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HDS flashes pay-per-use private cloud storage

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Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is announcing an on-site, fully-managed, pay-per-use storage system for businesses to use globally, and for use by service providers to build their own services.

It is the Hitachi Cloud Service for Private File Tiering (PFT) product, and HDS claims it is "the industry's first service that automatically adjusts utilisation and billing based on a business's (or their end-users') consumption".

Coming hours after Nirvanix's hNode announcement of an on-site, Nirvanix-managed private cloud product, the HDS public cloud product is supplied in partnership with Digi-Data Corporation, an internet storage software application company doing business in every geography with an HDS presence. It announced a partnership with HDS in October last year "to offer a comprehensive, secure cloud-storage portfolio".

Today's idea is to move inactive file data onto the PFT product, which is located on-premise under a storage-as-a-service (SaaS) contract, and managed by HDS.

HDS's chief strategist for file content, Mikos Sandorfi, said: "We find up to 80 per cent of NAS data could be static and a candidate for this." Such inactive data would be moved to the lower cost PFT platform with a stub left behind.

HDS' PFT product is based on its Content Platform object store, using AMS arrays with dense SATA drive enclosures or others, and additional HDS software management. There is also the Hitachi Data Protection Suite which is an OEM'd version of CommVault's Simpana data archiving and deduplicating software suite.

The PFT product can scale to support 40PB in a single cluster and has built-in RAID 6 protection and segregated namespaces to keep data isolated where need be. Different quality of service levels can be offered.

HDS will sell the product to enterprises and Digi-Data will sell it to telco, service provider and system integrator customers who will sell it on to small and medium enterprises using their own brands. These SME-supplying organisations will have access to metering features and integration to billing systems to charge end-users based on consumption. They can also use the product's APIs to link their own applications, business and processing systems, and end-user interfaces into the PFT cloud infrastructure.

Sandorfi reckons the service can help organisations lower the total cost of ownership of their NAS environment by at least 25 per cent. The big appeal to customers is made like this: Give us space in your data centre, a network link and a power supply, and we'll provide a storage box for secondary unstructured data that you never have to touch or manage, buy software license fees for, provision or backup. All you do is pay for the space you use, and save lots of money.

Customers get the claimed benefits of a private cloud for storage of low-risk data and HDS/ gets a presence in their data centres. Customers don't have to buy and operate and manage their own private cloud boxes, or go on a high-risk jump straight to a public cloud. If the product really does save money then quite a few customers could be tempted to take it up. ®

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