deploy economical cloud storage solutions but also effectively manage them so they can fully realize the cost savings they provide.
Further, by organizations using platforms like HDPS powered by CommVault, they are well positioned to take advantage of new cloud storage options as they become available so that no matter what type of cloud they need, it becomes a singular cloud to manage from a data and storage management perspective.