Lascon Storage was founded in 2000 and provides hints and tips on how to manage your data, strategic advice, news items and a discussion forum. A lot of this advice is about smarter, cheaper ways of working without compromising service.
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General Storage News

IBM Storage

Expect more from your storage: Introducing IBM Storwize V7000 Unified
New storage solutions rais expectations about performance, efficiency and ease of use. Store more – and more diverse – data with higher capacity drives, more remote mirroring options and integrated support for file storage.

Flexibility, automation, scalability and optimized performance
IBM System Storage DS8800 - Improve storage efficiency, throughput, and capacity with Easy Tier three tier support, larger drives, and advanced IBM zEnterprise integration. Expect your storage to automatically analyze, adapt to, and improve application performance.

IBM XIV, the industry’s most agile storage system
Improve efficiency for top tier workloads, combining unique XIV capabilities with high capacity 3TB drives maintains consistently high application performance and now stores 50% more data.

Hu Yoshidas blog

Digital Transformation with Application Aware Flash
Tue, 25 Oct 2016

QoS Flash.png

One of the outcomes for Digital Transformation should be to achieve cost savings and accelerate time to market by rethinking operations and processes. In other words, it is not just about the technology but how you rethink the operations and process to utilize the technology to accelerate customer engagement and enable breakthrough levels of operational efficiency.


Solid state memory in the form of NAND is an example of how technology can be transformative if we rethink the operations and process in its use as an application enabler rather than as a storage device that is just faster than disk. Unlike hard disks, flash is a programmable device where data is written and read from a virtual address space. Realizing this, Hitachi embedded a quad core processor with multi-pathing into their Flash Module Device (FMD) to increase performance, durability, capacity, and functionality over all other SSD devices. The result is a 14 TB FMD with embedded compression which is lower in cost than hard drives with no compromise in durability or flash performance. In fact, it has higher performance than most SSD’s since house-keeping functions like wear leveling and reformatting cells is done outside of the I/O path so performance does not degrade over time. The intelligence in the FMD enables it to offload the task of compression from the storage controller to the FMD device controller. It also provides an extra level of security where the FMD controller can shred every cell, even those that are not seen by the storage controller and report the status of the shredding for use by auditors.


Hitachi has also rethought the storage controller, so that all the functions of the Storage controller are provided by a storage hypervisor, the Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS). Just as the name implies, SVOS can:

• Virtualize heterogeneous external storage attached to our VSP storage for management consolidation, online migration and ROA, return on assets

• Virtualize internal and external storage with thin provisioning which enables capacity to be over-provisioned for maximum utilization

• Global Active Device: virtualization of a device across two VSPs for zero RTO and RPO

• Provide linked clones which enables Dev/Test to use real data without impacting the data in use by the application

• Dedupe and compress (SVOS level) to reduce the amount of capacity required to store data. Note: SVOS deduplication can be used with FMD compression instead of SVOS compression which offloads the compression work load from the VSP controller for higher performance

• Support block or file access without additional filer appliances and separate file management controllers

• Connect to the cloud with NAS and Data Migration to the Cloud (DM2C), which enables files to be moved from VSP to the cloud for cost control

• SVOS also increases flash performance by optimizing the VSP caching algorithms for FMD


The best part with SVOS 7 is that efficiency services are selectable and can be activated by workload. This allows IT teams to consolidate multiple workloads onto a single system for cost efficiency while still delivering application-optimized storage reduction. This is critical because every applications sees different benefits from different technologies. Running services that add little / no value on a workload can add unnecessary latency. For instance, deduplication works very well for virtual machines and VDI but not for high performance data bases which can benefit most from compression done in the FMD. SVOS also enables QoS to be specified for workloads

Flash QOS.png

While the main functions are done in software (SVOS), Hitachi continues to enhance the hardware architecture of the VSP with the announcement of two new VSP models, the all new, all flash VSP F1500 and the new hybrid G1500 which can be non-disruptively upgraded from the G1000.



`For more information, see Hitachi Data Systems Introduces New, Enhanced Flash Storage Lineup.

Putting a Finger on ATM Security
Mon, 17 Oct 2016


When I landed at Warsaw Chopin Airport last week to speak at a Hitachi Information Forum, I noticed several ATMs with Finger Vein readers. This was not surprising since the first Finger Vein ATM was installed in Poland by Poland's BPS SA bank in 2010. This was the first installation of this technology in Europe. In 2014, ITCARD, the second largest shared ATM network in Poland announced a contract with Hitachi Europe for a line of ATMs with finger vein readers at 1730 Wincor Nixdorf and Diebold ATMs throughout Poland. Today 36 banks in Poland use finger vein authentication in their ATMs.

