Hitachi Rolls Out NAS Gateway

By eweek  |  Posted 2003-04-15

Hitachi Rolls Out NAS Gateway

PHOENIX—Networked-attached gateways using SAN infrastructures are now available from Hitachi Ltd., officials said Tuesday.

The new hardware is the result of Hitachis recent partnership with Network Appliance Inc., said Hu Yoshida, chief technology officer of the Tokyo companys Hitachi Data Systems division, at the Storage Networking World show here.

Models available now are the GF940, GF940c, GF960 and GF960c. The numbers correspond to Network Appliances FAS900, each with a clustered option. A version of the gateway for Network Appliances older F-800 series will be available later this quarter, Yoshida said.

"We have a number of customers… already using this throughout the world. Theres a number of pre-GA orders that were holding on to," he said in a press conference. Other products based on Network Appliances technology are forthcoming, he added, declining to elaborate.

The advantage for customers, said Gartner Inc. analyst Carolyn DiCenzo, is "it allows them to use the extra capacity" in an existing block-based storage area network, for a file-based NAS purpose. "It is a good strategy for users," and is more flexible than Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp.s Celerra product, she said. However, "They certainly need to expand the management tools," she noted.

Yoshida, in an interview with eWEEK, said that expansion is underway. Network Appliances hardware appears as a host to a Hitachi SAN, and report management data back to Hitachis software, he said. Imaging and replication software will be added as well, he said. Network Appliance filers appear as RAID 0 to Hitachi storage instead of as their default RAID 4, which eliminates the bottleneck of having a single parity drive, he added.

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Pricing for the new systems was not immediately available. Hitachi will provide first- and second-level support, with Network Appliance conducting third-level support, officials said.

For its part, Network Appliance, of Sunnyvale, Calif., is looking for additional partners, said Mike Ahern, director of global alliances, in an interview. As for the combined Hitachi-Network Appliance systems performance compared to Celerra, "Well publish some benchmarks. We welcome a bakeoff," he said.

Dell Computer Corp. and Iomega Corp. also announced NAS upgrades here this week. Dells PowerVault 725N is now available with 250GB drives, for 1TB total, and now includes anti-virus software, said officials in Round Rock, Texas.

Iomega announced the P800m and P850m, both Windows-based systems, available April 28, officials said. Both systems will scale to 1.4TB or 1.2TB using RAID 5. P800m costs $12,499, and P850m costs $17,499, officials said. Iomega, of San Diego, also plans tape products this summer, software upgrades, and Linux support to replace existing Unix versions, officials said in an interview recently.

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