HDS Aims High for Small Biz, Compliance

By Clint Boulton | Posted October 09, 2003

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) added to its storage system family this week with a new modular product for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that it called 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 required to keep records for a certain period 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, and large-scale consolidation of older mid-range just a bunch of disks (JBOD) storage systems.

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 shuttle data between Thunder 9900V and Lightning 9500V storage tiers.

Among other specification 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, said Jim Beckman senior director, 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 said 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 a low to midrange price. Rather than be frozen out of lucrative business the storage concerns have been whipping up solutions for these companies almost en masse.

"Hitachi Data Systems has taken a close look at its customer's needs and has addressed many of them with the Thunder 9580V," said Ron Johnson, Sr. Partner and Analyst, Evaluator Group. This is a product that other vendors will be forced to address. By providing dramatic increases in capacity, performance, and connectivity, especially the increase in LUNs to 2,048, the Thunder 9580V brings aggressive storage consolidation to the Small to Medium Enterprise segment."

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 pace 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.

In the area of data, or information lifecycle management, 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 write once, read many (WORM) in that once data has been written, it can be retrieved and read by authorized applications, but not altered or deleted, for the required retention period. Network Appliance has recently announced a similar solution.

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 has also announced a 50 percent increase in enterprise systems connectivity (ESCON) to 48 ports, with broader support for cascading fiber connections (FICON).

Adapted from internetnews.com.

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