HDS announces flash strategy, its own SSD controller
Flash controller to boost SSD performance 4X
Computerworld - Hitachi Data Systems today lifted the covers off its flash roadmap, saying that like EMC, it will put NAND flash products in servers, storage and appliances in order to enable compute acceleration, caching and high-performance storage.
HDS executives didn't go into detail about future products, but said its parent company, Hitachi Ltd., will be building its own flash controller technology.
HDS also announced a new flash acceleration feature in the form of a firmware upgrade on its Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) flagship array that will increase scalability and performance by three times and lower I/O latency by 65%.
Using an all-flash configuration and the flash acceleration upgrade, the VSP array can achieve more than 1 million random read I/Os per second, according to Roberto Basilio, vice president of Infrastructure Platforms Product Management at HDS.
"Basically, we have rearranged the way the cache is used so it's more flash friendly," Basilio said. "It's faster to go through the cache when you use solid state drives. We also improved the wide striping scalability with hard disk drives."
Wide striping is the method HDS uses to access either hard drives or SSDs when thin provisioning is in use. That allows data to be written across a wide array of disk drives in order to increase throughput and avoid bottlenecks that one I/O path to a disk drive could cause.
"The result is lower I/O response times ... reducing I/O latency," Basilio said.
The flash acceleration feature is available through a microcode update on the VSP and is enabled without disrupting service with a single license key. VSP customers can assess the performance benefits of flash acceleration by obtaining a free trial license from HDS.
New flash controller
Basilio would not disclose when Hitachi Ltd.'s new flash controller will ship, but said the company will release more information in the next quarter.
What HDS would say about the controller is that it expects it to increase sustained read/write throughput on SSDs in its arrays by four times current generation SSDs based on multi-level cell (MLC) flash.
"We will not be dependent on any vendor per se for the SSDs. We can use any. If tomorrow Samsung comes up with a drive that has four times the capacity of today's NAND or Toshiba comes up with 8X NAND, we can use that," Basilio said.
Like other flash controllers, Basilio said Hitachi's will optimize the way data is written to SSDs or PCIe flash cards, reducing the wear and extending the overall endurance of the drives.
The result will be a drive endurance guarantee of five years compared with the three-year warranty offered by Hitachi today, Basilio said.
The new controller will also offer secure data erase capability, meaning overwriting data several times, along with inline block data compression.
Basilio said while HDS's roadmap is similar to what EMC has already done, he said it differs in that HDS is not acquiring pieces of technology to address IT needs.
"Between speed and end-to-end management, what really matters is end-to-end management. Users don't want to be surrounded by silos," Basilio said. "EMC is trying to do that by buying parts ... and assembling them. We're building our own technology to surround our platform with that capability."
"At product release you get the integration up front. When you acquire a company, that integration comes much later," added Patrick Allaire, a vice president of product marketing at HDS.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Read more about SSD in Computerworld's SSD Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
Enhance Your Virtualization Infrastructure With IBM and Vmware
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Virtualization technology is now expanding beyond the server compute elements to encompass networking and storage...
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
All SSD White Papers |