HDS Gets Serious About SATA

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) became the last major storage systems vendor to endorse the increasingly popular Serial ATA (SATA) technology, introducing a software application that adds an extra layer of low-cost storage to customers’ data centers.

Designed for the Hitachi subsidiary’s mid-range Thunder 9500 V modular storage server, the SATA Intermix Option lets users use less expensive SATA storage technology on the same machine that already features high-speed Fibre Channel storage. It is being offered as an add-on to customers’ existing 9500 V servers.

SATA products consume less power and use fewer cables than parallel ATA . They are especially attractive to customers looking to archive applications that must be preserved but are rarely accessed, a common situation in a time of growing federal compliance regulations.

The tool was released under the aegis of the company’s broad Application Optimized Storage strategy, which is based on the premise that customers want data from different applications to be routed to the most appropriate storage devices at the lowest cost. HDS is looking to seize business from IBM and EMC with the approach.

Scott Genereux, vice president of global marketing and business development at HDS, says he spends a lot of time talking with customers. The relationship between applications and storage devices comes up every time, he told internetnews.com.

With the new tool, Genereux says HDS is allowing customers to “intermix” SATA with Fibre, which the company says no other vendor does today.

“Customers are looking at their storage areas and saying, ‘I’ve got islands of SAN, islands of NAS, compliance, direct-attached storage and each one of those requires different software, expertise, and training,'” Genereux says. “They’re all saying they want to get away from that. Throw in multiple vendors and it becomes even more complex.”

Customers who own a 9500 and want to archive data can put a rack of SATA drives in it, a solid proposition for customers looking to bolster their current gear without having to buy a whole new subsystem.

The tool is also managed by the HiCommand Storage Area Management Suite, the company’s software suite for caring for all of HDS’ storage products through one “pane of glass.” This reduces complexity in data center management.

IDC analyst John McArthur says customers are increasingly looking for storage products that accommodate price points suited to the type of information being stored and to manage their data through a common window.

“Hitachi Data Systems has read both these trends correctly with its Application Optimized Storage initiative,” McArthur states. “With the SATA Intermix Option it appears to have gone one better, by raising the data integrity bar on low-cost ATA to the level necessary for tough new compliance rules.”

The Thunder 9500 V SATA Intermix Option is available now on the Thunder 9570V, Thunder 9580V and Thunder 9585V. Prices range from $95,000 for 5TBs to $170,000 for about 13TB. Customers who have Thunder 9570V, Thunder 9580V, and Thunder 9585V systems will be able to support both Fibre Channel drives and SATA drives with a microcode upgrade.

Story courtesy of InternetNews.com

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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