The Solution: Diagnose a Right-Sized Strategy With Hitachi
Cornwall Community Hospital selected a whole-solution data center strategy based on Hitachi Compute Blades, Hitachi Unified Storage, and Hitachi Data Protection Suite with native connectivity to VMware vSphere. The Hitachi components are integrated and provide referenced architecture for VMware. The solution is designed for maximum performance and utilization through Hitachi best-in-class storage and software technologies. Because the Hitachi storage platform is also natively integrated with the vSphere API engine, multiple VMware servers can offload workloads to Hitachi storage. This strategy, in turn, frees resources on the servers, reduces traffic on the network, and significantly improves infrastructure efficiencies
To meet the server requirements for the new data center environment, Cornwall deployed 2 Hitachi Compute Blade 2000 solutions. Hitachi Compute Blade 2000 offers data center capabilities that go beyond traditional commodity blade technology. It provides high-end features for mission-critical data centers such as hybrid I/O and logical partitioning (LPAR), typically only found on more expensive RISC/UNIX servers. These features allowed IT to achieve the right balance of throughput and connectivity while dynamically adapting to changes in workload demands and meeting virtual server isolation needs. In the Cornwall solution, each chassis is composed of 3 E55R3 blades configured in a VMware vSphere cluster using ESX 5 to create and run virtual machines. To date, Cornwall Community Hospital has virtualized more than half of its servers, with immediate plans to reach 100% server virtualization.
The compute blades are connected via Fibre Channel to a Hitachi Unified Storage 150 containing a mix of 10K SAS and NL-SAS drives. This storage system supports all primary VMware storage and the healthcare information systems vital to operating the hospital. Built-in redundancy and automated failover in Unified Storage enable Cornwall to maintain at least 99.999% availability regardless of workload demands.
Hitachi Unified Storage 100 series delivers unwavering support for both block- and file-based storage access in a cost-efficient midrange footprint. Loaded with highend performance, dynamic thin provisioning, data deduplication and autotiering functionality, Unified Storage eases the management of pooled resources. Unified Storage is designed with native intelligence, for simpler administration, self-optimization and self-healing. Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning allocates just-in-time storage resources, automates load and capacity balance, and provides wide striping, all without administrator intervention. Cornwall will at some point move to Hitachi Dynamic Tiering for optimal placement of data among tiers based on performance needs. And, with up to 4PB of storage capacity, Unified Storage fosters virtual machine (VM) density and consolidation of multiple midtier VMware applications onto a single platform for simpler, cost-friendly virtualization management.
For backup purposes, Cornwall deployed Hitachi Unified Storage 110 with Hitachi Data Protection Suite, powered by CommVault, which tightly blends together snapshot, replication and persistent copy technologies. These Data Protection Suite features provide application awareness, security, deduplication and unified management. Cornwall uses Data Protection Suite’s native connectivity to vSphere via a Virtual Server iData Agent to eliminate any backup window issues and greatly simplify backup and recovery operations.
“We will be performing nightly backups and snapshots of the applications. For every server we virtualize, the Hitachi storage system adds the backup rotation. The blades are striped, which means we can roll back to whenever we need without having to worry about losing mission-critical data or applications. And we’re excited about Dynamic Tiering, which really impressed us and really sets Hitachi apart from other vendors. All in all, we have the means for a highly available, very robust orchestration,” details Alibrando.