Hitachi Data Systems Expands Channel Reach into Global SMB Market with New Storage Solutions and Partnerships

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Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), today announced major moves that will enable its rapid expansion into the global SMB markets. These moves, backed by a significant investment by Hitachi, Ltd. in China, and other key Asian and Eastern European markets, include channel-optimised starter solutions for SAN-based consolidation and data backup built on the new Hitachi Thunder 9520V Workgroup Modular Storage system. The offerings, which will focus on the Microsoft Windows 2003 Server platform market, are the first-ever Channel-only storage solutions from the company, which will be sold by Hitachi TrueNorth Channel partners around the globe including computer giants Lenovo and Acer in Asia and Gateway in the Americas; and channel partners MAXDATA in Europe, and Bell Microproducts in North America.

Todays announcement signifies a strategic expansion of our addressable market, enabling us, together with our Channel partners across the globe, to bring powerful, reliable, and proven Hitachi technology to a whole new set of customers, said Shinjiro Iwata, CEO, Hitachi Data Systems. Channel partners can use our new SMB offerings as the foundation to which they add their own services and vertical market expertise, to provide custom solutions for their clients. This offering is one of the first results of increased investment and focus on the Channel by our new Global Channels organisation led by Scott Genereux.

New Hitachi Thunder 9520V Workgroup Modular Storage
The Thunder 9520V brings the Hitachi tradition of high-performance, high-availability storage systems to the unique needs of the SMB marketplace. The Thunder 9520V delivers 4.2 GigaBytes per second of cached bandwidth six times that of the nearest ATA based comparative product and superior connectivity, data availability, and reliability. It also enjoys the same enhanced SATA Data Protection that characterises the SATA Intermix Option in the high-end of the Thunder 9500 V Series line. The Thunder 9520V also supports Hi-Track 24/7 call home technology to help diagnose and resolve issues before they become problems, plus fully redundant components that can be replaced without downtime.

With the announcement of the Thunder 9520V we are making Hitachis legendary technological prowess usually enjoyed by the worlds largest financial institutions, telecommunications giants and airlines accessible to small and medium businesses, said Scott Genereux, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Global Channels, Hitachi Data Systems. Now these companies can immediately benefit from our Application Optimized Storage approach to solutions, enabling the deployment of storage according to a business application's performance, availability, and cost requirements while at the same time providing potential huge cost savings.

Customers in smaller businesses are facing many of the same problems as the big enterprises complex environments, high people costs due to fragmented management tools, valuable data that is poorly protected, growth that is difficult to accommodate, less than optimal performance, and solutions that are expensive and difficult to implement, said Hu Yoshida, CTO, Hitachi Data Systems. Until today, these companies had to settle for marginal storage products with questionable reliability. The Thunder 9520V enables our Channel partners to deliver a simple, reliable, easy to install and cost effective solution that addresses problems SMBs have to tackle with limited resources.

New SAN Starter Solutions for SMB Customers
Many customers in the SMB market are still using server internal or direct attached storage. As businesses grow, these approaches quickly become difficult to scale and manage, leading to inefficient utilisation, unacceptable application quality of service, and increased costs. To help SMB customers overcome these issues, Hitachi Data Systems is offering SAN Starter Solutions including pre-configured storage systems and components from leading SAN infrastructure companies:

Brocade SilkWorm 3252, an 8-port entry-level fabric switch which includes an EZ-Setup Wizard, integrated online training and GUI based Web Tools for simple switch setup, configuration and management.

Emulex LP101 Host Bus Adapter (HBA) featuring AutoPilot Installer wizard and the Quick-Install Guide for complete installation and configuration in a matter of minutes

McDATA Sphereon 4500 Fabric Switch with 8 ports available with built-in SANpilot browser-based tool simplifies SAN management small fabrics.

With these Starter Solutions, Channel partners will be able to help their customers consolidate storage onto a Thunder 9520V system and quickly and easily build and deploy their first SAN.

While SAN deployments in small and medium enterprises are relatively rare today, they are set to undergo significant growth, said John McArthur, Group Vice President and General Manager, IDC. Easy to deploy SAN starter solutions, such as those available from Hitachi Data Systems and its partners, reduce the complexity and simplify the purchasing decision for the first-time SAN buyer.

Software for the Thunder 9520V Workgroup Modular Storage
The Thunder 9520 V supports all the management tools and software options that are available on the Thunder 9500 V Series, such as Hitachi Resource Manager utility package which is included with the unit, and the optional Hitachi ShadowImage In-System Replication, Copy-on-Write software (formerly QuickShadow), and Cross-System Copy (formerly HiCopy). In heterogeneous environments, the Hitachi HiCommand Storage Area Management Suite provides sophisticated management through optional application and business modules.

The Thunder 9520V also supports storage technologies in the Windows Server 2003 platform, including Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). Additionally, the 9520V will support open connectivity to Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003-based NAS gateways to enable file services supported by Hitachi storage.

Hitachi's Thunder 9520V system takes advantage of storage technologies in the Windows Server 2003 platform to provide businesses of all sizes with simplified storage management and dependable data protection for Windows applications such as Microsoft Exchange at a lower total cost of ownership, said Rahul Auradkar, director, Windows Server Division. Microsoft is pleased to be working with Hitachi Data Systems to further enable the availability of Windows-based storage solutions, allowing resellers and solutions providers to spend more time on expanding their customer relationships by focusing on integration and selling services instead of being bogged down by installing multiple pieces of equipment.

"Hitachi Data Systems has shown unique insight into the needs of its partners and supports us in successfully delivering on users' storage management needs," said Bordan Tkachuk, CEO of the Viglen Storage Group, a UK-based solutions provider. "We know our SMB customers' needs will continue to evolve, grow and expand. We believe that with this aggressively priced and richly featured Thunder 9520V solution, our customers will continue to receive the high levels of satisfaction they are used to, giving them the best of both worlds."

Thunder 9520V in the Large Enterprise
Larger enterprise customers can integrate Thunder 9520V systems in tiered storage deployments with the Hitachi TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform, leveraging the Universal Volume Manager and the Hitachi Data Retention Utility for Data Lifecycle Management and regulatory compliance applications. As such, the Thunder 9520V forms a seamless Virtual Continuum with the rest of the Hitachi Data Systems product line.

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