HDS bridges server-storage virtualization gap

By Dave Simpson

-- With the over-arching goal of creating tighter synergies between server virtualization and storage virtualization, Hitachi Data Systems recently rolled out Hitachi Storage Cluster for Microsoft Hyper-V, which extends business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) for Hyper-V environments to remote sites.

HDS' technology works with Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Multipath I/O and clustering, and includes HDS products such as Hitachi Storage Cluster (which manages replication and works with Microsoft Failover Clustering); TrueCopy and/or Hitachi Universal Replicator (HUR) replication software; and the company's Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) and/or Unified Storage Platform (USP) disk arrays. The solution also includes automated failover and data resynchronization, as well as failback of virtual machines (VMs).

HDS refers to the strategy as end-to-end (E2E) virtualization.

"We're trying to bridge the gap between server and storage virtualization to drive efficiency," says Heidi Biggar, a solution marketing principal with HDS, "and BC/DR is the first proof point."

Companies can use the synchronous TrueCopy replication for business continuity scenarios, or the asynchronous HUR replication for disaster recovery scenarios. When implemented with the USP-V (virtualization) disk platform, users can integrate heterogeneous disk arrays into the configuration. (Hitachi claims to have shipped more than 11,000 USP-V controllers.)

How HSC works

In normal operation, VMs run on the primary server and all data is replicated to a remote system. In the event of a server failure or scheduled maintenance, VMs can be migrated to another local server via Microsoft technology. In the event of a major outage at the primary site, all replicated VMs failover automatically to the recovery site, Biggar explains.

When the primary site comes back online, data is automatically re-synchronized, VMs are moved back to the primary site via Hitachi's failback technology, and normal operations are resumed.

Although Hitachi focused on HSC for Hyper-V at last week's Microsoft Tech-Ed conference, for VMware environments the company also recently announced a new version of its Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) that supports HDS' AMS disk arrays. (SRA already supports the USP disk arrays.) SRA provides disaster recovery for VMware SRM environments based on TrueCopy or HUR replication.

Related articles:
HDS offers free storage virtualization software
HDS expands software to virtual servers, application monitoring
PHD Virtual improves VM backups
UltraBac streamlines VMware backups

This article was originally published on May 22, 2009