1 Lab Validation Report Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio Integrated, Secure, and Agile Content Mobility By Tony Palmer, Senior Lab Analyst February The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
2 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 2 Contents Introduction... 3 Background... 3 Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio... 4 ESG Lab Validation... 6 Hitachi Content Platform (HCP)... 6 Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere (HCP Anywhere) Hitachi Data Ingestor Remote Server ESG Lab Validation Highlights Issues to Consider The Bigger Truth Appendix ESG Lab Reports 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 Data Systems. 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
3 Introduction Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 3 ESG Lab performed hands-on evaluation and testing of Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), focusing on Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere ( HCP Anywhere ) online file sharing, and Hitachi Data Ingestor remote server (HDI). Testing focused on integration of the platforms, global access to content, public and private cloud tiering, and the ease of deployment and management of the solution. Background The importance of agility in today s connected business ecosystem cannot be overstated. Organizations that can rapidly respond to competitive opportunities (or threats) across multiple geographies are likely to thrive, while those that cannot may fail. Agility is one of the key benefits of cloud computing, and as cloud services mature, interest is surging. ESG s 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey offers a proof point: Almost three-quarters (72%) of surveyed organizations reported plans to increase spending on cloud services in 2014, continuing the trend of the last three years. One of the most popular cloud services, online file sharing (OFS) and collaboration solutions, enables users to store, access, and share documents and files from laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets using the Internet. These solutions have made it very easy for users to access and distribute content and can improve employee productivity. Unfortunately, they can also expose organizations to data security, corporate governance, and regulatory compliance issues. Users can quickly and easily create their own accounts on free services sometimes referred to as shadow IT and place business documents in public clouds, leaving IT with no control over data, no protection, and no way to track information flowing out of (or into) the organization. IT professionals from small, medium, and enterprise organizations that have deployed these solutions see many opportunities with OFS, including improving business continuity and disaster recovery, increased collaboration and employee productivity, and the ability to support the modern always-on, always-connected mobile workforce (see Figure 1). 1 Figure 1. Top Six Objectives for Deploying Corporate OFS Accounts Considering your organization s plans to leverage an OFS service, what objectives is your organization looking to achieve? (Percent of respondents, N=103) Improve business continuance / disaster recovery by storing and/or backing up documents/files in the cloud Increase our employees ability to share files and collaborate on documents and projects Increase employee productivity by streamlining file sharing and collaboration tasks Enable document sharing and collaboration in a controlled and regulatory compliant environment Make sure that all employees are using the same standard, company-approved online file sharing service Provide employees with the ability to access and work with (edit, annotate, etc.) documents from multiple devices 42% 39% 37% 35% 32% 32% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, Source: ESG Research Report, Online File Sharing and Collaboration: Deployment Model Trends, February 2014.
4 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 4 Private clouds can be deployed through corporate IT or through a service provider, but both methods result in simple user access to data services. More significantly, the cloud makes data accessible from any location; in reality, the decision to place data in the cloud effectively makes every office a remote office because the data is located elsewhere. As a result, IT departments face the same challenges as cloud service providers when providing services to ROBOs: They must cost-effectively deliver acceptable application performance and availability, keep data secure and protected, enable employees to collaborate, and minimize the cost of bandwidth for data replication, backup, etc. Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio Hitachi Content Platform is a comprehensive hybrid cloud solution spanning small, medium, and enterprise organizations. The portfolio includes Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), a massively scalable object storage system designed for secure private and hybrid cloud storage, content distribution, backup free archiving, and compliance; HCP Anywhere, a solution for file synchronization and sharing; and Hitachi Data Ingestor remote server (HDI), a bottomless and backup-free on-ramp for remote locations and cloud customers. Figure 2. Hitachi Content Platform Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) The centralized core infrastructure is the massively scalable, multi-tiered, multi-tenant HCP. This object store can be divided into thousands of virtual content platforms: Tenants and underlying namespaces have configurable attributes to deliver varying service levels for different users and applications (or, in the case of a cloud service provider, different organizations). Network File System (NFS), Common Internet File System (CIFS), and Representational State Transfer (REST) protocols are supported, as well as Active Directory authentication. The HCP easily accommodates changes in both scale and storage technology so that data can reside for decades or longer with minimal disruption. It scales from a few terabytes to tens of petabytes of capacity, and manages data according to service plans that define service levels and how data is stored, accessed, tracked, and ultimately deleted and shredded across spin-down media, commodity storage, cloud services, or removable media. These
