There's very little that's new here. According to several HDS blogs, the company has been providing cloud-like capabilities for years, particularly through file and storage virtualization.
Today's announcement is primarily about the new version of HCAP, called the Hitachi Content Platform. This platform is software that will reside in a four-node cluster of Intel servers.
The software lets companies and service providers assemble discrete storage units into a single pool, and then partition that pool for different customers, whether it's a single organization dividing storage for separate business units, or a service provider carving out multitenant storage for its customers.
According to Miklos Sandorfi on his HDS blog, HCP has three key features:
First is multitenancy capability, in which a storage pool is divided into namespaces, whether for separate customers in a service provider model, or for different business departments in a private cloud model.
Each tenant can apply their own policies to data stored in the cloud. For example, Department A may have retention requirements of 20 years, while Department B may only want to store content for 12 months. Each department can be accommodated, even though they may both have content on the same set of disks.
Second is a quota system for available storage. HCP can be set up so that tenants can be warned when they exceed their maximum storage limit, or have their write privileges removed.
Third is a chargeback system tied to the tenant's namespace, so that the storage provider can track and bill tenants based on usage.
HCP will support different flavors of Hitachi storage products, including the Universal Storage Platform V, and the Adaptable Modular Storage. The company also says it can support third-party storage systems, but that requires the Universal Storage Platform V, which acts as a front-end gatekeeper to virtualize competing storage products.
According to the company, HCP will be available before the end of the year.