Going Beyond Archive with Denser, More Intelligent Object Storage
Object storage has long been viewed as an archive and long-term retention platform. But in the age of data-driven business intelligence, more frequent and more sophisticated cyberattacks, and data privacy regulations, its value is quickly expanding as it meshes scalable, low-cost storage capacity with data indexing and mining capabilities. However, simply migrating to any object store is not enough. IT professionals should be sure to look for an object storage platform that integrates with intelligent data tiering and integration capabilities.
Hitachi Vantara’s Hitachi Content Platform (HCP)
For its part, enterprise storage vendor Hitachi Vantara offers its Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) object storage solution. The HCP architecture may be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance, or as stand-alone software on bare metal or virtualized infrastructure or on Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3) cloud object storage service. The architecture includes “G Nodes” of compute that control metadata management, replication, recovery, and facilitate access to the objects themselves. It also includes “S Nodes,” which create a global namespace of storage capacity.
HCP distributes data using an erasure coding approach to obtain data durability without requiring specialized LUN or RAID formatting, and to facilitate more cost-effective site-level recovery. HCP erasure coding also performs object-level deduplication and consistency checks. Additionally, HCP applies a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous replication capabilities to enable data ingest to occur and to facilitate data accessibility across a geographically distributed namespace. This approach also allows for flexibility with replication policies – for example, to set replication policies for specific namespaces and data sets. The platform supports multitenancy for better infrastructure utilization and simplified management, while it also automates data governance to ensure compliance with retention requirements.
In the form of system updates, Hitachi Vantara has introduced a new all-flash G10 node for faster metadata indexing and searching. It has also introduced new S11 and S31 nodes, which use 14TB hard disk drives for a denser storage footprint (81% more disks in the same rack space as compared to the preceding models, according to Hitachi). Additionally, it has introduced a number of security enhancements, including a new AWS user agent string that can restrict accidental or malicious data access.
Arguably, HCP’s biggest differentiators are its caching algorithms and its integration with the Hitachi Content Intelligence and Pentaho platforms. These apply machine learning (ML) for improved, data integration and orchestration, streamlined and more contextual identification and location of data, and predictive modeling. This enables HCP implementations to perform functions such as automated capacity and performance balancing and self-healing. It can also help to accelerate and improve the efficiency of analytics and business intelligence queries. For example, the software can aggregate data from multiple sources into a centralized hub, and then can instruct HCP where to locate the data and how to tier it based on how the data is being, or how it will be, used.
It’s frequently said that we live in a world of data deluge. Storage Switzerland acknowledges that one of the first and most challenging steps that the business needs to take when it comes to maximizing value out of their data is getting a handle on what the business is actually storing, and how that data is being used. Platforms like Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho can help significantly, and it can also help to uncover previously hidden relationships in data as well as other new insights. This is further supported by Hitachi Vantara’s focus on eliminating storage silos with HCP. Meanwhile, the denser configurations and data tiering capabilities facilitate a cost-effective infrastructure on which to store the ever-growing amounts of unstructured data with which modern enterprises are dealing.