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9/26/2012
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Hitachi Unveils SMB Storage Array

Midrange Hitachi Unified Storage VM mixes block, file, and object storage with heterogeneous virtualization under a single management interface.

Hitachi Data Systems on Tuesday announced the Hitachi VM system, a new midrange array for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) that fits in the middle of Hitachi storage between the entry-level Hitachi Unified Storage (HUS) system and the high-end Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP).

The HUS VM is intended for use among businesses of 500 to 1,000 employees and can support as much as 4 PB of data or 64 PB of virtualized data under a single management interface. It comes in two configurations: one a controller-only version that can front-end and virtualize other vendors' arrays, and second, a version with both controller and solid state and serial attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives. Last year, Hitachi dispensed with the use of both FIbre Channel and SATA disk drives, saying that they could get more economy with the use of SAS drives. As many as 1,152 SAS drives and 128 solid state drives can be accommodated.

The HUS VM supports CIFS, NFS, Fibre Channel, and iSCSI connectivity to Ethernet and Fibre Channel SANs. It uses the same microcode as the Hitachi VSP and is managed by Hitachi Command Suite 7. Included with the HUS VM are adapters and reference architectures for use with VMware, Microsoft, and Oracle, which enable management from these platforms' management consoles and allow backup and recovery from them as well. Reference architectures for SAP and virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) are also included.

Block and object support come from the Hitachi VSP, while file support comes through integration of the SiliconFS file system, acquired with its acquisition of BlueArc in 2011.

[ Learn How To Choose Right Unified Storage System. ]

Each controller in the HUS VM is actually dual, sharing up to 256 GB of cache memory. The 5U controller can support as many as 60 TB logical unit numbers (LUNs).

The file module is 3U high and contains 32 GB of cache memory for each of its four clustered nodes. A total of 128 file systems support a maximum size of 256 TB.

The array has 32, 8-Gbps Fibre Channel connections and connects to storage with 6-Gbps SAS.

In addition, Hitachi offers a 100% availability guarantee with the HUS VM and, according to company claims, the HUS VM offers data migration 90% faster than competitive systems.

The HUS VM controller only version starts at $156,000.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

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