Polish ATM.png

Finger Vein authentication technology was developed by Hitachi Omron in 2002. As of 2015 there were 80,000 ATMS in Japan utilized by 15 million users where Hitachi has 80% of the market. Hacking of ATMs has become a major concern for banks. In May an ATM heist involving around 1,400 machines in convenience stores in Japan resulted in the loss of 1.4 billion yen ($12.7 million.) by swiped counterfeit South African credit cards which use a magnetic swipe strip.The Chip and Pin ATM card is an attempt to address this but the card and pin number can be stolen. Some countries use fingerprint authentication but finger prints can be replicated and once it is replicated there is no way to change that finger print. Finger vein authentication can replace the chip and pin and cannot be replicated since it requires a finger attached to a living person. Finger vein patterns are created in the womb and remain the same and scales as we grow older and larger. It is lower cost than iris scanning, does not require touch contact, and requires less data to process than chip technology which means faster response time. Eliminating the need for bank cards or PIN numbers, eliminates problems relating to loss, theft or falsification of cards or passwords. As the population ages, managing the safe keeping of cards and remembering or changing passwords can be challenging. Banks can also use finger vein authentication systems to effectively manage transactions at bank counters and depositories.

FV Principle.png

There is a growing interest in Hitachi Finger Vein Technology. In 2014,  İşbank S.A., the largest commercial bank in Turkey, installed this technology and this year CTBC Bank, which is one of the leading banks in Taiwan,  is installing this  technology in all their branches. An LG-Hitachi joint venture installed its first finger vein ATMs at BNK Busan Bank in South Korea. There are privacy concerns in some countries regarding the use of biometrics which need to be resolved before we see wider acceptance.


In addition to ATM authentication, this technology can be used for access control to secure facilities. In Santa Clara we use Finger vein as well as card access control for some secure areas in our headquarters building. Hitachi Data Systems does not sell Finger Vein technology, but we access it through Hitachi America or Hitachi Europe. In the future we could integrate it into our IoT solutions. Finger vein authentication is another example of the digital power of one Hitachi.

Lascon Site News

Lascon latest major updates

Welcome to Lascon Storage. The site was founded in 2000 and provides hints and tips on how to manage your data, strategic advice and news items. Here is a list of recent major updates
DB2 database section updated October 2016
TSM hints and tips from IBM, updated October 2016
Flash Storage page updated September 2016
Oracle ASM page updated September 2016
Cloud Storage strategy updated August 2016
VMAX3 CLI commands updated July 2016
FDRinstant section updated June 2016
z/OS disks updated May 2016
z/OS utilities page updated April 2016
Enterprise Disk comparisons updated March 2016

Latest IBM RedBooks

VersaStack Solution by Cisco and IBM with Oracle RAC, IBM FlashSystem V9000, and IBM Spectrum Protect
Mon, 17 Oct 2016
Redbook, published: Mon, 17 Oct 2016

Dynamic organizations want to accelerate growth while reducing costs.

Enabling Hybrid Cloud Storage for IBM Spectrum Scale Using Transparent Cloud Tiering
Thu, 22 Sep 2016
Draft Redpaper, last updated: Thu, 22 Sep 2016

This IBM® Redbooks® publication provides information to help you with the sizing, configuration and monitoring of hybrid cloud solutions using the transparent cloud tiering (TCT) functionality of IBM Spectrum™ Scale.

IBM Spectrum Scale: Big Data and Analytics Solution
Mon, 22 Aug 2016
Redpaper, published: Mon, 22 Aug 2016

This IBM® Redguide™ publication describes big data and analytics (BD&A) deployments that are built on IBM Spectrum Scale™.

Benefits of Spectrum Scale with OpenStack Deployments
Tue, 19 Jul 2016
Redpaper, published: Tue, 19 Jul 2016

IBM® Spectrum Scale is software that is used to manage storage, provide massive scale, a global namespace, and high performance with several enterprise features.

Ready-to-use Virtual Appliance for Hands-on Spectrum Archive Evaluation
Mon, 11 Jul 2016
Redpaper, published: Mon, 11 Jul 2016

IBM® Spectrum Archive Enterprise Edition for the IBM TS4500, IBM TS3500, and IBM TS3310 tape libraries provides seamless integration of IBM Linear Tape File System™ (LTFS) with IBM Spectrum™ Scale by creating an LTFS tape tier.