Storage Vendors Rethink Virtualization


Storage virtualization continues to evolve, with Hitachi Data Systems and 3PAR the latest to push the technology in new directions.

Hitachi added another chapter to its virtualization story by extending the thin provisioning feature of its high-end Universal Storage Platform V to externally attached storage systems from other vendors.

HDS also added support for SATA drives and boosted USP V performance to more than 4 million IOPS.

"At some point, we almost stop counting," said HDS chief scientist Claus Mikkelsen.

HDS, which has shipped more than 7,300 virtual storage controllers to date, said Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning software lets customers allocate virtual disk storage based on their anticipated future requirements without dedicating physical disk storage up front. If the need for additional physical disk arises, capacity can be purchased at a later time without disruption. Only the capacity that is required to hold the actual data is provisioned and replicated, requiring fewer physical disks and resulting in a lower carbon footprint.

Mikkelsen said Hitachi's ability to virtualize, centrally manage and provision heterogeneous arrays is unique in the industry. The feature is available on the Universal Storage Platform V, which starts at $250,000, and the Universal Storage Platform VM, which starts at $60,000.

3PAR, meanwhile, launched 3PAR Virtual Domains, new virtual machine software for 3PAR InServ Storage Servers that provides secure access and improved storage services for different applications and user groups.

3PAR marketing director Geoff Hough said the technology encourages storage consolidation and resource sharing by giving users greater security and control over their resources.

"This will help people knock over that last barrier to consolidation," said Hough. He compared the technology to VMware and other server virtualization offerings. "This provides the same capability on a storage platform, with the added benefit of improved performance," he said.

Pricing for 3PAR Virtual Domains software starts at $1,500 and varies based on InServ configuration.

Also this week, BlueArc boosted the security and disaster recovery capabilities of its Titan storage systems.

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