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1 I D C V E N D O R S P O T L I G H T F l a s h, C l o u d, a nd Softw ar e - D e f i n e d Storage: N ew T rends Impacting Enterprise Datacenters March 2014 Adapted from IDC Worldwide Storage Predictions 2014: Storage Disruption Flash, Cloud, and Software- Based Storage by Laura DuBois, Robert Amatruda, Eric Burgener, et al., IDC #WC Sponsored by Hitachi Data Systems The IT industry is in the midst of a migration to what IDC refers to as the "3rd Platform." Optimized to handle the burgeoning trends of mobility, social media, big data/analytics, and cloud, the 3rd Platform delivers the agility, the performance, and the availability that an increasingly dynamic business environment requires. This newly agile computing environment puts significant demands on the underlying storage infrastructure in terms of availability, automation, agility, performance and scalability, efficiency, and reliability that legacy storage solutions are struggling to meet cost effectively. A new generation of enterprise storage solutions is rising to meet this challenge and is specifically architected to meet these requirements using new technologies such as flash, software-defined storage, and cloud. This Vendor Spotlight explores trends in enterprise storage and discusses the role that Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) plays in this increasingly important market. New Datacenter Requirements With the increasing importance of mobility, social media, big data/analytics, and cloud, IT infrastructure needs are evolving toward a more agile and continuously available model. A more mobile workforce challenges IT to provide access to corporate information resources from a variety of different endpoint device types at all hours of the day and night. For many enterprises, the luxury of scheduled downtime to perform maintenance, upgrades, or other administrative operations is a thing of the past. Social media usage is exploding worldwide, generating huge amounts of data that open up new opportunities for enterprises to market to existing and new customers. A company's ability to efficiently leverage business analytics is becoming a key determinant not only of future revenue growth but of keeping existing customers happy. As enterprises look to capture and house all of this data, cloud is becoming an option that must be considered. Cloud infrastructures offer opportunities to improve IT agility and are being evaluated by enterprises of all sizes to help meet evolving datacenter requirements. According to IDC, 42% of all enterprises today are using cloud in some form, and IDC expects cloud spending to surge by 25%, surpassing the $100 billion mark by the end of For enterprises with on-premise equipment that are evaluating cloud options, IT infrastructure must be cloud-friendly. Performance and scalability continue to be critical requirements as continued high rates of data growth will push global information to surpass the 6 billion terabyte mark by the end of The challenge of continuing to meet service-level agreements (SLAs) as configurations scale is second only to that of managing data growth. IDC 1673

