Virtualization Technology News and Information
Hitachi Delivers Affordable Enterprise Virtualization for Any Data Center without Compromise
In the face of unprecedented infrastructure complexity, the relentless proliferation of disparate storage arrays and corporate edicts to reduce carbon output worldwide, Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), today rounded out the industrys most comprehensive line of storage systems, the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V series, to address these pressing issues. The all-new Hitachi Universal Storage Platform VM is the worlds first heterogeneous storage services platform that offers customers the operational, financial and environmental benefits of enterprise-class virtualization, thin provisioning and tiered storage in a package that does not require a raised floor data center and operates on an industry standard 220-volt power supply.

The popularity and growth of storage networks combined with merger and acquisition activity has left many organizations with a sea of incompatible storage arrays distributed across multiple locations. Many customers also struggle with a complex assortment of software license schemes from different vendors, expensive capacity-based tier one licensing policies, and a server infrastructure that is both underutilized and unable to get to required data easily. The Universal Storage Platform VM joins the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V as the industrys most complete enterprise-class platforms developed explicitly to address these vital concerns.

SAN silos have crept into the data center making storage management and provisioning onerous for many organizations, said Dave Vellante, CEO of leading CIO consultancy ITCentrix. Storage migrations in particular are expensive and disruptive. Our independent analysis confirms that for every dollar spent on array hardware and software, an additional 50 cents is spent on incremental migration costs over the life of an array. Approaches like Hitachis USP VM can dramatically reduce this cost from 50 percent down to less than 10 percent through the combination of heterogeneous tiered storage support, virtualization and thin provisioning.

"We are witnessing a new Hitachi that is aggressively driving its storage virtualization leadership position through consistent innovation," said Tony Asaro, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. "The USP VM provides all of the advanced capabilities of its big brother, the USP V, but at a lower cost and smaller footprint. This new system allows smaller enterprises to package and deliver advanced virtualization, thin provisioning and business continuity storage services across heterogeneous file, object or block-based storage devices.

No Compromise Virtualized Tiered Storage

Building on the innovations introduced with the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V, the new Hitachi Universal Storage Platform VM is the only virtualization platform that offers enterprises of any size the opportunity to take back control of heterogeneous storage assets without introducing the reliability and scalability drawbacks of virtualization appliances.

Customer strategies to grapple with the challenges of reigning in sprawling storage infrastructure include:

  • Simplifying storage tiers to accommodate high performance tier one applications and defaulting everything else to tier two to reduce costs;
  • Virtualizing both server-side and storage-side assets, providing any-to-any connectivity between servers and data, often requiring the placement of tier one storage arrays behind less reliable and lower performing virtualization appliances;
  • Introducing a single management framework to support simplified management and non-disruptive migration and data movement within and between tiers one and two and to tier three archive platforms as required by retention policies.
  • Providing a common storage services platform for virtual tape, high performance NAS, or active archival, eliminating the need for separate islands of storage caused by niche solutions.

Customers are finding these strategies require tradeoffs with competitive solutions on the market today, said John Mansfield, senior vice president, Global Solutions Strategy and Development, Hitachi Data Systems. Virtualization appliances, while supporting heterogeneous storage assets, struggle to provide the scalability and reliability needed to support tier one applications. Some storage arrays sometimes provide thin provisioning and in-box tiering; however they dont support the cross-tier management of heterogeneous assets. The Hitachi Universal Storage Platform VM provides the performance, reliability and architecture, with thin provisioning, to virtualize all data center storage assets cost effectively.

Hitachi views virtualization as an enabler for heterogeneous shared storage functionality across the storage infrastructure, said Carl Greiner, senior vice president, Infrastructure, OVUM. Other storage solutions dont allow for the true integration of mainframe and open systems in a shared environment. Only through a common storage services infrastructure can customers obtain the economies they are truly looking for.

Introducing the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform VM

As a core part of Hitachi Services Oriented Storage Solutions, the Universal Storage Platform VM enables smaller enterprises to package and deliver common storage services such as virtualization, thin provisioning, and business continuity across heterogeneous storage assets, whether file, object or block-based. The Universal Storage Platform VM delivers all of the advanced storage services available in the Hitachi flagship storage solution, the Universal Storage Platform V.

"The USP VM leads the industry from every aspect: functionality, scalability, connectivity, serviceability, ease-of-use, and availability," said Josh Krischer, founder, Josh Krischer & Associates, a leading storage research firm. "The USP VM deserves to be in a class of its own as its two closest competitors--the EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 950 and IBMs DS6800--cannot match the impressive specifications of the USP VM. Clearly, Hitachis innovation engine is moving the company further ahead of competitors in entry-level enterprise-class storage technologies."

