Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device Date: July 2015 Author: Tony Palmer, Senior Lab Analyst

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1 ESG Lab Review Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device Date: July 2015 Author: Tony Palmer, Senior Lab Analyst Abstract: ESG Lab recently completed hands-on testing and analysis of the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) family Global-Active Device and Hitachi Command Suite (HCS) 8.x software. This report focuses on the evolutionary enhancements to both the VSP family and HCS that enable the Hitachi Data Systems vision of one platform for all data providing shared storage services across the enterprise. This validation also focuses on how VSP and HCS can improve resilience, reduce risk, and automate administration for enterprise storage environments. The Challenges The demands on and for storage are increasing rapidly. To address data growth without interrupting business operations, rapid deployment of storage and IT resources becomes a function of scalability. ESG s 2015 IT Spending Intentions Survey revealed that, as they have been since 2010, increased use of server virtualization, improved backup and recovery, and managing data growth are all in the top ten most frequently cited 2015 IT priorities. The adoption of server virtualization is nearly ubiquitous among enterprise and midmarket organizations, and increased usage of the technology was identified by 25% of respondents as one of their most important IT priorities for Figure 1. Top Ten Most Important IT Priorities Top 10 most important IT priorities over the next 12 months. (Percent of respondents, N=601, ten responses accepted) Information security initiatives Improving data backup and recovery Managing data growth Increasing use of server virtualization Desktop virtualization Using cloud infrastructure services Regulatory compliance initiatives Business continuity/disaster recovery programs Building a private cloud infrastructure Improving collaboration capabilities 26% 26% 25% 25% 25% 24% 23% 22% 22% 34% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, Source: ESG Research Report, 2015 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT professionals about data center technology products for companies of all types and sizes. ESG Lab reports are not meant to replace the evaluation process that should be conducted before making purchasing decisions, but rather to provide insight into these emerging technologies. Our objective is to go over some of the more valuable feature/functions of products, show how they can be used to solve real customer problems and identify any areas needing improvement. ESG Lab s expert third-party perspective is based on our own hands-on testing as well as on interviews with customers who use these products in production environments. This ESG Lab report was sponsored by Hitachi.

2 ESG Lab Review: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device 2 The Solution: Hitachi VSP Family Global-Active Device The Hitachi VSP family is designed to deliver enterprise storage virtualization in a unified platform for midmarket to global enterprise organizations while enabling them to manage information more efficiently. Existing storage from multiple vendors can be centrally unified in a shared pool of data. Hitachi s goal was to create a highly efficient architecture that allows organizations to satisfy growth requirements and simplify operations to reduce the total cost of storage ownership. Figure 2. Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Hitachi Data Systems has been virtualizing existing disk systems from multiple third-party vendors since the introduction of the USP in With the introduction of global-active device (GAD), Hitachi uses the concept of a storage virtual machine to abstract the underlying physical arrays from hosts, making site failover transparent and eliminating the need for reconfiguration. The VSP family also supports non-disruptive migration options designed to provide large-scale migration capabilities that require less time and effort to execute, deliver continuous operations, and ensure application quality of service while maintaining data protection. Other key capabilities of the Hitachi VSP family include: Availability Ease of management No interruption of service for disaster recovery due to local and remote snapshots and clones. System maintenance with no interruption to host I/O. A 100% data availability guarantee. Clustered, highly available file modules for nonstop access to file systems. External storage virtualization assimilates disk and solid-state storage from more than 100 models of storage from 15 vendors.

