Hitachi announces new unified file, block storage array

New unified storage scales to nearly 3PB capacity and 256TB-sized file systems

Hitachi Data Systems today announced a new midrange storage line that allows access to block, file and object-based data through a single management interface.

In addition, HDS announced an upgrade to its Hitachi Command Suite software giving admins a holistic view of all HDS storage platforms, including the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform, the Hitachi Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) and its new Hitachi Unified Storage (HUS) array line.

"We're trying to provide our enterprise customers a unified view, no matter what," said Sean Moser, vice president of software platforms at HDS.

Similar to EMC's VNX array line and NetApp's Fabric Attached Storage (FAS), the HUS array line is an evolutionary step forward in that it uses existing HDS technology knitted together by software.

HUS replaces Hitachi's AMS2000 midrange array family. The company is using the SiliconFS File System from the acquisition of BlueArc last fall as the network-attached storage (NAS) front end. SiliconFS provides a single, unified storage management console that lets application servers access data via CIFS, NFS and iSCSI protocols.

There are three models of HUS based on capacity. The HUS 150 has a maximum capacity of 3 petabytes with up to 960 drives. The HUS 130 can hold up to 756TB and the HUS 110 has a maximum capacity of 360TB.

The HUS 110 replaces the AMS2100, the HUS 130 replaces the AMS2300 and the HUS 150 replaces the AMS2500

Compared to its midrange predecessor, HUS is three times faster in sequential reads and writes and has twice as much usable capacity HDS said. It can take up to 1,024 snapshots per file system and up to 128,000 snapshots per full loaded cluster. It can also create larger volumes. A file on HUS can grow to 256TB under a single name space versus 100TB on an AMS system.

The HUS array line also supports object-based data - data stored with searchable metadata -- through an object-based file system that automatically adds metadata for each file and enables automated tiering and migration, fast file snapshots and clones, faster replication over WAN and fast data searches.

HUS supports Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), a virtualized object store with custom metadata, and provides regulatory compliance. HCP can share HUS capacity with file and block applications from the same storage pool.

The array also uses Hitachi's Dynamic Provisioning -- a thin provisioning algorithm -- to grow file and block storage as application needs grow, eliminating the requirement to over-provision storage to ensure application uptime.

HUS also migrates file and block data among different tiers of storage, such as solid-state drives and SAS and SATA hard drives in order to ensure the highest performance for mission-critical data.

Pricing for the HUS line starts at $22,700. For that, a buyer gets a box that only handles block-level data, but that can have a NAS head added to it for future file-level data use.

The starting price for a unified system with both file- and block-data access is $52,000. That covers the base hardware, software, installation and 36 months of software maintenance.

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

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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