Hitachi Introduces Application-Optimized Storage

A new set of HiCommand modules will focus on application optimization.

Enabling storage devices and software to more tightly align with application workload and service level requirements, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will announce the availability on Tuesday of a new set of HiCommand business and application modules focused on application optimization and a new performance-boosting Hitachi Thunder 9585V to promote storage pool utilization.

According to officials of Santa Clara, Calif.-based HDS, a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., HDS will unveil an enhanced HiCommand Storage Services Manager 3.1 in conjunction with new modules HiCommand Path Provisioning, HiCommand QoS for mobile database vendor Sybase, and HiCommand Tuning Manager 3.3. All the new modules follow suit of HDS HiCommand Storage Area Management Software suites ability to peer down to underlying storage infrastructure, with a few added components around discovery and tuning.

Building on the existing HDS Thunder 9580V and designed for high-capacity storage architectures headed toward consolidation measures, Hitachi Thunder 9585V is optimized for strong input and output applications including data mining, high performance computing, rich media, and heavy transaction databases. The product, which offers a virtual port capacity of 1,024, scales up to 64 terabytes and reaches over 240,000 I/Os per second.

Also generally available, the HiCommand Path Provisioning module provides an automated provisioning capability to hosts, SAN (storage area network) switches, and disk systems from an application-centric view to ensure newly introduced programs and preset storage necessities are being properly met. The module supports Hitachi storage systems, Sun Microsystems Inc.s StorEdge 9000 series storage systems, EMC Corp.s Symmetrix, Symmetrix DMS, and Clariion wares, Brocade Communications Systems switches, and LSI Logic-based arrays, noted HDS officials.

HiCommand QoS for Sybase joins existing support for Oracle, Microsoft Exchange, and File Servers. The module peers into a storage architecture with an integrated singular view to discover instances of the vendors products, including databases, database files, and tables to outline Sybase element dependencies embedded in the SAN environment. This allows administrators to apply performance monitoring and predict impact on Sybase applications, as well as downtime instances.

Rounding out the HiCommand Suite enhancements, HiCommand Tuning Manager 3.3 introduces the ability to manager, monitor, and forecast service levels and capacity of Microsoft SQL Server. For its part, HiCommand Storage Services Manager 3.1 provides path provisioning capabilities and a new module to support the performance of Sybases Adaptive Server Enterprise in SAN environments.

However, storage experts note the absence of support for IBM Universal database DB2 as well as the open-source MySQL database. Still, the importance of "application-optimized storage" and its ability to tie together the same set of management tools and functions should not be understated.

/zimages/6/28571.gifIBM is releasing a DB2 upgrade beta with new automation features. Click here to read the story.

"If I design (a storage and application environment) from the ground up versus trying to glom together a bunch of products developed differently with different user faces, Im going to have better look and feel, better commonality across, and functionality that works on all platforms, … [and] people want that," said analyst John McArthur, of Framingham, Mass.-based IDC.

HiCommand Storage Services Manager starts at $30,000 for 50 MAPs (managed access points)—the sum of all storage access ports of all hardware elements touched by HDS modules. HiCommand Path Provisioning is available at $6,000 for 50 MAPs. HiCommand QoS for Sybase is listed at $5,000 per managed application license. A Thunder 9585V with a 4GB cache, four ports, and seven 146GB drives costs approximately $100,000.

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