5 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 5 features enable HCP to help organizations eliminate storage sprawl and reduce the cost and complexity of storing unstructured data. The HCP back-end provides object storage with compression and single instancing for capacity efficiency. Designed for cloud deployments, it enables organizations to store and protect unstructured content such as documents, files, images, and video with massive scalability (supporting more than 800 million objects per node) and it can retain content for any period of time. A single device can store data from different tools such as file servers, , S3- based applications and Microsoft SharePoint, and both storage tiering and configurable multi-tenancy are supported. Each piece of content is stored as an object, which is basically a container that includes the data and metadata used to define the structure and administration of that data. This provides IT with a deep understanding of the nature of the content and enables IT to assign policies and automate storage tiering with greater intelligence. HCP can automatically apply data retention and disposition, deleting expired content and reclaiming storage. Content is accessed through HTTP/REST APIs, NFS, CIFS, SMTP, and more. Monitoring, reporting, and audit capabilities are built in and enable chargeback. A combination of built-in reliability factors can eliminate the need for backup of HCP itself. RAID-6 erasure coding, dynamic data protection levels, data integrity checking, retention of multiple versions of content, extensive metadata, and self-service recovery keep content protected and preserved without tape backups although backups are supported. Data can also be replicated from HCP for disaster recovery. When combined with HCP Anywhere, the solution has the potential to eliminate the need for endpoint backups, and when used with HDI, eliminate the need for backups of remote and branch office data. Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere (HCP Anywhere) HCP Anywhere is engineered to be a secure, compliant solution for file sharing and content distribution designed to improve end-user productivity while maintaining corporate control of data. HCP Anywhere leverages internal corporate resources that are managed and protected by IT. HCP Anywhere consists of the HCP Anywhere pod containing the server and database infrastructure as well as HCP Anywhere software, with the corporate network connecting to a Hitachi Content Platform object store. Other parts of the corporate infrastructure can be integrated, such as Active Directory servers for user authentication and permissions, DNS servers, mobile device management (MDM), virus scanning, etc. These features enable content distribution and file sharing to benefit from full IT governance and management. HCP Anywhere can also be run as software on VMware ESXi, enabling organizations to leverage existing resources to gain the always available file sharing and content distribution benefits of HCP Anywhere. Hitachi Data Ingestor Remote Server (HDI) HDI serves as a bottomless and backup-free file services on-ramp. HDI remote server is designed for remote locations with little or no IT presence. The standards-based file interface requires no recoding or application usage changes; storage is accessed using standard NFS or SMB protocols. HDI is essentially a cache that provides users and applications with seemingly endless storage capacity and advanced centralized storage management and protection. HDI provides a number of benefits to distributed organizations with many small remote locations as well as cloud service providers: Elastically scalable backup-free file services Centralized configuration, management, and reporting via HCP Anywhere Remote provisioning: ship server to remote site and boot Intelligent caching and automated capacity management Compliance and lifecycle management
6 ESG Lab Validation Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 6 ESG Lab performed hands-on evaluation and testing of Hitachi Content Platform at a Hitachi Data Systems facility in Santa Clara, California. Testing was designed to demonstrate the ease with which Hitachi Content Platform, HCP Anywhere online file sharing, and Hitachi Data Ingestor remote server can be integrated into an organization s infrastructure to provide limitless unstructured data storage to a distributed IT environment. Also of interest were the scalability, secure multi-tenancy, and resilience of the solution. Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) Hitachi s solution combines the object-based Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) at the core, HCP Anywhere on user devices for sync and share capabilities and Hitachi Data Ingestor (HDI) at remote and branch offices, which as a minimal-footprint physical or virtual appliance caches data for fast retrieval at the edge and sends data to the core infrastructure. By connecting to HCP, data from remote sites, user devices, and data center applications enjoy advanced storage and data management capabilities. This configuration provides full-featured IT services to endusers and remote deployments while minimizing costs and complexity. In this way, edge sites and individual users gain seamless scalability while benefiting from the centralized management and protection capabilities at the core. Remote deployments no longer need to worry about having IT staff to handle storage management or backup, and corporate IT teams (or cloud service providers) don t have to design and build their own edge-to-core infrastructure. ESG Lab Testing ESG Lab began with an environment designed to simulate a multitenant enterprise environment, such as an enterprise with each division being a separate tenant, or a more traditional multitenant service provider. In the data center environment, HCP was installed and populated with unstructured (file and object) data in multiple namespaces. One HDI was installed in a simulated remote office with Windows clients mounting the file system using the SMB protocol. Connectivity between the clients, HDI, and HCP was accomplished via 1GbE. A second HCP was also configured, simulating synchronization between geographically separate enterprise data centers. Figure 3. The ESG Lab Test Bed First, ESG Lab reviewed the current state of the HCP using the management GUI, which provides at-a-glance usage and health information. Next, ESG added a storage component to the HCP. Content Platform can store objects in internal disk drives or a variety of external storage components including NFS servers and cloud storage services
7 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 7 from Hitachi Cloud Services, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and any Amazon S3-compatible third-party cloud. Adding an Amazon S3 cloud storage component was accomplished through the create storage component wizard, which walks the administrator through the necessary steps. With a few mouse clicks, followed by entry of the Amazon S3 bucket and private key information, Amazon S3 was added to the HCP (see Figure 4). Then a new storage pool using only the Amazon S3 storage was created. Figure 4. Adding a Storage Component to HCP Next, ESG Lab created a new service plan. As with adding a storage component and creating a storage pool, creating new service plans was wizard-driven, and required just a few mouse clicks and the entry of some basic information. The first step in creating a service plan was to create a set of storage tiers, as shown in Figure 5. The storage tier specified the trigger, which is the action that causes data to be moved from one tier to the next tier. Also specified was the storage pool for the tier and the number of copies of data. Figure 5. Creating Storage Tiers
8 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 8 As can be seen in the summary of the service plan in Figure 6, every time data is ingested, or stored, the service plan will maintain two copies of each object along with two copies of metadata on the primary storage pool. Two days after data is stored, the number of copies of the object on the primary storage will be reduced to one. Simultaneously, a copy of the object will be stored on the DemoS3 pool, which is dedicated Amazon S3 cloud storage. Figure 6. Creating a Service Plan Using service plans, administrators have the flexibility to control how objects are stored on the system, and when they are moved around. This powerful storage tiering environment enables administrators to balance reliability, compliance, speed, bandwidth, cost, and latency for all objects within the system. The final step in deploying the multitenant configuration was to create a tenant (see Figure 7). As with the previous steps, tenant creation was wizard-based, and took just a few mouse clicks to complete.
9 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 9 Figure 7. Creating a Tenant In the tenant creation wizard, administrators can configure object replication and versioning and retention policies; assign service plans; and apply storage quotas. This enables IT to balance total storage used against the business needs of the tenant. For instance, a tenant representing the legal department might want all files preserved forever, thus needing different versioning and retention policies than a tenant representing a marketing department. As enterprises grow to have more than one data center, they can connect multiple HCP storage systems into a single universal storage environment. As shown in Figure 8, using the create link wizard, ESG Lab configured a link between two HCP systems.
10 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 10 Figure 8. Creating a Link between HCP Systems Hitachi supports three types of links between HCP systems: outbound, inbound, or active/active. An outbound link creates a master-slave relationship, where data in the master HCP is always pushed to the outbound slave HCP. If the master is located in the corporate data center and the slave is located at a remote divisional data center, then the divisional HCP is kept up to date with any changes created at the corporate office. An inbound link also creates a master-slave relationship, where the remote HCP is the master, and the local HCP is the slave and could be used to ensure that the corporate HCP is kept up to date with data created at a remote site. An active/active link is a bidirectional link, where both HCP units are completely synchronized. Any changes on the local HCP are pushed to the remote HCP, and any changes on the remote are sent to the local. As can be seen in Figure 8, data can be compressed and encrypted during data transfer between systems for efficiency and security. An inbound or outbound link can be converted to an active/active link, but the conversion is one-way: once converted, the link cannot be changed back.