3 ESG Lab Review: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device 3 Scalability Consistent management across heterogeneous, virtualized systems. Hitachi Dynamic Tiering automates data placement for optimal cost and performance efficiency. Multi-tenant partitioning ensures isolation between data sets at a level required by service providers. VSP Family scales to over 8PB of internal storage and up to 255PB of raw externally virtualized capacity. File systems up to 256TB and cluster namespace for unified directory structure. Dynamic (thin) provisioning enables capacity-efficient scalability on demand. Data protection Universal data replication provides offsite data protection and disaster recovery for multiple tiers of data on heterogeneous platforms using consistent tools and techniques. Writeable, crash-consistent snapshots for application-aware protection. File cloning and high-speed object-based replication. Hitachi Command Suite Hitachi Command Suite (HCS) further simplifies VSP family management, allowing complete control of Hitachi storage systems and their virtualized external storage resources leveraging common management practices from a centralized console. Hitachi Command Suite is an integrated management framework encompassing the key strategic management areas of configuration, data mobility, storage analytics, data resilience, and automation. Hitachi Automation Director, a recent addition to the Hitachi Command Suite, was developed to provide management automation via programmable workflows incorporating Hitachi s best practices and business application focus. By simplifying repetitive management tasks, Hitachi Automation Director aims to improve reliability and reduce human error, providing an integrated service builder to define and customize new storage service offerings. HCS provides visibility into both physical and virtual servers, an important feature for troubleshooting in complex environments. HCS is designed to allow administrators to tailor storage management practices for their particular infrastructure; HCS can facilitate aligning applications with IT assets based on business objectives, enabling shared resource optimization and just-in-time resource delivery. Key capabilities of Hitachi Command Suite include: Unified management of Hitachi and virtualized storage systems helps IT conserve resources and reduce the costs required to manage complex storage environments. Agentless operation simplifies management of large storage resource deployments. Consolidated management of file, block, and object data from a single point of management eliminates the need to learn multiple tools. Automated data lifecycle management crosses storage tiers. End-to-end visibility and correlation of business applications, host servers, virtual machines, and storage devices are provided. Storage capacity analysis helps to identify underutilized capacity to defer additional IT investments. The Hitachi Data Systems offering of unified enterprise storage and powerful, centralized management builds on the rock-solid legacy of Hitachi experience building enterprise storage and is designed to ameliorate the extreme challenges that arise from consolidated, virtual workloads and exponential data growth.

4 ESG Lab Tested ESG Lab Review: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device 4 ESG Lab performed hands-on evaluation and testing of VSP G1000 and Command Suite 8 at Hitachi s facilities, in Santa Clara, California. Testing was designed to demonstrate the rapid and simple configuration of multiple VSP G1000 systems into a distributed clustered storage system. Also of interest were the latest addition to Hitachi s management system, Command Suite 8, focusing on customer-driven, non-disruptive migration of data from existing storage environments to the G1000, and customer-driven automation of routine management tasks, such as provisioning storage for new systems and business applications. Active-Active Nonstop Storage with Hitachi VSP Family Global-Active Device Hitachi s global-active device (GAD) provides high availability (HA) and disaster recovering services (DRS) for enterprise storage environments across metropolitan area distances. GAD supports active-active processing of shared data, meaning that all interfaces to the storage system are always active, and the system synchronizes writes across the entire storage system. As a result, GAD provides for rapid and painless data center migration, both in the case of disaster and to support organizational changes during the normal course of business. Likewise, GAD enables rapid and painless virtual machine storage motion, whereby the location of the storage underlying virtual machines is moved between storage environments. This results in business continuity of critical virtualized applications, and enables private clouds across metro distances. The global-active device clusters two Hitachi VSP virtual storage machines into a single virtual storage system. GAD provides a logical volume with active-active processing of read and write I/O at both VSP G1000s, ensuring that data is synchronized between the systems in real time. To ensure nonstop processing, GAD uses a quorum device, which is a special volume used as an arbitrator to resolve split brain issues in the case of a WAN or local network failure. Any underlying storage system can be used, including third-party virtualized storage managed by Hitachi s Universal Volume Manager (HUVM). The recommendation for placement of the quorum device is either in a third location, or at the location of the master node. ESG Lab Testing ESG began with an environment designed to simulate a metropolitan area distributed data center environment for an enterprise, as shown in Figure 3. The environment consisted of two data centers with a metropolitan area network (MAN) providing a high-speed interconnect backbone. Installed in each data center was a Hitachi VSP G1000. The two VSP G1000s were to be clustered together into a global-active device. Attached to the VSP G1000 at site B was a Hitachi Unified Storage VM (HUS VM) with local storage. The HUS VM was configured to provide the quorum storage. Each site also included a Hitachi CB500 Compute Blade Server running VMware vsphere 5.0. The CB500 blade servers were configured to provide virtualized compute services. Each CB500 was directly connected to the site-local VSP G1000 using SAN networking. Each CB500 was also cross-connected to the other site s CB500 over the MAN. Once configured, the two VSP G1000s and the HUS VM were to be combined into the global-active device. The two VMware compute clusters would be presented with a single view of storage: the Global Active Device. Each VMware cluster had multiple paths to the storage.

