HDS Gets Serious About SATA

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) became the last major storage systems vendor
to
endorse the increasingly popular Serial ATA technology, introducing a
software application that adds an extra layer of low-cost storage to
customers’ data centers.


Designed for the Hitachi subsidiary’s mid-range
Thunder
9500 V modular storage server, the SATA Intermix Option lets users use
less
expensive SATA storage technology on the same machine that already
features
high-speed fibre channel storage. It is being
offered as an add-on to customers’ existing 9500 V servers.


SATA products consume less power and use fewer
cables
than parallel ATA . They are
especially attractive to customers looking to archive applications that
must
be preserved but are rarely accessed, a common situation in a time
of
increased federal compliance regulations.


The tool was released under the aegis of the company’s broad
Application
Optimized Storage strategy,
which argues that customers want data from different applications to
be
routed to the most appropriate storage devices at the lowest cost. HDS
is
looking to seize business from IBM and EMC with the approach.


Scott Genereux, vice president of global marketing and business
development
at HDS, spends a lot of time talking with customers. The relationship
between applications and storage devices comes up every time, he told
internetnews.com.


With the new tool, Genereux said HDS is allowing customers to
“intermix”
SATA with fibre, which no other vendor does today.


“Customers are looking at their storage areas and saying ‘I’ve got
islands
of SAN, islands of NAS, compliance, direct-attached storage and each
one of those requires different software, expertise, and training,'” Genereux said. “They’re all saying they want to get away from that. Throw in multiple vendors and it becomes even more complex.”


The executive said customers who own a 9500 and want to archive data
can put
a rack of SATA drives in it, a solid proposition for customers looking to
bolster their current gear without having to buy a whole new subsystem.


The tool is also managed by the HiCommand Storage Area Management
Suite, the
company’s software suite for caring for all of HDS’ storage products
through one “pane of glass.” This reduces complexity in data center
management.


IDC analyst John McArthur said customers are increasingly looking for
storage products that accommodate price points
suited to the type of information being stored and to manage their data
through a common window.


“Hitachi Data Systems has read both these trends correctly with its
Application Optimized Storage initiative,” McArthur said in a
statement.
“With the SATA Intermix Option it appears to have gone one better, by
raising the data integrity bar on low-cost ATA to the level necessary
for
tough new compliance rules.”


The Thunder 9500 V SATA Intermix Option is available now, on the
Thunder
9570V, Thunder 9580V and Thunder 9585V. Prices are $95,000 for 5 TBs,
to
$170,000 for about 13 TB. Customers who have Thunder 9570V, Thunder
9580V,
and Thunder 9585V systems will be able to support both fibre channel
drives
and SATA drives with a microcode upgrade.

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