HDS to Launch New Blades For NAS

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) plans to announce new network-attached storage (NAS) blades, which will run embedded in its TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform (USP), according to a source familiar with the plans.

The NAS blades, thin servers that slide into bigger servers, will consolidate existing NAS gateways and filers in an enterprise environment, according to the source.

HDS said the machines will sell for a third of the price of comparable NAS gateways and filers from Network Appliance and EMC.

NAS storage is hard disk storage that is set up with its own network address rather than being attached to the server that is routing applications to users on a network. Once regarded as a less expensive alternative to storage area network (SAN) options, NAS is now often looked at as an integral part of a SAN.

Market research from IDC indicates NAS isn’t going away any time soon. This is why HDS is looking to use the new blades to wrest share away from in the ascending NAS market, which IDC said will grow 70 percent to $3 billion by 2008.

HDS declined to reveal details before Monday. A source familiar with the Sunnyvale, Calif., Hitachi subsidiary’s plans said it is high time another major storage vendor embraced NAS on its core enterprise platform.

For HDS, that platform is USP, a system that can house and manage 32 petabytes of internal and external data and separate that data into 32 logical partitions, with the help of new virtualization software.

The source said that while the USP is a nice centralized SAN storage system, the world is made up of more than just SANs.

“Customers want to use NAS for consolidating Windows file shares, for being able to do distributed workflows,” the source said. “From that perspective, having this in there makes the USP much more attractive. If you’re a USP customer, it’s a no-brainer. You get a couple of NAS blades, throw them in there, and you’ve got a bunch of storage on the USP under one single hood.”

Storage industry experts believe that if HDS, IBM and other vendors expect to be considered leaders in their fields, they have to provide NAS in some form or another. Up to this point, the NAS market has been a two-horse race between NetApp and EMC.

“Other players have to get into this and it’s ridiculous that they haven’t up until this point,” the source said. “HDS has done quite well in high-end SAN, but now they need to broaden their horizons and swim downstream.”

Article courtesy of Internet News

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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