Hu Yoshida

Digital Transformation with Application Aware Flash

Blog Post created by Hu Yoshida Employee on Oct 25, 2016

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One of the outcomes for Digital Transformation should be to achieve cost savings and accelerate time to market by rethinking operations and processes. In other words, it is not just about the technology but how you rethink the operations and process to utilize the technology to accelerate customer engagement and enable breakthrough levels of operational efficiency.


Solid state memory in the form of NAND is an example of how technology can be transformative if we rethink the operations and process in its use as an application enabler rather than as a storage device that is just faster than disk. Unlike hard disks, flash is a programmable device where data is written and read from a virtual address space. Realizing this, Hitachi embedded a quad core processor with multi-pathing into their Flash Module Device (FMD) to increase performance, durability, capacity, and functionality over all other SSD devices. The result is a 14 TB FMD with embedded compression which is lower in cost than hard drives with no compromise in durability or flash performance. In fact, it has higher performance than most SSD’s since house-keeping functions like wear leveling and reformatting cells is done outside of the I/O path so performance does not degrade over time. The intelligence in the FMD enables it to offload the task of compression from the storage controller to the FMD device controller. It also provides an extra level of security where the FMD controller can shred every cell, even those that are not seen by the storage controller and report the status of the shredding for use by auditors.


Hitachi has also rethought the storage controller, so that all the functions of the Storage controller are provided by a storage hypervisor, the Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS). Just as the name implies, SVOS can:

• Virtualize heterogeneous external storage attached to our VSP storage for management consolidation, online migration and ROA, return on assets

• Virtualize internal and external storage with thin provisioning which enables capacity to be over-provisioned for maximum utilization

• Global Active Device: virtualization of a device across two VSPs for zero RTO and RPO

• Provide linked clones which enables Dev/Test to use real data without impacting the data in use by the application

• Dedupe and compress (SVOS level) to reduce the amount of capacity required to store data. Note: SVOS deduplication can be used with FMD compression instead of SVOS compression which offloads the compression work load from the VSP controller for higher performance

• Support block or file access without additional filer appliances and separate file management controllers

• Connect to the cloud with NAS and Data Migration to the Cloud (DM2C), which enables files to be moved from VSP to the cloud for cost control

• SVOS also increases flash performance by optimizing the VSP caching algorithms for FMD


The best part with SVOS 7 is that efficiency services are selectable and can be activated by workload. This allows IT teams to consolidate multiple workloads onto a single system for cost efficiency while still delivering application-optimized storage reduction. This is critical because every applications sees different benefits from different technologies. Running services that add little / no value on a workload can add unnecessary latency. For instance, deduplication works very well for virtual machines and VDI but not for high performance data bases which can benefit most from compression done in the FMD. SVOS also enables QoS to be specified for workloads

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While the main functions are done in software (SVOS), Hitachi continues to enhance the hardware architecture of the VSP with the announcement of two new VSP models, the all new, all flash VSP F1500 and the new hybrid G1500 which can be non-disruptively upgraded from the G1000.



`For more information, see Hitachi Data Systems Introduces New, Enhanced Flash Storage Lineup.