Hitachi, IBM Upgrade High-End Storage Systems

Hitachi boosts Lightning 990V's capacity; IBM to enhance its Enterprise Storage System 800.

Hitachi Ltd. announced a high-end storage upgrade Wednesday, while IBM is planning high-end and midrange upgrades next month.

Hitachi Data Systems 148TB Lightning 9900V systems were announced last May, but originally shipped with just 73GB drives. They now ship with 146GB drive options, according to officials of the companys storage division, in Santa Clara, Calif.

In addition to the new capacity, the devices connectivity has been doubled. The system now has up to 64 Fibre Channel ports, for connecting to storage networks and servers, and 32 Fibre Connect (FiCon) ports, for connecting to mainframes.

Hitachi also announced new Virtual Storage Ports, known generically as host storage domains. Hitachis implementation lets up to 128 servers attach to a single Fibre Channel port.

The upgrades are available now. Pricing details were not available, but the price-to-capacity ratio is not increasing, officials said.

IBM will follow suit next month, with a minor upgrade to its Enterprise Storage System 800 (Shark) family, officials said, declining to state details. Also, on Feb. 17, the company will announce licensing of LSI Logic Corp.s midrange E5600 system, to ship March 14 as the IBM FAStT 900 series, according to sources familiar with the Armonk, N.Y., companys plans.

Meanwhile, Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp.—Hitachis and IBMs primary storage rival—announced Wednesday the certification of Lucent Technologies Inc.s OptiStar EdgeSwitch for its high-end Symmetrix family, which is getting an upgrade next week. Lucents switch lets customers extend storage-area network distances into geographically dispersed data centers, with a SONET connection. EMC will sell the switch in its Connectrix product line, officials said.