HDS slides into midrange storage market

HDS slides into midrange storage market

Hitachi Data Systems announced last week that it has released its first all-Serial Advanced Technology Attachment array and has bundled it with switches and network interface cards to create a preconfigured low-to-midrange storage-area network (SAN).

The company's new Thunder 9520V Workgroup Modular Storage System for the first time pits HDS against the likes of EMC and IBM in the fast-growing midrange storage space, analysts said.

Tony Asaro, an analyst at research firm Enterprise Strategy Group, said Hitachi's 9520v array, which has 7,200-rpm drives, has a slight advantage over EMC's midrange Clariion CX300 array, which sports 5,400-rpm drives with slower read-write rates. "The other important thing is that Hitachi's HiCommand (storage management software) supports its entire line of storage arrays," he said.

The 9520v array comes with what have been traditionally higher-priced storage features, such as call-home capability and fully redundant components. "Our (channel) partners were telling us they needed us to solve a lot of the same problems we'd historically addressed on the enterprise side," said Jeff Hill, director of infrastructure product marketing at HDS.

A 9520v array with 3.4TB capacity and dual controllers is priced from US$22,000 to US$24,000 retail, the company said.

Asaro said the new 9520v fits well with Hitachi's TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform, its high-end array that can manage multiple storage arrays behind it. "It wasn't a mistake that this comes out not too far after the (TagmaStore)," he said.

Under Hitachi's new SAN Starter Solutions program, the 9520v array can come preconfigured with an LP101 host bus adapter from Emulex and a SilkWorm 3252 switch from Brocade Communications Systems or a Sphereon 4500 switch from McData. Both switches are entry-level systems with eight Fibre Channel ports.

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