HDS Aims High for Small Biz, Compliance

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Hitachi Data Systems added to its storage system family Wednesday with a new modular product for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that it calls more powerful and flexible than comparable products from rivals EMC and Network Appliance .

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based division of Hitachi also unveiled new business continuity software for the high-end HDS Lightning 9900V and added compliance features to the mix at a time when businesses of all walks-of-life are being required to keep records for specified periods of time.

The Thunder 9580V improves application performance and aims to help customers use multi-tiered storage in combination with the Hitachi Lightning 9900V Series or accomplish large-scale consolidation of older mid-range JBOD storage.

IDC Analyst John McArthur said this modular storage system competes with EMC’s CX and IBM’s FAST products, and spans from small to large capacities.

“What you need to know is they’ve designed an architecture that’s going to incorporate a variety of capacity and performance on the drive side,” he said. “Once you have right-once capability, you have many components to support information lifecycle management.”

The crown jewel from HDS is its proprietary technology Hitachi QuickShadow copy-on-write snapshot, which offers point-in-time copies without requiring a full volume backup. This product reduces storage requirements for data protection, while Hitachi HiCopy replication software shuttles data between Thunder 9900V and Lightning 9500V storage tiers.

Among other specifications from the company, the new system features 64 terabytes of raw capacity, 7.4 GB per second of cached bandwidth, and 1,024 Virtual Storage Ports with secure multi-tenancy, according to Jim Beckman, senior director of Hardware Platform Marketing at HDS. Multiple hosts are able to access their own virtual private storage housed on a Thunder 9580V storage system with no threat of exposure to other hosts.

Taken as a whole, Beckman told internetnews.com that the Thunder 9580V is geared for departmental or SMB storage consolidation, or for improving the state of business continuity, parallel applications, and data replication.

The product figures to stand tall amid other recent storage product rollouts for the SMB sector by both Network Appliance and EMC.

Vendors have been paying increasing attention to the SMB market, where customers are asking for high-end storage capabilities at low to midrange prices. Rather than be frozen out of lucrative business, the storage concerns have been whipping up solutions for these companies almost en masse.

Another area of concern among customers has been the ability to move from older, less effective direct-attached storage (DAS) to networked storage schemas such as networked-attached storage (NAS) or storage area networks (SANs) . HDS has attempted to address that as well, said Beckman, noting that the push to move from DAS to networked storage calls for greater performance and connectivity.

Hitachi HiCopy replication facilitates data movement between the Lightning 9900 V Series and modular Thunder 9500V storage systems, a capability that Beckman said is not offered by comparable EMC Symmetrix and CX lines, or IBM’s FAST and Shark systems.

IDC’s McArthur told internetnews.com the common management functionalities between Thunder and Lightning are unique in the industry.

“IBM doesn’t have that with its SAN Volume Controller,” McArthur said. “EMC doesn’t have that with its ControlCenter. Both are still trying to bring their solutions under one management framework.”

In the area of data management, or information lifecycle management (ILM), Beckman said HDS is offering a number of compliance features. An open systems version of its LDEV Guard data retention manager allows customers to preserve and protect sensitive enterprise information.

It functions as WORM (Write Once, Read Many) in that once data has been written, it can be retrieved and read by authorized applications, but not altered or deleted, for the duration of the required retention period. Network Appliance recently announced a similar solution.

McArthur said that while it was necessary for vendors to deliver compliance solutions, he said IDC believes customers will eventually want and expect them to be integrated into one general purpose solution – like EMC’s Centera compliance system – as opposed to being offered as add-ons.

To address business continuity, HDS introduced Three Data Center Copy, which provides speedy resumption of service, regardless of the magnitude of disaster or issue. Three Data Center Copy is implemented for mainframe environments using Hitachi CopyCentral, which automates Hitachi TrueCopy and ShadowImage software through a single interface.

Lastly, HDS also announced a 50 percent increase in ESCON to 48 ports, with broader support for FICON Cascading.

Story courtesy of Internet News.

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Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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