Hitachi Virtualizes New Data Migration Services

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-01-30 Print this article Print

Data migrations large and small now can be done any time-not just on weekends.

Hitachi Data Systems Jan. 29 introduced new data migration services based on its home-developed virtualization platform that enable enterprises to migrate data between heterogeneous storage systems in the background while servers and applications stay online.

Most data migrations between storage systems, especially between unrelated storage silos, take hours or days to complete and most often must be staged late at night or on weekends when a system is not being used.

Hitachi's new Data Migration Services provide a coalition of consultative services, advanced data movement software and intelligent virtualization controllers to enable difficult data migration projects with virtually no latency and scalability limitations, HDS Vice President of Global Solution Services Hicham Abdessamad told eWEEK.

"We're providing a whole new approach to data migration," Abdessamad said. "Virtualization is now a mature technology, with two and a half or three years in the market. We're leveraging our virtualization platform to do all this heavy lifting, and it happens transparently to all the users on a system."

Of course, there is a certain "performance dip" when system resources are refocused on a data movement project-especially a large one-during a production day, Abdessamad said.

"But it's really hardly noticeable," he said. "All the data movement happens in the background. The alternative of shutting down an entire host storage system in off-hours is much riskier than the real-time service we now have."

Migration and provisioning complexities often require shutting down applications to move data or provision new storage capacity, often costing in excess of $50,000 for each migrated array, according to independent studies conducted by CIO consultancy ITCentrix.

Click here to read about Hitachi's addition of virtualization capabilities to its blade servers. 

According to IDC, 60 percent of all data centers will relocate over the next five years, primarily for space, power and cooling reasons. Costs related to moving data and making changes to storage infrastructures can be substantial, Abdessamad said.

The Hitachi Data Migration Services portfolio includes GSS Data Migration Consulting and Implementation Services, based on industry best practices; Data Migration Expert Assistant, an advanced application that assists in the planning and execution of data migration to remove the risk of human error and speed the planning process; Tiered Storage Manager, which enables IT administrators to interactively match application quality-of-service requirements to heterogeneous storage assets; and Hitachi Virtualization, used to virtualize and aggregate data from existing storage systems, regardless of vendor, and migrate the data to new storage systems while the production applications continue running.

"Data migrations are never easy, no matter how big the data set is or how prepared a customer is," Brian Babineau, storage analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, told eWEEK. "Easy shouldn't be the focus; risk mitigation-with risk implying minimizing downtime and zero chance of data loss-is of utmost concern. Any customer would forfeit easy in favor of zero risk. The key thing from Hitachi Data Systems is that the services offerings focus on the risk side with products making the process simpler."

EMC, IBM, Hewlett-Packard-most all the big names have a migration service that they offer, said Tom Trainer, storage analyst with the Evaluator Group.

"HDS differentiates this with using knowledgeable people and the VM [virtual machine] unit," Trainer said. "Most other vendors have options for open-systems data and mainframe data migrations. HDS can cover the bases with this offering and make it easier for the user."

Click here for more information.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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