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Hitachi Promises 100% Storage Uptime

It's a very brave statement to claim 100-percent uptime. No one wants to do it, if only for the fear of being left open to ridicule from competitors, or worse -- liability. But Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) today made such a claim with the release of its Hitachi High Availability Manager.

The company, a small but growing player in the storage market when compared to IBM (NYSE: IBM) and EMC (NYSE: EMC), is promising zero downtime with its open systems storage array clustering technology.

Hitachi High Availability Manager is built on the company's USP V Platform and is capable of managing both internal storage and externally attached heterogeneous storage from other vendors, under common and integrated management. It also has advanced failover capabilities and live data migration, handling both planned and unplanned outages.

"It is for open systems and addresses all of the storage I've talked about before, whether it's block and file, archive storage or anything that resides in the pool of storage that's managed by the USP V. It provides 100 percent access to data," said Claus Mikkelsen, CTO of storage architectures for HDS on a conference call.

The High Availability Manager offers non-disruptive data movement and migration so live data can be moved around without interruption or downtime.

"In other words, we stopped counting nines," he added, in reference to the typical industry claim of 99.99 percent uptime. "Five nines," or 99.999 percent, was considered a near-perfect uptime record, but no one ever went to 100 percent.

HDS believes it can improve utilization rates by two or three times for customers, bringing their utilization from 50 to 70 percent, up from the 20 percent they often have. The company is growing its software and services business to provide customers with a strategy of combining disparate solutions.

"We are moving to provide all tiers of storage, block and file data, virtual content tiering and more. It's integral to providing customers the ability to discover, search and retrieve all unstructured data regardless of the silo in which it was stored. HDS data solutions are doing for storage and data what VMware did for servers," HDS CEO Jack Domme said.