11 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 11 Why This Matters ESG asked IT managers to name their most important IT priorities. Managing data growth, regulatory compliance initiatives, and building a private cloud infrastructure were all among the most-cited responses. 2 As the size and number of files that need to be kept online continue to grow, capital equipment and operating budgets are being stretched to their limits. Scaling capacity at remote offices can lead to lost productivity, and, in some cases, lost revenue as legacy storage systems are filled to capacity, becoming increasingly difficult to back up. ESG Lab has confirmed that HCP with HDI offers effectively unlimited, backup-free file and content storage for distributed users with advanced data availability and functionality that protects all file and unstructured content in the data center, while providing local file system performance to users. The addition of active/active replication enables the creation of a global access topology, providing content synchronization across an entire enterprise. ESG Lab was extremely impressed with the ability of HCP to provide mobility between private and public clouds using adaptive cloud tiering without compromising enterprise control. 2 Source: ESG Research Report, 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February 2014.
12 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 12 Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere (HCP Anywhere) HCP Anywhere is designed to provide secure file sharing and synchronization to improve end-user productivity while maintaining corporate control of data. HCP Anywhere leverages internal corporate resources that are managed by IT according to established practices. Public networks are used only when external users access a shared file or when internal users are accessing data from outside the corporate network. As Figure 9 shows, HCP Anywhere consists of the HCP Anywhere pod containing the server and database infrastructure as well as HCP Anywhere software, with the corporate network connecting to a Hitachi Content Platform object store. Other parts of the corporate infrastructure can also be integrated, such as Active Directory servers for user authentication and permissions, DNS servers, virus scanning, etc. These features enable content distribution and file sharing to benefit from full IT governance and management. Figure 9. HCP Anywhere The HCP Anywhere pod as tested included dual active/active, clustered servers for both load balancing and automatic failover. Each server is configured with an Intel Xeon E5 processor, six 300GB, 10,000 RPM SAS drives, internal RAID, 8GB of memory, and 1GbE connectivity. Dual Dell PowerConnect 2824 switches are also included. The HCP Anywhere application installed on each server includes sync, notification, and web server components as well as the REST API and a Postgres SQL database. The HCP back-end provides object storage with compression and single instancing for capacity efficiency. Other configurations are available. ESG Lab Testing ESG Lab began exploring usability by launching the Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere management interface. As shown in Figure 10, the main console provides an overview of system status, including a detailed list of major events. Recent usage of the platform, including namespace usage, operations, connection rate, and data transfer rate, are also displayed, giving administrators an at-a-glance view of the health and usage of HCP Anywhere. Also from this page, just above the Major Events view, additional filtered information can be selected for different components by selecting Hardware Status, System Status, or File Sync and Share Status.
13 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 13 Figure 10. Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere Management Interface ESG Lab used the HCP Anywhere management interface to add two new user groups to the HCP Anywhere validation test environment. Because HCP Anywhere integrates directly with Microsoft Active Directory (AD), a preexisting AD group was selectable from the corporate environment. Each group created in HCP Anywhere inherits the security attributes configured for its users in AD. Figure 11. HCP Anywhere Active Directory Integration As shown in Figure 11, the first of the two groups added to HCP Anywhere was configured with a 10GB storage quota. The second group was configured with a 30GB quota. For larger environments, the administrator can search for a specific group by name and update or delete it. ESG Lab used this feature to update the storage quota for members of the second group from an initial setting of 10GB per user to 30GB per user.
14 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 14 HCP Anywhere provides the ability to brand the user interface (see Figure 12). Both the product logo and the powered-by logo can be customized, enabling the presentation of a complete branded solution suitable for enterprises and service providers. The user interface can also be switched to multiple different locales and languages, including English, simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Canadian French. Figure 12. HCP Anywhere Branding ESG Lab next explored the browser-based user interface. As shown in Figure 13, multiple devices were configured and assigned to the same user account that was set up for validation testing. A Windows desktop, a web browser, and an Android mobile device were added to the account; all these devices can be used for accessing and sharing HCP Anywhere data. Also shown is the activity log (or audit trail), showing all file activity as well as the history for a specific file. Figure 13. Device View from Web Browser
15 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 15 Users can download HCP Anywhere client software to be installed directly on Mac or Windows PCs. Once installed, an HCP Anywhere directory is created in users local file systems. Any file or subdirectory within the HCP Anywhere directory tree is automatically synchronized with the HCP Anywhere servers. Any action can be performed from the integrated user interface, a web browser, or a mobile device. Figure 14 shows the Windows File Explorer with complete HCP Anywhere integration. Hitachi provides custom icons to indicate the state of HCP Anywhere files and directories. For example, in Figure 14, the Demo-Decks directory is exclusive to this user, while the Docs, New Folder, and test directories have been shared with other users, as indicated by the person attached to the folder icon. All of the files have been successfully synced to the HCP Anywhere servers, as indicated by the green checkmarks on the file icons. Figure 14. HCP Anywhere Windows Integration In addition to traditional access through web browsers, Windows, and Mac PCs, HCP Anywhere supports ios (iphone and ipad), Android, and Windows phone devices. ESG Lab examined the Android phone app, as shown in Figure 15. On the far left is the settings panel, where users can see the amount of storage consumed and set limits on file sizes and whether HCP Anywhere will use cellular bandwidth or Wi-Fi bandwidth. Users can easily find important or frequently used files in the favorites panel. Files appear in the favorites panel (middle-left) when marked by a star in the file explorer panel (far right). The middle-right panel shows the create link panel, enabling users to share files and folders directly from the mobile user interface. Shared links automatically expire in a maximum of 730 days, and users can set the links to expire sooner. This forces users to reevaluate the necessity of a long-lived share, helping to control access to corporate data. Shared links can have an associated password, and can be restricted to just those internal to the organization.
