Hitachi unveils high-end storage array

Hitachi unveils high-end storage array

Hitachi Data Systems has announced a high-end storage array that runs long-promised data pooling and replication software, allowing users to support multi-vendor storage systems from one interface.

The TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform is being unveiled around the world this week.

In a presentation in Sydney, HDS marketing manager, Tim Smith, said the new TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform demonstrated HDS’ commitment to an application optimised storage model instead of a “speeds and feeds box”.

“The application is the key,” he said. “If you can’t deliver these with the necessary bandwidth and performance, there’s no point having it at all.”

Smith said a key concern which needed to be addressed by storage solutions was interoperability. One of the core functions of the TagmaStore platform was its ability to virtually aggregate all types of disparate storage systems into one pool.

To achieve this, the array incorporates virtualisation software, called Universal Replicator, on a blade in a storage controller. It has the capability to replicate information across unlimited distances to dissimilar storage arrays.

Hitachi will be the first major vendor to integrate heterogeneous rather than homogeneous virtualisation and replication features onto a storage controller.

With TagmaStore, Hitachi also unveiled a virtual machine technology, called Virtual Partition Manager, in which the replication and movement of data is virtualised.

TagmaStore will have three models, allowing up to 32 petabytes (PB) of data to be stored virtually. The entry-level Model USP100 will scale to as much as 77 terabytes (TB). The Model USP600 has a capacity of 154TB and as many as 128 Fibre Channel ports for connection to host computers. The largest model, the USP1100, scales to 332TB and has 192 Fibre Channel connections.

The array will support Fibre Channel, IBM's mainframe connectivity ESCON/FICON technologies and iSCSI, which lets users attach storage-area networks (SAN) to an Ethernet network.

TagmaStore also will incorporate different classes of storage, such as Fibre Channel and Serial ATA, from different vendors to accommodate the ability to place storage on the appropriate media for information life-cycle management.

HDS senior director of global channels, Karen Sigman, said it had been training partners worldwide on TagmaStore since January.

She expected the new platform was particularly attractive to HDS’s systems integrator partners as it gave them the opportunity to consolidate a variety of storage systems.

“They are the ones who are working with disparate systems and selling different product sets,” she said. “They can really use this technology to provide customers with a solution – it’s a bigger play for them.”

Alongside its direct and channel sales push, partners Sun and HP have also developed storage systems based on the universal storage platform. Sun will resell the Hitachi array as part of its StorEdge 9900V family. HP, which sells the Hitachi array on an OEM basis, has also announced its new storage array, the StorageWorks XP12000.

Analysts claim the Hitachi announcement could give the company an important tool to battle competitors.

"Vendors have done a disservice to the industry - we've had vendors trying to misconstrue basic [logical unit] and volume management as virtualisation," senior analyst for The Yankee Group, Stephanie Balaouras, said. "But true heterogeneous systems integration and the virtualisation of replication and back-up technologies hasn't been there."

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