A new monolithic storage system to be announced next week by Hitachi Ltd. and its Hitachi Data Systems division will directly challenge archrival EMC Corp. with a taste of EMCs own "bigger is better" medicine.
The new product, called the Freedom 9980, will scale to 143 terabytes even before its clustered, according to sources close to Hitachi, of Tokyo, and its Santa Clara, Calif., HDS division said. EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass., has been a longtime leader, with the 70-terabyte Symmetrix 8000 line.
When Hitachi and HDS unveil the 9980 May 7 at the NetWorld+Interop tradeshow in Las Vegas, theyll show architecture improvements and new software as well, and those are what will likely sell the 9980, not its brute size, experts say.
"Bigger and faster is always great, but thats not what makes a market anymore," said analyst Steve Duplessie, of Enterprise Storage Group Inc., in Milford, Mass.
The architecture now has a 128GB cache, said Gary Helmig, an analyst with Wit Soundview Technology Group, in Greenwich, Conn., and it has 15GB/sec of throughput, a source close to Hitachi said. And its new software will enable future plug-ins for Common Information Model (CIM) and in-line virtualization functions, he and other analysts said. The new software is called TrueNorth, sources said.
The CIM functions, which are also being planned by EMC and IBM, will link to Hitachis existing HiCommand 2.0 resource management software and with Sun Microsystem Inc.s StorageONE/Integrated Management Suite platform, sources said. Its not known when that functionality will actually be available. Hooks to IBMs products are likely, Hitachi and IBM officials announced in mid-April.
The 9980 launch is not expected to include a price increase over Hitachis current 9900. Hitachi declined to comment.