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Patent Issued for Storage Apparatus and Method of Controlling Storage Apparatus

July 29, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent by the inventors Ninose, Kenta (Yokohama, JP); Eguchi, Yoshiaki (Yokohama, JP); Yamamoto, Akira (Sagamihara, JP); Satoyama, Ai (Sagamihara, JP), filed on June 7, 2011, was published online on July 15, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8782354 is assigned to Hitachi, Ltd. (Tokyo, JP).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In recent years, in order to handle various large-volume data in various government, corporate and university institutions and other types of institutions, data has been managed using comparatively large-scale storage apparatuses. A large-scale storage apparatus of this kind is configured having a plurality of storage devices (hard disk drives and so on, for example) arranged in an array. For example, one RAID (Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks) group is configured from one or more hard disk drives, and one or more logical volumes are defined in a physical storage area provided by one RAID group. Furthermore, the logical volumes are provided to a host apparatus. The host apparatus is able to perform data writing and reading by transmitting predetermined commands to the logical volumes.

"In order to handle the various large-volume data, a storage apparatus (hereinafter a storage apparatus will be referred to as a virtual storage apparatus), which provides a storage area of another storage apparatus to the host apparatus as part of its own storage area, is realized. For example, PTL1 discloses a technology which connects another storage apparatus (hereinafter the other storage apparatus will be described using the term external storage apparatus) to the virtual storage apparatus and provides virtual volumes to the host apparatus. By using actual volumes in the external storage apparatus (hereinafter the actual volumes are described using the term real volumes) as the storage area of the virtual volumes, the storage area of the external storage apparatus can be used as if this storage area were part of the storage area of the virtual storage apparatus."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Technical Problem

"However, according to PTL1, the virtual storage apparatus utilizes the storage area in the external storage apparatus, but various functions of the external storage apparatus cannot be used effectively by the virtual storage apparatus. Examples of the storage apparatus functions include a deduplication function which performs compression by deleting duplicate parts when data is stored in the storage area. For example, even when an external storage apparatus with a deduplication function is connected to the virtual storage apparatus, the virtual storage apparatus itself has to support these functions.

"The present invention was devised in view of the aforementioned problems, and seeks to propose a storage apparatus and a method of controlling the storage apparatus which enable functions of an external storage apparatus connected to a virtual storage apparatus to be utilized.

"Solution to Problem

"In order to achieve the foregoing object, the present invention provides a storage apparatus which is connected to a host apparatus which requests data I/Os and to an external storage apparatus comprising a storage device respectively via a network, comprising a storage device storing data which is read and written by the host apparatus; and a control device which controls data writing to a storage area, wherein the control device provides a predetermined storage area of the storage device of the external storage apparatus to the host apparatus as one or more virtual volumes, and manages the virtual volumes and function information indicating the functions of the external storage apparatus in association with one another.

"With this configuration, efficient data processing can be implemented by using the functions of the external storage apparatus connected to the virtual storage apparatus.

"Advantageous Effects of Invention

"According to the present invention, efficient data processing can be implemented by using the functions of the external storage apparatus connected to the virtual storage apparatus."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Ninose, Kenta; Eguchi, Yoshiaki; Yamamoto, Akira; Satoyama, Ai. Storage Apparatus and Method of Controlling Storage Apparatus. U.S. Patent Number 8782354, filed June 7, 2011, and published online on July 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8782354.PN.&OS=PN/8782354RS=PN/8782354

Keywords for this news article include: Hitachi, Hitachi Ltd., Information Technology, Information and Data Processing.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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