16 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 16 Figure 15. Android Mobile User Interface Why This Matters Training users on new tools and processes was the second most cited challenge security was the first by organizations who have deployed a corporate OFS account according to ESG research. 3 Ease of use is especially important for a corporate on-premises file sharing solution intended to replace the free OFS solutions that employees use without the knowledge of IT. Unless that new solution is easy to use and provides the features that users require, employees may continue to use public OFS applications unless strictly prohibited. ESG Lab validated that the HCP Anywhere solution was easy to use and deploy with a clean, uncluttered GUI. For administrators, setting up user accounts was simple and fast. System monitoring and management is enhanced with the dashboard view, and IT policies can be implemented by group with easy drill-down to individual users or devices if needed. The redundant nodes in the HCP Anywhere pod and robust HCP back-end ensure a rock-solid foundation for file sharing. Integration with Active Directory ensures corporate user authentication, and integration with virus scanning and other corporate security initiatives are supported. Data is shared only by using intelligent links that expire. From the administration GUI, IT can easily perform tasks such as enabling and disabling accounts, editing user credentials, and remotely wiping anywhere-specific data from devices in case of loss or theft. Mobile devices are secured with a user profile and require an extended lock code. From the user perspective, the similar look and feel among all platforms (computer/mobile device/web) makes it easy to access and share files regardless of location, without using portable drives or filling up mailbox quotas with attachments. The HCP Anywhere personal folder is quickly accessible on all devices, which simplifies and speeds file sharing. Additional features such as alert and device management and activity viewing are available through the self-service web portal. 3 Source: ESG Research Report, Online File Sharing and Collaboration: Deployment Model Trends, February 2014.
17 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 17 Hitachi Data Ingestor Remote Server Hitachi Data Ingestor remote server is designed for remote locations with little or no IT presence. HDI remote server presents a standards-based file system interface to users that is tightly integrated with HCP to provide seamless data access and a wide range of advanced storage features. Users at the remote site use CIFS or NFS to access the HDI remote server as a standard NAS file server. HDI remote server securely migrates inactive content to a central HCP and maintains a local link to the migrated content, referred to as a stub. When a user accesses a stubbed file, the full file contents are automatically retrieved by HDI remote server, replacing the stub. This delivers effectively bottomless storage capacity (up to 400 million files per HDI remote server) to remote sites. For distributed organizations and service providers with many small remote locations or customers with little or no dedicated IT staff, HDI remote server provides centralized configuration, management, and reporting via HCP Anywhere as well as remote provisioning, where organizations ship HDI remote server to remote sites that then simply connect it to the network and power it on. As Figure 16 shows, users at remote sites have full access to all their content, including content that has been migrated to the HCP. Figure 16. Hitachi Data Ingestor Remote Server Architecture ESG Lab Testing Hitachi developed HDI remote server for ease of administration and deployment. In addition to the traditional method of configuring all parameters through a web-based wizard interface directly on the HDI remote server, administrators can also use the HCP administration console to create predefined provisioning templates for multiple HDI remote server units. When a unit is deployed in the field, only a few parameters are required. The rest of the configuration is retrieved from the HCP and applied directly to the HDI remote server.
