—Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) today made headway in its quest to unify the management of block-, file-, and content-based storage with the introduction of the Hitachi Storage Command Suite—an integrated set of heterogeneous storage management software tools that make it possible to manage all data on HDS and virtualized hardware from a single portal.

The Storage Command Suite includes tools that address data mobility, replication, and tiered storage management services across file-, object-, and block-based storage assets, and provides application-centric capacity and performance management spanning the storage infrastructure.

The crown jewels of the suite are its ability to replicate thin-provisioned volumes and a new management tool called Hitachi Replication Manager, which is capable of managing data replication processes for both mainframe and open systems environments.

Christophe Bertrand, HDS’s senior director of solutions and product marketing for business continuity, says Replication Manager manages all data replicas across storage systems whether they are Hitachi systems or any other systems virtualized behind HDS storage.

Bertrand says Replication Manager also makes life easier for customers who have deployed thin provisioning in their environments. “It automates a lot of the manual configurations and functions necessary to replicate thin-to-thin volumes across any system,” he says. “This is significant for customers who want to enhance their disaster-recovery plans economically.”

Thin provisioning makes capacity reserved for a given application usable by other applications and users.

Also new to the HDS software line is a tool called Storage Capacity Reporter, which provides capacity reporting at the array, host, and application level across heterogeneous hardware without the need for host agents. It creates both current and historical capacity views, forecasting, and predictive analysis, and features custom reporting capabilities.

The rest of the Storage Command Suite comprises several existing HDS software products, including Hitachi Device Manager, Tuning Manager, Tiered Storage Manager, and Dynamic Link Manager Advanced.

Device Manager builds a common framework for configuring and provisioning storage on Hitachi storage systems and virtualized external storage. Tuning Manager is an automated, path-aware storage resource management (SRM) tool that maps, monitors, analyzes, and reviews storage network resources from the application to the storage device. Tiered Storage Manager moves data volumes non-disruptively to match application quality-of-service requirements. And Dynamic Link Manager Advanced protects data against various types of failure, including disk drive and other hardware and logical failures through load-balancing, path fail-over, and recovery capabilities.

Rick Freedman, senior product marketing manager, says HDS has taken a major step in consolidating and integrating its storage management products. “Storage Command is an integrated management suite for tiered storage management and business continuity. We have made strides in both adding functionality in the products as well as sharing information between them,” he says.

Hitachi also announced a round of hardware enhancements for the Universal Storage Platform V and VM systems, including new Dynamic Provisioning Software and the availability of 1TB SATA II drives. Support for flash-based drives is expected later this year.

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