Today, Hitachi is introducing:

-- A rackmounted storage services platform with the same advanced
   heterogeneous storage services available in the Hitachi Universal
   Storage Platform V, including: Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning(TM)
   software, Hitachi Universal Volume Manager -- with support for up
   to 96 petabytes of virtualized storage, Large Logical Storage
   Pools, Hitachi Virtual Partition Manager;

-- A newly enhanced massively parallel crossbar switch architecture
   with 4Gb/s fibre channel "end-to-end" and a switched fibre channel
   architecture on the back-end delivering up to 75 percent more peak
   IOPs than the previous generation rackmounted virtualization
   product from Hitachi;

-- Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning software ("Thin Provisioning") with
   support for both internal and externally virtualized storage
   (support for external storage: general availability fall 2007);

-- "Day 1" Support for VMware ESX Server 3.0 to facilitate the
   integration of server and storage virtualization strategies;

-- Simplified software packaging with frame-based licensing for the
   Hitachi Basic Operating System (BOS) and BOS Virtualization
   software and a single license key for each software bundle;

-- Hitachi Universal Storage Platform VM configuration flexibility
   with a choice of either or a combination of:

    -- Storage controller and high performance disk storage for mixed
       application environments

    -- Storage controller only for virtualization services

"The USP VM puts Hitachis unique Services Oriented Storage platform based on the USP V within the financial reach of small to medium-sized enterprises, said John Webster, principal IT advisor, Illuminata. This announcement should be of particular interest to SME users who now plan the migrate from a networked server environment to a virtualized server and storage environment, or to small to medium-sized mainframe users who are ready to upgrade to virtualized storage."

Worlds Only Heterogeneous, Nondisruptive Data Migration Solution

Leveraging the worldwide success of the Hitachi large scale, heterogeneous storage virtualization layer, the Universal Storage Platform VM enables non-disruptive heterogeneous data migration in Windows, Linux, UNIX and mainframe environments. Unlike competitive offerings that rely on host-based replication software for data migration, the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform VM utilizes sophisticated virtualization services to elegantly transfer data without any impact to critical applications or requiring system reboots. Ideally suited for migrating data from storage systems reaching the end of their useful/environmental lives, to new storage systems added to the data center or for load balancing purposes to improve application performance, Hitachi enables customers to migrate data in heterogeneous environments without risk.

We are providing customers with the ultimate in tiered storage flexibility with the Universal Storage Platform V series, said Claus Mikkelsen, chief scientist, Hitachi Data Systems. The Universal Storage Platform V series is available in several configurations, ranging from a disk-less enterprise virtualization controller to our flagship multi-cabinet configurations that support a nearly infinite pool of virtualized storage. Hitachi is effectively empowering customers to select an Intelligent Virtual Storage Controller and match it to any type of disk media. With the introduction of the Universal Storage Platform VM, we are truly lowering the cost of entry to obtain common enterprise-class storage services across heterogeneous storage assets.

The disk-less Universal Storage Platform VM for smaller enterprises completely separates the commodity media (disks) from the innovation (intelligent control unit) required to provide storage, data and content services. This enables customers to invest in the most valuable part of the storage system, an integrated, intelligent controller, and obtain all of the latest functionality for their existing storage assets without being forced to buy more capacity.

Hitachi Increases the Green Quotient for Storage

With global energy costs rising and looming energy surcharges, green storage solutions are rapidly becoming a top business concern and companies are demanding more efficient power consumption and capacity utilization tools. The new Hitachi Universal Storage Platform VM enables customers to increase their Green Quotient (GQ) by a significant factor, through the deployment of large-scale, enterprise-class virtualization for massive consolidation; thin provisioning to increase utilization rates and reduce power, cooling, and space costs by reducing the number of physical disks required to support workloads; all with a virtual controller that plugs into a standard wall outlet.

The Hitachi Universal Storage Platform VM further supports the reduction in heat output and power consumption by dramatically compressing the time to provision new arrays and/or migrate capacity from many months down to weeks or days, meaning older, less efficient capacity is replaced sooner by greener storage.

As a core part of Hitachi, Ltd., we are proud to say that our parent company has established an environmental management system for the entire Hitachi Group based on the ISO 14001 International Standard, said Minoru Kosuge, CEO, Hitachi Data Systems. Hitachi has also achieved a green supplier ratio of 100 percent and established Super Eco Factories, factories that utilize industry-leading environmental protection systems. Hitachi was the first storage vendor to be fully RoHS compliant and with the Universal Storage Platform VM, Hitachi continues to lead the charge towards a clean, green generation of computing solutions.

Published Tuesday, September 11, 2007 6:14 AM by David Marshall
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