HDS Spruces Up High-end Storage System

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Wednesday said
it has spruced up its high-end storage system with double the capacity,
better connectivity, and enhanced throughput options as part of its TrueNorth play for creating open,
interoperable storage systems.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Hitachi subsidiary improved
the Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 V
by blending it with the company’s Hi-Star crossbar switch
architecture and virtual storage ports, to make the machine better help
enterprise customers consolidate storage systems and ultimately lower costs.

HDS, which competes with the likes of EMC, HP and IBM in the lucrative data
storage market, said its customers have been able to consolidate as much as
five competitor’s storage systems into one Lightning 9900 V Series system to
save cash.

Introduced with the original Lightning 9900 Series in June 2000, Hi-Star is
a massively parallel processing (MPP) schema that delivers bottleneck-free
bandwidth at up to 15.9 GB-per-second.

The bolstered system features Virtual Storage Ports (VSPs) for SAN environments, which assures unrestricted connectivity by enabling 128
different server platforms or operating systems to access the same physical
2Gb/s Fibre Channel port. Basically, each server has access to its own
“virtual private storage” with complete data security, barring the effects
of one server’s storage domain from affecting other servers’ storage.

The Lightning 9900 V Series is also now available with 146GB drives,
doubling total capacity of the original offering to 148 TB and total usable
capacity to 128TB in a RAID-5 configuration-ideal for consolidating many
disk arrays
based on shared bus architectures. Connectivity is also possible up to 32
FICON channels and 64 Fibre Channel
connections at 2Gb per second, providing higher data transactions rates.

The upgrades met with the approval of industry analysts.

“The doubling of capacity combined with the high bandwidth of Hitachi’s
crossbar switch architecture and virtual storage ports are key
differentiators between Hitachi’s products and the competition,” said Don
Young, Managing Director, Technology Equity Research, UBS Warburg.

John McArthur, Group Vice President of Storage Research at IDC, agreed,
saying the enhancements to the Lightning 9900 V Series “provide the
foundation for massive consolidation” and deliver real savings.

HDS unveiled the news less than a week before EMC is expected to refresh its
own high-end system, Symmetrix, with new capabilities. In a competitive
tit-for-tat, IBM is also expected to announce industry advancements on the
data storage front.

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