18 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 18 ESG Lab followed the steps an organization or service provider would take to set up an HDI remote server before shipping it to a remote site. First a web browser was used to log in to an un-configured HDI remote server. Following security best practices, the unit immediately required the administration password to be changed from the default (see Figure 17). Figure 17. HDI Remote Server Web Interface Hitachi s configuration wizard on HDI remote server helpfully provides a clear list of steps taken by the configuration wizard. Figure 18. HCP Provisioning Wizard for HDI Remote Server: Overview ESG Lab next followed the steps of the wizard. This required providing networking and time information, and the authentication between HDI remote server and HCP. Administrators can choose to export the file system to local users with CIFS (SMB), NFS, or both. If using CIFS, the CIFS user authentication needs to be specified. Then, with a mouse click, the configuration is applied to HDI remote server (see Figure 19).
19 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 19 Figure 19. HCP Provisioning Wizard for HDI Remote Server: Progress Applying the configuration took a matter of minutes, at which point HDI remote server was ready to use. The webbased administration console also provides a dashboard, as shown in Figure 20. Administrators are provided with basic status information, local storage capacity, and the status of any scheduled tasks. Figure 20. HCP Dashboard for HDI Remote Server Next, ESG Lab used the HCP Anywhere administration console to create a provisioning template, enabling quick and painless deployments of multiple HDI remote server units to the field. Using the web-based interface, the create template wizard was started. The template was named, and, similar to the local configuration wizard, basic parameters for networking, time, and authentication were provided (see Figure 21).
20 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 20 Figure 21. HCP Anywhere Configuration Wizard for HDI: Networking, Time, Authentication Configuration The next step, as shown in Figure 22, was to configure the HCP information, the file services provided to local users, and the status reporting interval. Once the settings were saved, the provisioning template was available to be applied to any HDI remote server unit in the inventory. Figure 22. HCP Anywhere Configuration Wizard for HDI Remote Server: HCP, Services, Reporting Configuration Next, ESG Lab imported an xml file containing a list of the HDI remote server units in inventory. This populated the available inventory list in the HCP Anywhere administration console. An HDI remote server unit was selected, and the recently created provisioning template was applied to the unit.
21 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 21 The final step was to set a unique admin password for the unit. The unit and password could then be sent to a remote site, where the only steps required by the onsite administrator would be to plug in power and networking. At that point, HDI remote server would be fully operational. Why This Matters ESG research found that ease of management and administration for IT was cited by more than one-quarter of current and potential OFS users as one of their five most important criteria when it comes to selecting an online file sharing and collaboration vendor. 4 Installing, configuring, and managing traditional NAS systems can be complex and time consuming for both distributed enterprises and service providers, especially when many remote offices and smaller customers lack dedicated IT staff. A great deal of time and money can be wasted flying specialists to multiple remote locations to deploy and manage legacy systems for widely distributed file and content sharing. HDI remote server and HCP offer native file system access to a hugely scalable distributed object store with advanced storage and management capabilities. Using easy-to-follow configuration wizards, ESG Lab was able to create a provisioning template and configure multiple HDI remote server systems at once to provide file services to small business clients or remote office users with native, local access. 4 Source: ESG Research Report, Online File Sharing and Collaboration: Deployment Model Trends, February 2014.
22 Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 22 ESG Lab Validation Highlights ESG Lab confirmed that HCP with HDI offers effectively unlimited, backup-free file and content storage while providing local file system performance to users. Active/active replication enables the creation of a global access topology, providing content synchronization across an entire enterprise. ESG Lab was extremely impressed with the ability of HCP to provide mobility between private and public clouds using adaptive cloud tiering without compromising enterprise control. ESG Lab validated that the HCP Anywhere solution was easy to deploy for administrators and easy to use. Setting up user accounts was simple and fast, while the dashboard view provided clear monitoring. IT policies can be implemented by group with easy drill-down to individual users or devices if needed. The redundant nodes in the HCP Anywhere pod and robust HCP back-end ensure a rock-solid foundation for file sharing. Security was robust, using integration with Active Directory, virus scanning, and other corporate security initiatives. Data is shared using intelligent links that expire. IT can easily perform tasks such as enabling and disabling accounts, editing user credentials, and remotely wiping anywhere-specific data from devices in case of loss or theft. Mobile devices are secured with a user profile and require an extended lock code. The similar look and feel among all platforms (computer/mobile device/web) makes it easy for users to access and share files regardless of location, without using portable drives or filling up mailbox quotas with attachments. The HCP Anywhere personal folder is quickly accessible on all devices, which simplifies and speeds file sharing. Additional features such as alert and device management and activity viewing are available through the self-service web portal. Native file system access to a hugely scalable distributed object store with advanced storage and management capabilities was provided by HDI and HCP. ESG Lab was able to quickly and easily create a provisioning template and configure multiple HDI remote server systems at once to provide file services to small business clients or remote office users. Issues to Consider The results and data presented in this document are based on testing executed in a controlled lab environment. Due to the many variables in each production environment, it is still important to perform testing in your own environment to validate the applicability of the solution to your needs.
