HDS Aims High with New Array

Hitachi Data Systems on Monday raised the stakes in the high-end storage battle with a high-performance system that blends virtualization and thin provisioning to provide a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach to storage.

Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V is designed to help HDS gain ground in the high-end storage market against EMC’s Symmetrix 3 and IBM’s DS8000 arrays, which have been put through aggressive 12 to 24 month product cycles.

Thanks to HDS’ revamped parallel crossbar switch architecture, Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V runs at 3.5 million input/output operations per second (IOPS) of performance.

This processor speed bump allows the new platform to offer 40 percent greater performance over the company’s TagmaStore USP. The new architecture also boasts a 4 gigabit per second Fibre Channel switch backplane for speedy data transfer.

USP V is also a boon for customers who have created storage with competing products.

For example, HDS Chief Scientist Claus Mikkelsen said on a conference call today that Hitachi Universal Volume Manager has been boosted to allow USP V to handle 247 petabytes, or roughly a 500 percent increase in virtualized storage port performance for storage created by rivals IBM and EMC.

“A storage system may be very effective, but it cannot be complete if the end user must stay within certain boundaries of physical storage,” Mikkelsen said.

While virtualization is vital for pooling storage from several vendors in one physical machine, the real star of this show will likely be the Dynamic Provisioning software HDS created for the USP V platform.

HDS’ own brand of thin provisioning technology, Dynamic Provisioning software, lets customers allocate virtual disk storage based on their anticipated future needs without allotting physical disk storage up front. Should the need arise for more physical disks, customers can purchase more capacity later.

This practice saves businesses money because IT managers have traditionally over allocated storage capacity to avoid running out of storage and crashing applications. Dynamic Provisioning will also add more storage automatically, saving IT managers time because they don’t have to spend time manually adding storage.

Adding to the allure of USP V, Dynamic Provisioning software can be used within Hitachi Virtual Partition Manager software, which links disk, cache and ports for the creation of virtual storage machines. Each virtual storage machine gets its own “virtual serial number” for asset tracking and chargeback purposes.

Combining the instantaneous provisioning with virtualization lets business and IT managers offer customers “precise storage services,” so that customers aren’t paying for more than they are using.

These services are symbolic of the new treatment HDS is applying to its overarching storage strategy: service-oriented storage, which is modeled after the classic SOA distributed computing approach.

HDS CTO Hu Yoshida said on the call the new approach will “mark a new era in storage where forcing users to pay for services that go unused is replaced by storage services that directly tie resources and functionality to business demands.”

In related news, HP rode HDS’ new technology coattails to the StorageWorks XP24000, a high-performance disk array that zips peak performance up to 3.5 million IOPS and employs HDS’ new thin provisioning technology.

The XP24000 will replace HP’s existing high-end XP12000 disk array, also built with HDS’ help under a joint partnership.

Article courtesy of Internet News

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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