In this episode, I’m with Jeff Lundberg (Senior Product Marketing Manager at HDS) and we talk about:

– HDS HCP ecosystem (introduction and components)
– How HCP components are deployed
– HCP S10

Full transcript of the show

Enrico: Hi, everyone, and welcome back to Juku Bits. Today, I’m with Jeff Lundberg, senior project manager at HDS for object storage. Hi, Jeff. How are you?

Jeff Lundberg: I’m doing well, Enrico. Thank you.

Enrico: Good. I’m quite a fan of object storage. Your solution from the end user’s perspective is very interesting, because you are building a kind of ecosystem around the core platform. Can you introduce that concept, and talk about the company that you are developing?

Jeff Lundberg: Sure. We have an offering, just the core object store itself is called Hitachi Content Platform. We’ve had that for, oh, boy, eight, nine years now. What we’ve seen over that time is object stores started in the archive and compliance space, but they’ve really become the core storage infrastructure behind a lot of the cloud services that people find in the market today and are gravitating towards. Some of the key use cases for that are things like file services and file sync and share. We’ve expanded the object store to support those use cases with some of our own offerings in this space.

In addition to the Hitachi Content Platform as the object store, we have our own cloud gateway in the Hitachi Data Ingestor, and we have our own file sync and share offering. That is the Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere. Really, this gives us the ability to bring an integrated solution to our customers, as opposed to them having to put together different pieces of open source and third-party products and try to maintain and support those over time.

Enrico: That’s really interesting. Can you spend a few more words about the NAS gateway and the sync and share? How do you deploy them to the customer? Are they digital appliances or physical appliances? How-

Jeff Lundberg: Yeah. That’s one of the nice things about our offering. All of these components are available as appliances, where we provide the servers and the storage and the software and the switching, and so forth, as part of an appliance package, or we can provide just the servers with the software so they can attach to existing storage investments that people have made around Hitachi arrays and so forth. We also offer them as software-only solutions that can run in a VMware environment. You can really pick the right mix of, maybe I do want a big, integrated, tested, configured appliance in my data centers, but when I’m dealing with my remote and branch offices, I just want to push a VMware image out there.

When I want to send a very small physical box, like a little toaster oven to these remote and branch offices I have or these cloud services customers, so that they have a local cache they can access the data that they need. They have that physical box that they can go touch and say, “All my data is in there.” When it comes to HCP Anywhere, it’s a lot like the sync and share products that people are familiar with – the dropboxes, the boxes, etc, but it’s managed and controlled and deployed within your own data center. You have that extra layer of security and control over all of this data that your users are synchronizing and sharing across all their different devices. It supports Windows phones, iOS, Android, Macs and PCs and so forth.

It’s really trying to bring some of those consumer-type products that have really gotten their way into the enterprise just through users deploying them on their own, but giving organizations an option to bring all of that in-house, have a little bit more control over it, and have a single solution that they can then offer to all of their lines of business or their cloud customers, and say, “You can do this in a more controlled, centralized manner where we can apply all of our compliance rules and do discovery and things like that.”

Enrico: One more thing that is really interesting about your platform, it’s not that you are not developing only the front end ecosystem but also the back end ecosystem. In the past, you had the ability to go on public clouds, so tiering functionalities. Lately, you have introduced a new appliance, if I can call that an appliance, the HCP S10. Can you explain how it works, and which kind of role it has in the [inaudible 00:05:13] ecosystem?

Jeff Lundberg: Absolutely. One of the things that we’ve tried to do with the content platform is make it very flexible from the kinds of applications and data sources that can work with it, so we support a lot of different protocols from S3 to HTTP to Rest-type protocols, as well as the more standard NFS and CIFS and even some of the SMTPs, if you wanted to say journal exchange emails in. On the back end, we’ve also, traditionally, used this with our array technologies, but we have versions that come with on-board disk. We can tier to clouds, as you mentioned, so it’s not just, put everything in your HCP. You can store it all there, and then you can use service plans to automate the movement of data into Amazon or Google or Azure or any other S3 type of cloud service provider.

That still gives you all that centralized tracking of this data: where it flows in from, where it flows out to, encrypt it before it goes to the cloud. A lot of different capabilities that really enable that hybrid architecture. For those that want to have that cloud price point, but don’t want to bear the risk of putting their data in the public clouds, we did come up with the S10 that you mentioned. We traditionally, again, used arrays as part of the storage for HCP. Now we have an option where people can use an erasure coded storage platform that allows them to use more of the commodity disk type price points, but get the kinds of data protection capabilities that are needed in an enterprise setting, but doing that at a lower price point.

This, again, is all about choice. I can have my hot data on an array or in an on-board disk. I can take some of my colder data and put it into a local erasure coded tier. Maybe, at some point when I do understand that there’s a data set that is perfectly fine to put out into the public cloud, I can pick that up, store it out in the public cloud, and still keep track of it all from my HCP.

Enrico: Good. Sounds like a real interesting story. We have only five minutes, but I would like to continue for hours talking about your server. In any case, thank you very much for your time, Jeff.

Jeff Lundberg: Thank you, Enrico. Happy to talk again any time.

Enrico: Bye. Bye-bye.

Jeff Lundberg: Bye.