23 The Bigger Truth Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 23 Cloud implementations have gained significant ground in corporate IT departments and with service providers in recent years the cost and business-process benefits are compelling. They include simplified provisioning, better application availability, centralized data management and protection, and the opportunity to improve service levels while minimizing capital and operational costs. Cloud-based applications and infrastructure can make an organization more agile and responsive to market conditions and their users. But for many, getting started in the cloud is a challenge. At the same time, public OFS solutions are extremely popular, and for good reasons: They are inexpensive, simple to use, and provide a valuable service. However, they can also present challenges to organizations tasked with providing access to and protecting confidential data. ESG research indicates that organizations deploying OFS report security concerns, training users on new tools and processes, integration with existing IT tools and processes, and ongoing questions about data ownership and regulatory compliance as top challenges when deploying corporate OFS accounts. 5 These are not the only challenges facing IT. ESG confirms that managing data growth remains a top IT priority. 6 In addition, as IT delivery becomes more service-focused, user expectations for application availability and data access are soaring. Providing these services to remote and branch offices is particularly difficult, and as a result, IT and cloud providers are anxiously seeking a faster, simpler way to provide a full suite of data services on demand, without increasing cost or complexity. Providing a comprehensive suite of file and content services can make a big difference, but IT and service providers must maintain data control, providing security and ensuring compliance efforts that are often at cross-purposes with sharing files online. Hitachi Content Platform creates an integrated offering that provides distributed consumers of IT, such as remote office workers, branch office workers, or cloud storage users, with a seamlessly scalable, backup-free storage solution. HDI and HDI remote server serve as easy cloud entry at the edge, caching active data for rapid access, while all data is stored, protected, retained, and governed centrally on HCP. With HCP Anywhere, HDS takes advantage of its own proven, rock-solid object storage platform to provide an on-premises file sharing solution that makes users more productive without jeopardizing data. Remote office and cloud consumers obtain data services equal to or better than public OFS services, while cloud providers and IT departments can consolidate service delivery and data management. ESG Lab testing demonstrated that HDI remote server can be set up quickly and easily by central IT or a service provider so that a remote site need only plug it into the network and power it on. HDI remote server management via HCP Anywhere is intuitive and complete. ESG Lab was able to provide mobility between private and public clouds using adaptive cloud tiering without compromising enterprise control. Active/active replication enabled ESG Lab to create a global access topology, providing content synchronization across an entire enterprise or service provider network with robust multitenant controls. ESG Lab also validated that HCP Anywhere provides employees with an easy and effective method of sharing files that maintains corporate IT control and security, limiting data vulnerability and compliance risk. Over the years, Hitachi Data Systems has proven it has an innovative approach to solving IT challenges, and Hitachi Content Platform consisting of HCP, HCP Anywhere, HDI, and HDI remote server proves the point yet again. The combined solution is secure, efficient, and easy for IT and users to operate; it delivers on all the critical requirements for online file sharing and enterprise content management. For both corporate IT organizations and cloud service providers, this solution can ease the pain of massive unstructured data growth while delivering an easy entry to a cloud deployment. 5 Source: ESG Research Report, Online File Sharing and Collaboration: Deployment Model Trends, February Source: ESG Research Report, 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February 2014.
24 Appendix Lab Validation: Hitachi Data Systems Content Platform Portfolio 24 Table 1. ESG Lab Test Bed Hardware Software Hitachi Data Ingestor Remote Server Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere 1.3 Hitachi Content Platform 7.0 Clients Windows 7 Professional Windows 7 Enterprise Version SP1 SP1
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