5 ESG Lab Review: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device 5 Figure 3. ESG Lab Test Bench for Hitachi Global-Active Device First, ESG Lab reviewed the current state of each of the VSP G1000 systems using Hitachi Command Suite 8, Hitachi s web-based, integrated management platform. Command Suite 8 is the latest version of Hitachi s global storage virtualization management, and is designed to simplify and automate the management of complex enterprise storage environments. The software provides at-a-glance status, health, and usage information for all systems being managed, as well as system configuration workflows to simplify and speed up the process of configuring complex architectures. Next, ESG Lab started to configure the global-active device. The first step was to review all available resources by selecting the Resources tab within the Command Suite main console. As shown in Figure 4, there is an HUSVM labeled HUSVM2, and two VSP G1000s, labeled VSP1000_1 and VSP1000_2. At the bottom left panel is a list of general tasks that can be performed on the available resources. Figure 4. Command Suite 8: Resources List

6 ESG Lab Review: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device 6 From this list, ESG Lab selected Set up global-active device. This invoked a wizard that provides a clear and simple method for configuring the global-active device, complete with an overview of each step in the process. Clicking next brought up the first step in the workflow, configuring remote paths. This step creates remote paths between the primary and secondary VSP G1000 storage systems. First, a single or multiple paths are created from the primary to the secondary system. Next, single or multiple paths are created from the secondary to the primary system. Specific interfaces and addresses on each system are chosen to provide the data paths between the systems. Once this step is complete, the workflow displayed the overview of the process, noting that this step was complete. ESG Lab clicked next to proceed to configuring quorum disks. This step allocates storage to be used as a cache during failure. If synchronization between the two VSP G1000s is interrupted (for instance, if the MAN network fails), data that would normally be transferred across the link is instead written to the quorum disk. Once communication is resumed, the cached data is transferred, and both systems are brought back in sync. Figure 5. Configure Quorum Disks Setting up the quorum disks was a two-step process. First, the external storage volumes from the HUS VM were selected. Second, the disks were virtualized into volumes, one for the primary site and one for the secondary site. Next, ESG proceed through the three-step process of configuring the pair management servers. The pair management servers manage synchronization between the two VSP G1000s. First, a volume was allocated on each VSP G1000 to act as the command device for the pair management server. The second step was configuring the pair management server to recognize the command device. The third and final step was to refresh the management servers to recognize the new configurations. The next major step in configuring the global-active device was to configure the virtual storage machine. The workflow (see Figure 6) provided a list of storage systems to be combined into the virtual storage machine. The storage systems were selected, the machine was named, and the virtual storage machine was created.

7 ESG Lab Review: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device 7 Figure 6. Edit Virtual Storage Machine As each major step of the process was completed, the workflow would display the overview of all the steps and check off the already completed steps, providing clear and easy guidance to the administrator on her progress (see Figure 7). Figure 7. Global-Active Device Configuration Workflow Steps Once the global-active device was configured, ESG Lab used Command Suite to review the status of the global-active device and the quorum disks. Command Suite provided text-based status information along with a graphic clearly showing the relationship between the two VSP G1000s (see Figure 8).

