Hitachi Data Systems Corp. is ramping up its focus on the cloud and virtualized storage space with an update to its content archiving platform.
The newly branded Hitachi Content Platform (formally known as Hitachi Content Archives Platform) is a system that HDS anticipates will be increasingly important as more organizations move toward private, public or hybrid cloud environments. The company said the large distributed object store will house unstructured content and will also have many new use cases beyond archiving — hence the platform’s name change.
HDS plans to target IT outsourcers, government and health care with the new platform. The platform’s major new feature is the multitenancy functionality, which lets users segregate data within different namespaces, according to Chris Willis, senior director of solutions consulting at HDS. For a large organization, this will allow different lines of business or different applications to be privately sealed off from each other, while still remaining on the same platform.
“It used to be a flat addressing space with a single user that could go out and do the search for any retrieval function you were looking at,” Willis said. “Now you can have individual managers for each one of the individual namespaces and the content is secure for each one.”
This will be especially useful as a central facility for federal or provincial branches of government, which could share the platform across multiple ministries. The different namespaces will ensure that each ministry will only be able to view and search the data in their own object store.
“When it comes time for some kind of data discovery event, you’d be able to go to this and in one single interface, search all the applications that are deposited into your archive,” Willis said. The updated and rebranded platform is part of HDS’ agile cloud computing strategy, aimed at simplifying adoption in the technology for enterprise environments.
Willis added that the content platform works well with HDS’ other line of cloud products and services and can act as the only storage island an organization needs for their cloud initiatives.
Dave Pearson, a senior analyst covering the storage industry for IDC Canada Ltd., said that HDS is wise to take advantage of its strengths in the storage industry, as opposed to focusing on other cloud choke points such security, in its push to support more cloud-based environments. The addition of HDS’ multitenancy functionality, he said, is unsurprising, considering that almost every cloud storage vendor has pegged this as a critical feature for cloud-based environments.
“The whole point of using a single large pool of infrastructure to service many clients is the fact that there are many different clients on there,” Pearson said. “Segregating their content and storage securely and logically is going to be a key aspect of that. If you’re looking at an ISP, a telecom company or a systems integrator, they obviously have to have a mechanism in place to easily and securely keep that content separate.”
In the future, Pearson added, he’d like to see Hitachi continue to push technologies that allow organizations to evolve into the cloud at their own pace.

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