2 As IT administrators plan to meet the new datacenter requirements, the value that an IT infrastructure provides will be increasingly critical. New architectures and capabilities that support scalability across a wide range and at the same time guarantee predictable performance will be important in delivering the value that IT administrators need from their infrastructure in this new era. Storage densities (i.e., asset utilization) will be a key driver of value. Limited budgets will place a premium on the efficiencies with which resources can be provisioned, deprovisioned, and managed. These evolving higher-level requirements will drive a bevy of newer technologies to the forefront in IT, including virtualization, the optimal integration of flash media into storage infrastructures, and cloud integration capabilities. Architectural designs that can maintain not only data integrity but also application availability even in the face of failures, maintenance operations, reconfigurations, and upgrades will be part of the IT foundation in this new era. Management operations will have to become more automated if IT administrators, who are already challenged to handle their existing span of control, are to be able to efficiently deliver the agility, performance, availability, scalability, and reliability required by the new datacenter. Benefits of New Storage Solutions A new, more agile IT infrastructure definitely puts some new demands on enterprise storage: Availability. With the proliferation of access device types and times, any downtime at all can have a much bigger impact than in the past. The storage infrastructure must be able to evolve over time to provide needed capabilities without imposing any downtime. Administrative operations such as data migration, maintenance, upgrades, and new workload additions that in the past may have required downtime must now be performed while continuing to provide service at guaranteed levels. End users expect applications to be "always on," and the storage must support this level of availability. Automation. With the number of terabytes under management in the tens or hundreds for many enterprises, administrators are already challenged to manage their data efficiently. As administrative spans of control continue to increase, unified management and automation is the only way to reliably address these requirements. Support for a wide array of APIs that enable automated workflow integration at the application and infrastructure levels is a prerequisite to maximize the benefits automation can provide. Agility. Enterprises need to be able to quickly and easily provision and deprovision virtual machines (VMs) on demand, and the storage must support this capability. The storage must also be able to provide data services such as snapshots, clones, and replication that let administrators craft optimized storage configurations and workflows to meet business requirements. Scalability and performance. Storage architectures that can start small but grow to support extremely large, multi-petabyte configurations will be important. This should include not only the ability to add new storage but also the ability to integrate existing storage under a unified management umbrella that provides a consistent set of features. Architectures must ensure balanced performance even as configurations scale to the high end, providing quality-of-service (QoS) capabilities that guarantee predictable performance across this entire range. Support for flash media as well as a flash-optimized architecture to get the most out of limited flash capacities is a baseline requirement, regardless of whether enterprises choose hybrid or all-flash configurations. Storage efficiency. Administrators will increasingly evaluate enterprise storage solutions on the value they provide over time rather than initial purchase cost. Storage efficiency features such as thin provisioning and data reduction, as well as space-efficient implementations of snapshots, clones, and replication, contribute strongly to this requirement. These implementations must have sufficient performance so that they can be used in production environments. Balanced architectures and QoS capabilities support storage consolidation at higher densities, another IDC

3 factor that contributes significantly to overall value. Strong security, while not a storage efficiency feature per se, will promote improved value by safely enabling dense multitenant workload consolidation for cloud providers. Reliability. All of these features and capabilities must sit on a proven, highly reliable foundation that guarantees data integrity across failures, reconfigurations, and upgrades no matter what. Efficient RAID implementations should provide protection against multiple disk failures, synchronous and asynchronous replication capabilities should offer options for metro clustering and disaster recovery configurations, and enterprise snapshot capabilities must provide rapid recovery and off-host backup options. Considering HDS Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) provides information technologies, services, and solutions that help enterprises address IT agility requirements across virtual and physical infrastructures. HDS has a long history in this arena, counting more than 70% of the Fortune 100 and more than 80% of the Fortune Global 100 as part of its customer base, among thousands of others. With a product portfolio addressing the requirements of small, medium-sized, and large enterprises, HDS offers both blockbased and file-based solutions. HDS was also an early entrant into the storage virtualization space, enabling heterogeneous storage to be consolidated under a unified management interface that provided a set of consistent cross-platform storage capabilities. The company's solution strategy centers on integrating infrastructure, content, and information layers with vertical industry applications to help HDS customers turn data into valuable business insights. With the recent Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000 (VSP G1000) announcement, HDS is evolving its platform to better service the storage requirements of a new, more agile IT infrastructure. VSP G1000 is the new high end of the HDS line, replacing the existing VSP enterprise workhorse. According to HDS, VSP G1000 extends the capabilities of HDS in the areas of availability, automation, and agility all critical concerns for an increasingly agile IT infrastructure while offering improved performance and scalability. Software-defined storage is one of the key enablers of IT agility, and Hitachi's updated Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) allows new features and capabilities to be extended to any storage administered under the Hitachi Command Suite unified management interface. SVOS is focused around a concept HDS calls "global storage virtualization," so storage resources can now be managed in a container called a "virtual storage machine" that enables flexibility in how these resources are allocated, optimized, and managed. According to HDS, other key features of this new release include improved performance through better flash media utilization and a distributed active/active capability for improved availability options. Migrations to newer storage platforms often impose downtime that enterprises can ill afford. HDS offers the foundation that allows virtual storage machines to move from one platform to another without downtime, effectively enabling in-place hardware upgrades to newer platforms without disruption. With this addition, administrators now have the ability not only to upgrade and reconfigure their storage while applications remain online providing service to end users but also to perform migrations to newer HDS storage platforms without any downtime. This offers significant additional flexibility in meeting the rapidly evolving requirements in today's world IDC 3

