HDS Launches On-Site Cloud Storage Service

HDS is offering a compromise for IT managers who are wary of moving their customers' data to a cloud deployment: Now they can keep it in a data storage cloud on their own site.

Hitachi Data Systems knows that, for various reasons, a high number of enterprise IT managers are hesitant about forging ahead into cloud storage deployments-especially if the data they manage belongs to their customers.
So HDS is offering a compromise: Those IT managers can take the cloud plunge a baby step at a time.
The company on June 29 launched its Hitachi Cloud Service for Private File Tiering service with the idea that enterprise customers-specifically telephone companies, cloud service providers and systems integrators-can move their customers' older or lower-value file data into an on-site, cloud-type storage environment, let HDS handle the management and then pay only for only the capacity they consume.
Later, if they be so bold, those service providers can move some or all of that data into an off-site cloud storage facility also operated by HDS.
The first scenario does have a different twist in that HDS actually manages from afar the local storage within the customer's firewall. We repeat: Hitachi is managing cloud-type storage inside its customers' own arrays.
HDS is able to do this through a partnership with SAAS (software-as-a-service) provider Digi-Data. Hitachi already offers a public online cloud service for telecommunications, service providers and systems integrators looking to deliver storage-as-a-service to their consumer and small and midsize business customers, but this is a completely different approach.
"We're enabling our enterprise customers to move their long-tail data from a primary NAS [network-attached storage] environment to this cloud package, and since we actually own the equipment, the customer will have no capex [capital expenses]," Linda Xu, HDS' director of worldwide product marketing in File and Content Services, told eWEEK. "The package is fully managed by HDS, so customers will pay based only on consumption on a monthly basis."
This is the launch of a new series of cloud services HDS plans to roll out during the next year, Xu said. The company originally revealed its cloud plans in October 2009.
HDS will use as a basis for all these new services three key components: Hitachi Content Platform, Hitachi Remote Storage Management services and Hitachi Data Protection Suite software provided by its partner, CommVault.
Xu said a key advantage of the Hitachi storage infrastructure with Digi-Data applications and services is that service providers will have access to multiple connectivity options to the cloud and a reliable architecture for building and deploying an online cloud service.
Providers also have access to metering features, Xu said, and integration to billing systems to charge end users based on consumption. Using HDS' large set of APIs, providers can integrate their own applications, business and processing systems, and end-user interfaces into the cloud infrastructure, Xu said.
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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...