HDS to Launch New Blades For NAS

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) plans to announce new network-attached storage (NAS) blades, which will run embedded in its TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform (USP), internetnews.com has learned.

The NAS blades, thin servers that slide into bigger servers, will consolidate existing NAS gateways and filers in an enterprise environment, according to a source familiar with the plans.

HDS is expected to sell the products for a third of the price of comparable NAS gateways and filers from Network Appliance and EMC .

NAS storage is hard disk storage that is set up with its own network address rather than being attached to the server that is routing applications to users on a network. Once regarded as a less expensive alternative to storage area network (SAN) options, NAS is now often looked at as an integral part of a SAN.

Market research from IDC indicates NAS isn’t going away any time soon. This is why HDS is looking to use the new blades to wrest share away from in the ascending NAS market, which IDC said will grow 70 percent to $3 billion by 2008.

HDS refused to part with more details before Monday. A source familiar with
the Sunnyvale, Calif., Hitachi subsidiary’s plans said it is high time
another major storage vendor embraced NAS on its core enterprise platform.

For HDS, that platform is USP, a system that can house
and manage 32 petabytes of internal and external data and
separate that data into 32 logical partitions, with the help of new
virtualization software.

The source said that while the USP is a nice centralized SAN storage system,
the world is made up of more than just SAN.

“Customers want to use NAS for consolidating Windows file shares, for being
able to do distributed workflows,” the source said. “From that perspective,
having this in there makes the USP much more attractive. You get a couple of NAS blades, throw them in there, and you’ve got a bunch of storage on the USP under one single hood.”

Storage industry experts believe that if HDS, IBM and other vendors expect
to be considered leaders in their fields, they have to provide NAS in some
form or another. To this point, the NAS market has been a two-horse race
between NetApp and EMC.

“Other players have to get into this and it’s ridiculous that they haven’t
up until this point,” the source said. “HDS has done quite well in high-end
SAN but now they need to broaden their horizons and swim downstream.”

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