Hitachi upgrades high-end array, streamlines software

Enterprise-class Universal Storage Platform V array and Storage Command Suite management software upgraded

Hitachi Data Systems Monday announced a number of upgrades to its enterprise-class Universal Storage Platform V (USP V) array and its Storage Command Suite management software.

The enhancements include the following:

  • Support for local and remote replication of thin-provisioned volumes

  • The availability of higher-capacity, 400GB (10,000-rpm) Fibre Channel drives and 1TB Serial ATA drives

  • A doubling of cache from 500GB to 1TB

  • Consolidation of management tools under Hitachi Storage Command Suite

    Kevin Sampson, director of product marketing for Hitachi's storage infrastructure, said the company also plans to introduce support for solid-state disk drives later this year. EMC announced support for solid-state disk drives in its enterprise-class DMX array in January.

    The USP V, a storage array with controller-based virtualization, is managed through Hitachi's Storage Command Suite software. Hitachi announced an upgrade to that product. Under the suite, Hitachi's Dynamic Provisioning software now supports local and remote replication of thin-provisioned volumes by using the asynchronous and synchronous replication capabilities of Hitachi Universal Replicator and Hitachi True Copy.

    Hitachi also announced the Hitachi Replication Manager, a new software tool for consolidation of all replication operations. The new tool provides users the ability to manage their Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) for both mainframe and open systems. Also new is Hitachi's Storage Capacity Reporter, a tool that reports on capacity at the array and host level as well as storage capacity related to specific applications without the need for host agents. The tool includes both real-time and historical capacity views, forecasting and predictive analysis, and virtualization mapping and reporting, according to Rick Friedman, Hitachi's senior product marketing manager for storage management solutions.

    Friedman said the upgrade was about addressing operational efficiency and business resilience under a single pane of glass.

    "I think that what Hitachi is doing is cleaning up stuff from Version 5.0 [of its Storage Command Suite software]. Users were saying this needs to be fixed, and they're fixing it. I don't see it as earth-shattering, but it's needed, and it's good," said Dave Vellante, co-founder and principal contributor to Wikibon.org, an online, Wiki-based community of storage practitioners, consultants and researchers.

    Vellante said that Hitachi's Storage Command Suite Version 6.0 is simpler to use and will make it easier for storage administrators to configure volumes and retrieve data. John Webster, an analyst at Illuminata, agreed.

    Webster said Hitachi did two main things across its storage resource management product line: It added a wealth of graphical user interfaces to management applications that previously depended heavily on command-line interfaces, and it reduced the dependence on application host-based agents.

    Both Webster and Vellante agree that Hitachi is advancing a strategy of pulling local and remote management of replicated data under a single view.

    "Though I'd like to see them go further. They're starting to apply heterogeneous management. Thin provisioning in and of itself is nice, but I think Hitachi is evolving the replicator software. They're talking to their customers about what they need, and it's working," Vellante said.

    Hitachi also announced support of the next-generation Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) for the Hitachi USP V and Hitachi USP VM (for small and midsize businesses) storage systems.

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