Fujitsu Goes All-Out for U.S. SAN Market

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-09-25
 
 
 
Fujitsu Computer Systems, trying hard to establish a foothold in the U.S. enterprise-class SAN market, will introduce a series of new storage systems Sept. 26 that the company claims feature the worlds largest-capacity drives.

Fujitsus new Eternus 8000 and Eternus 4000 systems, which compete directly with offerings from IBM, Hewlett Packard and EMC, come equipped with advanced data security and integrity features, including automatic 128-bit disk data encryption, said Fujitsu vice president of storage product marketing Nori Kondo.

In addition, the high-end Eternus 8000 incorporates the worlds largest storage capacity drives, Kondo said.

The Eternus 8000 Model 2100 provides a whopping 1.38 petabytes of internal storage—when using the maximum number (2,760) of disk drives.

The Eternus 8000 accommodates up to eight controller modules, each equipped with a 3.6GHz dual-core processor that generates processing performance approximately 2.5 times faster than previous Eternus 6000 models, Kondo said.

The lower-end Eternus 4000 can scale from a minimum of three disk drives and 1.5TB of storage up to 420 drives and 210TB.

The 8000 starts at a minimum of 480 disk drives (240TB) and goes up to the previously noted 2,760 drives and 1.3PB of storage.

"This represents the fourth generation of Fujitsus storage technology," Kondo said. "Weve been doing storage for 35 years—a lot of people in the United States arent aware of that."

Click here to read more about Fujitsus utility computing product.

Eternus 4000 is 1.5 times faster than previous Eternus 3000 models, Kondo said.

With Eternus 4000, organizations can evolve their storage infrastructure from a data repository to a secure platform for data asset management and protection that meet always-present corporate issues involving security, confidentiality and regulatory compliance, Kondo said.

Brad Nisbet, program manager of storage systems at IDC in Framingham, Mass., told eWEEK that Fujitsu has sound technology, mostly coming from their line of storage systems developed and sold in Japan.

"In 2005, Fujitsu was the second-largest seller of disk storage systems in Japan with 18 percent market share of external disk storage systems revenue [behind Hitachi, which had 26 percent share]," Nisbet said.

"Fujitsu does not have a large presence in North America with regard to disk storage systems. The challenge for Fujitsu now is establishing a presence in the U.S.—a formidable task given the marketing machines coming out of EMC, HP, IBM, etc."

Fujitsu, headquartered in Japan but whose computer systems division is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., will need to develop a broad base of solutions and establish technology partners and channel partners to leverage the good technology coming out of Japan, and it will need to ramp up its marketing efforts to increase its visibility within the U.S. market and other regions outside of Japan, Nisbet said.

"For now, Fujitsu is marketing the MAID [massive array of idle disks] technology on its Eternus systems, which we believe will resonate with a good portion of customers looking to minimize rising energy costs, etc.," Nisbet said.

"We expect over time that Fujitsu will work with partners to address customers concerns around a broader base of issues, including business continuity and data protection, compliance and content management.

"The sooner Fujitsu can address these issues by wrapping partnerships and marketing messages around their storage systems product line, the sooner they can begin competing with other major U.S.-based storage vendors in earnest," Nisbet said.

Technical information

  • Built-in disk data encryption: Can automatically store data using 128-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), minimizing the risk to a business of illegal or inappropriate data access when a disk is removed from an Eternus storage system.

  • Replication over distance: Remote Advanced Copy functionality allows data to be replicated between multiple storage systems during business operation without increasing the load on servers. Both synchronous and asynchronous replication methods are supported, so replicated volumes can be located on a geographically separated storage systems without sacrificing access performance on the production servers in the primary center.

  • iSCSI connectivity for lower-cost data transfer: The addition of iSCSI host interfaces to Eternus enables lower-cost, high-performance LAN-WAN-LAN connections.

  • RAID6: RAID6 ensures continued operation and protects data in the event of two simultaneous disk drive failures in a RAID group. Eternus8000/4000 also supports a range of RAID configurations including RAID1, RAID1+0, and RAID5.

  • MAID for "green" infrastructure: Eternus8000/4000 features Eco-mode, which reduces power consumption and extends the life of disk drives. Using MAID, Eco-mode stops drive spindle rotation when disks are not being accessed. Fujitsu includes information lifecycle management (ILM)-ready tiered storage at no extra cost.

    Pricing and availability

    Eternus 4000 Model 100 starts at $24,500 with dual controllers, four Fibre Channel ports, 5x146GB drives, dual power supplies and management software. All models are now available.

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