Cloud and virtualised storage strategies explained by Hitachi Data Systems

HDS' solutions for virtualised environments shown at VMWorld 2010 includes a new adaptable modular series, the AMS200, which is a modular system that supports VMware vStorage application programming interfaces (APIs).

According to HDS, these APIs support a technology called Virtual APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) that allows companies to increase their virtual machine densities.

Infosecurity asked Collier what HDS' strategy with VMWare is and how this differs from a traditional (physical) data centre environment.

It's important to realise, she says, that storage is just that: storage, regardless of whether the data is being stored in a data centre, in the cloud, or in a VMware environment.

The main issue for most major companies, she says, is the task of securely optimising the storage system.

HDS' approach, she explained, is to look at how best to manage the system for a customer – whether they are using a data centre and are thinking of migrating to a VMware environment, or a cloud computing system – or both – and all points in between.

"It all comes down to optimising the technology. There are lots of different layers to look at, but for many clients, introducing VMware to the mix is a slow progression, rather than a major switch", she said.

Interestingly, Collier says she is now seeing a growing number of mid-sized companies adopting virtualised and cloud computing technologies to securely store their data.

And to do this effectively, she adds, they are outsourcing some of their systems, rather than all at the same time. "Once they are comfortable [with the technology] then they will outsource more of their secure storage systems", she explained.

At the major enterprise end of the secure storage storage market meanwhile, Collier says she is seeing IT managers taking a pragmatic approach to their secure data storage needs.

"They are seizing the opportunity for quick savings, but when it comes to their core applications, they are taking a more pragmatic approach", she said, adding that cloud computing and virtualisation are definitely the new kids on the block.

Even so, she says, you can still expect to see more and more companies going down these routes.

One of the biggest issues that clients have with cloud computing systems and storage, she went on to say, is the issue of where the client company's data is being stored.

"`Is my data being processed outside the European Union?' is one of the commonest questions we get asked. And `can I be sure where the data ends up' is another", she said.


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