4 Challenges Any enterprise solutions provider with a large installed base must provide upgrade paths to newer technologies for its customers with a minimum of disruption. Against upstart solutions providers that can start with a clean slate to implement newer storage technologies that provide aggressive value propositions, established players are often challenged to integrate newer technologies in a timely manner that offers comparable value. The VSP G1000 announcement shows that HDS is making important improvements in availability, automation, and agility capabilities that close the gap between its offerings and those of start-up providers in terms of their ability to support IT infrastructure requirements driven by mobility, social media, big data/analytics, and cloud. HDS is not alone in its focus on availability, automation, and agility; other large enterprise-class storage providers have recently announced their own enhancements in these areas. At a high level, enterprise storage portfolios from these vendors look similar, but there are definite differences underneath the covers. One of the challenges HDS faces is differentiating its offerings from those of other viable competitors in ways that are meaningful for HDS customers and prospects. Vendors are emphasizing the broadness of their storage hardware and software portfolios, encouraging customers to put more and more of their storage eggs in one basket, so to speak. While HDS has storage solutions that span both primary and secondary storage requirements, the company has not gone as far down this path as other vendors. Conclusion Driven by trends in mobility, social media, big data/analytics, and cloud, enterprises are rapidly moving to a much more flexible IT infrastructure that IDC identifies as the "3rd Platform." While legacy storage systems can be used in these heavily virtual environments, new storage solutions that are significantly better suited for the 3rd Platform in terms of agility, efficiency, and cloud integration are available and are causing many enterprises to reconsider their storage strategies as they move to this more agile computing platform. This is exactly what they should be doing. Enterprises should evaluate new storage offerings not only for their agility and availability but also for the efficiencies they bring to the table in consistently delivering required performance as configurations scale. They should look for unified management approaches that leverage automation to increase administrative span of control while keeping the reliability of operations high. Enterprises must consider the use of flash not only to provide needed performance but also to increase multitenant storage density and reduce power and floor space consumption. And enterprises that are considering new storage frame purchases from any vendor should look closely at flash-optimized architectures to help realize maximum value. If cost is the reason that enterprises are moving to the 3rd Platform without considering a storage refresh, they should make this decision with the conscious awareness that they will not be able to fully leverage the agility of this platform without the right supporting storage solutions. New storage technologies, in particular flash and cloud, have changed the storage landscape, offering much more flexible and scalable solutions at $/GB price points that legacy architectures just cannot match. However, enterprises must keep in mind that data integrity is the priority when it comes to storage. When hosting mission-critical data on the newer, more agile and efficient storage architectures, enterprises need to make sure that they come from reliable vendors that provide trusted enterpriseclass capabilities. If HDS can address the challenges highlighted in this paper, IDC believes the company has a significant opportunity to succeed in the storage market IDC

5 A B O U T T H I S P U B L I C A T I ON This publication was produced by IDC Custom Solutions. The opinion, analysis, and research results presented herein are drawn from more detailed research and analysis independently conducted and published by IDC, unless specific vendor sponsorship is noted. IDC Custom Solutions makes IDC content available in a wide range of formats for distribution by various companies. A license to distribute IDC content does not imply endorsement of or opinion about the licensee. C O P Y R I G H T A N D R E S T R I C T I O N S Any IDC information or reference to IDC that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from IDC. For permission requests, contact the Custom Solutions information line at or Translation and/or localization of this document require an additional license from IDC. For more information on IDC, visit For more information on IDC Custom Solutions, visit Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA P F IDC 5

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