Hitachi: some data are more equal than others

Information lifecycle is not one-dimensional

Hitachi Data Systems believes it has yet another new way to manage storage for optimal efficiency, one that is sensitive both to the needs of different applications and to the “information lifecycle”.

The Hitachi HiCommand “tiered storage manager" adopts a “multi-dimensional” approach, says Hitachi’s Sydney-based marketing manager Tim Smith. Rather than the simple speed-cost trade-off usually applied to hierarchical storage, more finely-tuned efficiency is possible by taking into account the differing security, privacy and availability parameters of data used by various applications.

The scheme, using new management software on top of Hitachi’s TagmaStore platform, has something of the flavour of “application-centric” storage, the scheme whereby mission-critical applications dealing with fresh or rapidly changing data use the fastest storage.

But the importance of a piece of data need not just vary with time in a linear way, becoming less important as it ages, Smith says. Payroll and human resources information, for example, becomes very mission-critical on a monthly or weekly payday but reduces in importance between those peaks and can be transferred to more economical storage.

HiCommand can be set up to handle such patterns transparently, says Smith.

TagmaStore, released late last year, ties together existing storage, perhaps from different suppliers, and presents it as a “pool” for unified management.

HiCommand is mainly of relevance to large organizations at present, says Smith, but with the inevitable fall in the cost of technology and the rising demand for sophisticated storage management even among medium-sized organizations, it could quickly become relevant to the “150-seat” scale of user, which is a sizeable market in New Zealand, he says.

Helping to boost demand are increasing sensitivity to accurate financial reporting and the awareness of how much valuable information resource is in the rapidly expanding email archive, he says.

HiCommand has one user already in New Zealand, whom Smith declined to name, and at least two more immediate prospects.

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