High Capacity for Speedier

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-05-14 Print this article Print

Performance Tradeoff"> As a user begins writing to the disk, the arrays take only the physical space needed for the job and pull it back into the volume. Extra storage capacity isnt touched and thus doesnt require any energy to maintain.

Hitachi also unveiled a 4GB per second Fibre Channel switch backplane in an enterprise-class storage platform and claims to be the only company with a switched internal architecture and a unique switched backplane architecture. A backplane connection, in which a disk drive plugs directly onto the back of the storage unit, cuts back the use of cables and simplifies the architecture to add throughput speed.
Asaro of ESG said that 247 petabytes is based on external virtualization support and on the number of logical devices the controller supports for additional performance scalability.
"That [247PB] is a big number ... the point is that they [Hitachi] theoretically have no ceiling," Asaro said. "As for the performance, they have done a number of architectural improvements that have increased performance. We analyzed these and, yes, the performance enhancements are realistic corner case improvements. These will result in real application performance improvements." Tradeoff: High capacity for speedier performance? High scalability in a storage system is a major selling point, but the tradeoff can often be a hit on I/O performance. But this apparently isnt the case with the new Hitachi offering, analysts told eWEEK. "If you want to support 247 petabytes behind one of these systems, then obviously youre making some tradeoffs on the performance on each individual pull. So it has to do with the application set that youre going after," Rick Villars, storage analyst with IDC in Framingham, Mass., told eWEEK. "This is the scale and size of the domain that theyre willing to support. Theyve boosted the processor power, they moved to a 4GB architecture, and they actually doubled the number of systems in the processor base. So some of those data points are actually reachable when you do that kind of boost." Tom Trainer, an analyst with Evaluator Group in Greenwood Village, Colo., said he believes that 3.5 million IOPS is a believable number based on the technical materials he reviewed prior to this announcement. Trainer said that the appropriate question to ask is: Who can actually push the box that hard so that it can put the pedal to the metal and perform at that high rate of speed? Click here to read about Hitachi Data Systems purchase of Archivas. "The answer is high-end enterprise customers with fast Unix servers and mainframe customers who need, for example, fast speed for credit card authorization, rapid copy and movement of data to fraud detection servers in order to catch electronic theft faster; and of course reservation systems that need real-time high-speed performance," Trainer said. Webster of Illuminata told eWEEK that "we keep saying that storage requirements grow at an average of 60 percent plus per year. Why then should this (3.5 million IOPS) seem out of line? This is where the growth trajectory is headed for those high-end customers who want to consolidate and manage larger environments with fewer vendors." Upping the ante against the competition Trainer of the Evaluator Group said Hitachi is indeed upping the ante against some formidable competition in EMC, IBM and others. "They are leveraging a controller design with faster hardware, and they are clearly stating that they will provide both the commitment on the software side and professional services side to leverage the brain separated from the body [storage]," Trainer said. Trainer said that if Hitachi executes well over the next year or so they could set the next trend in storage controller design. "Think about the competitive hardware and software reply to this kind of ante … in the end, this could be much more effective and efficient for the user. But, as I say, its all in the execution. The industry, at large, may expect Hitachi to stumble … effective execution is measured over time," Trainer said. Pricing for the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V base model is approximately $250,000. It is available now. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.

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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