At Last, Hitachi Has Its Answer For Content Archiving

Late to the party, Hitachi Data Systems finally launches what it says is a content-archiving platform that's different from typical CAS products. For example, it keeps data in native file formats while also supporting standard interfaces.
Hitachi Data Systems has launched its first content-archiving platform, even though many of its rivals for years have offered systems that let customers archive and index enterprise content.

HDS says its Content Archive Platform, unveiled at the Gartner Storage Summit in Orlando, Fla., differs from typical content-addressed storage (CAS) solutions in that it keeps data in native file formats, such as NFS and CIFS, as well as supporting standard interfaces, such as SMI-S, HTTP and WebDAV.

That lets individuals browse through content via a standard file interface and provides original file names, rather than views of file types that are obscured by the replacement of a file name with a hash key, which ties customers to the application that created the data, says Derek Gaston, HDS senior director of archiving solutions.

"We will compete with the CAS products, however we are not doing content addressing per se," Gaston says. "What we are doing is more content-aware. We don't replace a file name with a 128-bit hash key."

As a result, Gaston says, the HDS solution maintains the same file format and file name that the application generates, Gaston adds.

"We are providing a much more open platform, which customers have been doing for years," he says.

Hitachi says its Content Archive Platform scales to more than 300 TB and supports 350 million files per archive. It will initially come with rack mounted X86-based servers, up to four 2U units. Each server supports up to 4 GB of cache. HDS will initially support its WMS100 storage system with plans to support its other offerings over time.

A key component if the platform is the Hitachi Content Archiver, based on software licensed by Archivus, which provides policy management, intelligence and authentication. The software is preconfigured on the servers.

Looking to build a software ecosystems based on its new content-archiving line, HDS launched an ISV program with 14 specific partners disclosed. Among then are CA, Open Text, Symantec, CommVault, Minosa Systems and Princeton Softech.

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