HP Discover: combining back-up systems with Federated Catalyst

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(Source: HP)

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10 June 2014 | 0

Just as computing power and primary storage are becoming virtual shared resources, back-up capacity is the latest resource to become pooled, with promises of easier management.

Hewlett-Packard introduced its StoreOnce Federated Catalyst at the Discover conference in Las Vegas. The new software lets enterprises take several HP StoreOnce 6500 back-up appliances, each of which may have several back-up stores within it, and manage them all as one virtual store of data. Later, HP will introduce it for the older StoreOnce 6200 line and may extend the technology to its software-based StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance and let users extend the back-up pool to cloud resources.

That might make life easier for the IT department at BlueShore Financial, a financial institution in British Columbia, Canada that uses the StoreOnce 6200.

“Right now it’s a lot of manual work to manage all these individual Catalyst stores,” said Ryan Burgess, manager of technical infrastructure at BlueShore. The company runs a lean IT shop with just 12 employees, none a storage specialist. Burgess is investigating Federated Catalyst as a potential time-saver and a way to spread data from various applications across all the nodes in a 6200. Right now, data streams from VMware and Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server all have to go into their own data stores.

“From what I understand and what I expect, it will be giving us that easier management, but also better utilisation of the assets we have,” Burgess said. That could help prevent one node from getting overloaded and forcing BlueShore to buy more hardware, he said.

StoreOnce Federated Catalyst is designed to do that work itself. The software lets IT managers pool the capacity of multiple storage nodes — initially, four StoreOnce 6500 nodes — to form what appears as one large data store. Within that pool, an enterprise can add new nodes and add capacity to existing nodes. The software also extends data deduplication across the whole store, so with 860TB of usable capacity and a 20-to-1 deduplication ratio, Federated Catalyst can encompass a total logical back-up capacity of 17PB.

Typical back-up systems on the market now can only perform deduplication across one node, according to HP, while the StoreOnce 6500 has been able to do so on two controllers. Though Federated Catalyst allows for deduplication across four 6500 controllers to start with, HP could expand that to eight, the maximum number of nodes in a cluster, said Craig Nunes, vice president of marketing for HP Storage.

All told, Federated Catalyst can cut management overhead by 75%, according to HP.

List prices for the StoreOnce 6500 start at $375,000 (€277,000). Federated Catalyst will be available starting in July, with prices starting at $37,500 (€27,700) per couplet, or pair of nodes configured for failover and autonomic restart.

 

Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service

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