HDS Lights Way For Advanced Content Archiving

Fresh off of its biggest platform refresh in more than two years, Hitachi Data Systems today said it has significantly upgraded the digital archiving appliance it co-created with Archivas, adding diskless storage, de-duplication and new security features.

HCAP version 2.0 provides an archive tier of storage where aged data on primary storage can be stored for specific periods of time to meet corporate and federal record-retention regulations.

The product competes with EMC’s  Centera and IBM’s  DR550 machines in the race to command the market for preserving unstructured data, such as files, images and Web content.

Actually, Asim Zaheer, senior director of business development for content archiving at HDS, said HCAP V 2.0 will outperform those machines, thanks to enhancements to the box’s scalability, capacity and speed.

For example, HCAP V 2.0 holds up to 20 petabytes  in an 80-node archive system, supporting as many as 32 billion objects. Moreover, Zaheer said performance can be up to 500 percent greater than the first HCAP platform and the competing products from EMC and IBM.

HCAP for the archive.
Source: HDS

HCAP V 2.0 comes in two versions: as an integrated appliance with HDS’ WMS100 storage array or as a diskless version (HCAP-DL) in which the storage has been disaggregated from the server to let customers choose from among all of HDS’ major storage systems, including WMS100, AMS200/500/1000, USP V, or NSC55 systems, to match the right performance.

The diskless version of HCAP V 2.0 reduces the number of server nodes required, which means less heat emission and power consumption. Zaheer said this is a major departure from rival systems, whose archive systems include a server with storage embedded in the server.

To safeguard customers’ data, HDS is also introducing new encryption that allows a customer to store their security keys in the HCAP V 2.0 and “secretly share” that key across multiple nodes within the archive. So, rather than store the whole key in one of the devices, it’s distributed in pieces across all of the nodes within the archive.

This means a user would need all of the nodes, or devices, within a computer system to decrypt the content. So, Zaheer said, if a server or storage device is stolen from the cluster, the device would be unreadable by any other device. Most digital archive systems use key management as layered applications that sit unprotected outside the system, he added.

Moreover, HCAP V 2.0 now employs full object replication (file, metadata and policies), using digital signatures to ensure authenticity, along with data compression for saving bandwidth and encryption of data at rest.

Another new perk for HCAP V 2.0 is the addition of data de-duplication, which eliminates redundant data because only a unique instance of the data is retained on a disk or tape.

To do this, HCAP V 2.0 provides both a hash comparison and binary comparison to ensure objects are duplicates. This avoids so-called “hash collisions,” where different objects could have the same cryptographic hash key. Customers will be able to see how many duplicates were eliminated and the amount of total storage capacity saved.

The HCAP 2.0 comes two weeks after HDS launched the Universal Storage Platform V, a heavily virtualized storage array designed to help the largest companies in the world store their digital content.

HDS believes HCAP 2.0, used in conjunction with a USP V, can form a formidable archiving and storage powerhouse for big businesses.

For example, as part of a virtual pool with the USP V, data in the archive can be offloaded from expensive disk to less expensive Advanced Technology Attachments  or Serial ATA .

HCAP V 2.0 is priced between $10 to $14 per gigabyte, contingent on the storage platform, disk size and performance optimization. But HDS said an entry-level, 5-terabyte system runs around $70,000.

In related news, HDS CEO David Roberson departed HDS to become senior vice president and general manager of HP’s enterprise storage business. HDS picked Minoru Kosuge, chief architect of HDS’ Universal Storage Platform, to replace him.

The company also said Jack Domme, executive vice president, global solutions strategy and development, has been tabbed COO.

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