The Hitachi Data Ingestor, which is implemented as a physical or virtual appliance, can be installed in branch or remote offices, where it communicates with the Hitachi Content Platform over IP. The Hitachi Content Platform is an object-based storage system, which the company acquired from Archivas in 2007. It stores unstructured data--files, spreadsheets, medical images--in a cluster of as much as 40 PB in size.
Hitachi enhanced its Hitachi Data Ingestor appliances with the ability to allow multiple appliances to read data from a single namespace located on a centrally located Hitachi Content Platform box. This capability allows customers to share content over a distributed IT or cloud environment. In an implementation of this capability, a customer could update price lists and distribute them to users by writing them to the file system of a Hitachi Data Ingestor in one location. The files are then migrated to the Hitachi Content Platform in another location, where they retrieved by other Hitachi Data Ingestors and read by users in other locations.
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Hitachi also added the ability to restore deleted or previous versions of files with the assistance of the Hitachi Data Ingestor. This capability allows users to perform their own file restorations, without the assistance of an IT administrator. The restore capability is implemented by the Hitachi Data Ingestor, which creates a snapshot directory where files are stored. Users can then access the snapshot file and restore it to their local directory.
In addition, the Hitachi Data Ingestor now allows the migration of data from NAS appliances and Windows file servers. This capability also supports automated throttling so that migration is transparent and relatively non-disruptive. The NAS migration capability at present supports CIFS-based NetApp and Windows servers. NFS is expected to be supported in the future.
Cumulatively, Hitachi is making its Hitachi Content Platform and Hitachi Data Ingestor more useful to customers. Recently, the company introduced clustering of Hitachi Data Ingestors for high availability and a file serving capability for remote and branch offices. It allowed the Hitachi Data Ingestor to run as a virtual appliance on VMware vSphere-enabled servers and added a Hitachi-run cloud file service for users who don't want to manage their clouds by themselves.
Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.
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