8 ESG Lab Review: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device 8 Figure 8. Global-Active Device and Quorum Disk Status ESG Lab then allocated storage on the global-active device to each of the two VMware clusters running on the CB500 blade servers in each data center. ESG Lab validated that the VSP G1000s were in sync, with data written by one ESX environment being immediately visible to the other ESX environment. Why This Matters Virtualization of servers and business applications increases both data storage complexity and requirements, especially as IT strives to transition applications and services from traditional IT infrastructures to on-demand infrastructures. Increased use of server virtualization was once again a top response in ESG s annual survey of IT managers and administrators top IT priorities. Also of primary concern is managing data growth and business continuity/disaster recovery. 2 The survey data suggests that data migrations and sensitivity to data availability will increase as storage and servers are consolidated into federated pools of IT resources. As storage environments grow in size and complexity, so does the impact of data outages. Regardless of the number and types of hardware failures that may occur during the life of data on disk, managers, employees, and customers expect their data to be available. Hitachi VSP G1000 storage systems are designed to provide flexible tier-1 enterprise storage, engineered for efficiency, performance, and high availability in support of traditional storage services and new private and public cloud environments. ESG Lab quickly and efficiently configured two Hitachi VSP G1000 systems into a global-active device. Hitachi Command Suite enabled the ESG Lab team to understand and configure a complex IT infrastructure in a matter of minutes. Once configured, the two VSP G1000s, located in separate metropolitan data centers, provided real-time synchronized data storage services to multiple VMware virtualization clusters. By simplifying the user interface and providing configuration workflows, essentially expert systems, Hitachi Command Suite 8 and Hitachi VSP G1000 enable IT administrators to provide high-availability storage services to the enterprise. With real-time synchronization across metropolitan distances, the global-active device supports disaster recovery, simplifying the burden on IT infrastructure and staff. 2 Source: ESG Research Report, 2015 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February 2015.

9 The Bigger Truth ESG Lab Review: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Family Global-Active Device 9 IT professionals are being tasked with justifying every move of their storage strategy. How can organizations keep pace with capacity that is doubling every two to four years while staying within budget? How will storage investments be protected now and in the future? How can more capacity be managed with better performance and service levels with existing staff? Will storage investments complement or complicate virtual server consolidation initiatives? How will IT create a winning strategy that works for both the team and the organization? ESG is not only impressed with ability of Hitachi to continually improve the functionality, capacity, and performance of its entire storage family, but also with its focus on continuously improving manageability. A recent ESG survey found that increasing use of server virtualization was again reported as one of the most important IT priorities, with data growth and data center consolidation cited nearly as many times. 3 For many of those who have already implemented server virtualization, the next target is storage virtualization. To complement storage virtualization, automated data management makes such implementations practical. The sheer size of a typical modern data center makes old-fashioned storage management techniques obsolete. ESG Lab validated that the Hitachi VSP Family and Hitachi Command Suite work smoothly together to provide an agile, automated, highly available virtualized storage platform. This Hitachi Data Systems solution can repurpose storage from third-party vendors, virtualize it, and combine it into integrated storage pools. Features such as Global Active Device simplify cloud implementations, maximizing service levels while minimizing costs. Today s storage environment is rapidly increasing in size and complexity, while end-users have ever-higher expectations of instant access and around-the-clock availability. From the speed and automated operation of Dynamic Tiering to the dramatic manageability improvements of Hitachi Command Suite and VM-aware technology, the breadth and depth of the features offered by Hitachi can be used to meet the precise needs of any organization. The VSP Family combined with Hitachi Command Suite offers easy-to-manage scalability and reduced operational costs powerful and worthy of serious consideration by any IT organization being asked, once again, to do more with less in its data center. All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at Source: ESG Research Report, 2015 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February 2015.

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