HP, Hitachi Ship New Converged Petabyte Storage System

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-09-27 Print this article Print

New arrays have no trouble whatsoever scaling up to manage as many as 5 million objects and 255 petabytes of data -- under one management server.

There's a new converged enterprise storage system available in the market as of Sept. 27, and both Hewlett-Packard and Hitachi Data Systems are claiming that it's theirs. There's no controversy here: They're both right.

HP and Hitachi both announced a new converged-type storage platform for midrange and larger enterprises.

Hitachi actually builds the hardware and labels a portion of those produced under its own name, the VSP (Virtual Storage Platform); HP buys the rest, puts its own logo on them and services them as if they came out of its own manufacturing facilities.

Turns out HP sells about 60 percent of the lot when both companies come out at the same time with the same product, eWEEK learned.

Hitachi's Virtual Storage Platform and HP's XP P9500 disk array both feature storage architecture that not only puts everything under the sun into one box (computing, storage and networking components), but it also scales three-dimensionally, Hitachi Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Hu Yoshida told eWEEK.

So-called '3D' optimization

What does "three-dimensional" mean in this context?

"We're talking about adapting flexibly for performance, capacity and multivendor storage asset utilization," Yoshida said. "VSP's data migration capabilities greatly reduce outage windows. It has page-level [same as so-called 'chunks' of data] dynamic tiering that automates the page-based movement of data to the most appropriate storage media to simplify and optimize tier costs and performance.

"Using the new 2.5-inch SAS hard drives, it contains the highest-density storage available today. It also uses 30 percent less power for capacity stored than competitive arrays, so it is a most efficient enterprise storage platform."

The arrays fit in a standard 19-inch-wide rack and can include solid-state disk drives that are configured alongside the 2.5-inch SAS drives to provide the quick data tiering.

The Hitachi VSP and HP's P9500 can provide more than 100,000 I/Os per second, HP StorageWorks Research and Development Director Kyle Fitze told eWEEK. The P9000 SmartTiers software automatically moves data to between solid-state disks and the 2.5-inch disk drives based on application performance requirements.

The system can scale from as few as five drives in a single cabinet to as many as 2,000 drives configured across six cabinets, Fitze said.

Fitze, who's responsible for the company's Hitachi relationship, told eWEEK that the new arrays have no trouble whatsoever scaling up to manage as many as 5 million objects and 255 petabytes of data-under one management server.

The new Hitachi and HP arrays include native integration-basically plug and play-with VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, which provides full administrative visibility from individual virtual machine to storage logical unit, Yoshida said. This improved control and transparency into the movement and activities of VMs aids in overall protection of large-scale multivendor environments, he said.

Both companies said the arrays are now available. The systems begin at about $250,000.

Here is a technical deep dive into the new arrays.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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