Hitachi virtualises EMC storage systems

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Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), today announced the immediate availability of Hitachi TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform virtualisation support for EMC Symmetrix DMX 800, 1000, 2000, 3000 and Symmetrix 3000, 5000 and 8000 series storage systems. EMC CLARiiON CX series storage systems will be supported at the end of January. EMC customers can now take advantage of the Universal Storage Platform, which extends the useful life of their installed storage assets, reduces operational costs and software licensing fees, and provides superior software functionality, such as asynchronous remote copy and logical partitioning, a feature unavailable on any EMC products.

Customers can now revitalise their existing EMC storage systems with the latest advanced Hitachi software by leveraging the virtualisation layer within the Universal Storage Platform, which essentially maps new functionality to all externally attached storage systems, said Yoshinori Okami, General Manager of Storage Systems Development, Hitachi, Ltd. This means you can take a CLARiiON, virtualise it, and enable it to store mainframe data on SATA disks; you can take a DMX attach it to a Universal Storage Platform and virtualise it as part of a logical partition, assigning dedicated resources to an individual application; you can move data from CLARiiONs to Symmetrixes and back, enabling true ILM the possibilities are revolutionary, and Hitachi is bringing it to EMC customers first.

Our virtualisation solution, the first controller-based implementation in the industry, doesnt rely on API bartering between storage or switch vendors, or require any appliances or routers in the data path, said Hu Yoshida, Chief Technology Officer, Hitachi Data Systems. Indeed, Hitachi simply extended the internal virtualisation capabilities it has developed over the last twelve years to external storage, especially leveraging the virtual storage ports concept. The Universal Storage Platform appears as a Fibre Channel Standard interface to all storage devices connected via Fibre Channel. As such, supported storage systems connect to the Universal Storage Platform via the Fibre Channel Standard interface, much like a Windows or UNIX server would. So, support wise, its no different from attaching a CLARiiON, Symmetrix or DMX storage system to a host server through VERITAS Volume Manager. However, once an external device is virtualised and added to the Universal Storage Platforms storage pool, it gains the full functionality of the Universal Storage Platform and its all managed from a single pane of glass.

"ESG believes that storage virtualisation will re-invent storage networking based on the tremendous value it brings by significantly reducing cost and complexity," said Tony Asaro senior analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group. "ESG research shows that the two most important things that customers want in a storage virtualisation platform is reliability and high performance, two areas in which HDS excels. ESG considers the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform a compelling solution because it is an Enterprise-class storage system, and the only Enterprise-class storage virtualisation platform in the market."

Since the announcement of the Universal Storage Platform in September 2004, Hitachi Data Systems has completed virtualisation testing for numerous HP, IBM, Sun, and EMC storage systems. In addition, Hitachi Data Systems publicly demonstrated the Universal Storage Platforms capabilities of automatically discovering, virtualising, and moving data with EMC Symmetrix DMX and IBM ESS storage systems at the SNIA Storage Networking World Fall 2004 Conference, in Orlando, Florida.

HP, which OEMs Hitachis Universal Storage Platform technology for the HP StorageWorks XP12000 Disk Array, will support the same virtualisation and partitioning capabilities in its XP12000. The XP12000, with its HP StorageWorks External Storage XP functionality, will support virtualisation that spans the same breadth of devices, including EMC, IBM, and HDS arrays, as Hitachis offerings.

"HP is committed to supporting heterogeneous storage. This is another example of that value and enables organisations to implement tiered storage across a broader set of arrays, providing customers with mission-critical information availability and lower cost-tiered storage all in the same management view," said Chris Powers, Director, StorageWorks High-End Array Development for HP.

"In today's complex, heterogeneous storage environments, virtualisation is the critical element in delivering simplified storage management," said John McArthur, Group Vice President and General Manager, Information Infrastructure and Enabling Technologies, IDC. "CIOs who want substantial, measurable improvement in the operational efficiency of their storage infrastructure must take a very different approach to managing their storage resources. A new category of products, which IDC calls Network Storage Controllers and includes solutions such as the TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform, will play a pivotal role in delivering virtualisation to heterogeneous environments."

"This announcement further demonstrates Sun's ability to provide innovation in data management by leveraging its own intellectual property, as well as the strength of its world-class partners, said James Whitemore, vice president of marketing for Network Storage at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "We are delivering on our promise to bring open virtualisation solutions to a broad cross-section of our customers. These new solutions, coupled with Sun's systems approach and Solaris 10 - the most storage-friendly operating system in the industry - will help customers simplify their infrastructure and get the best application performance for their money."

Virtualisation and Management Software
The Universal Storage Platforms virtualisation functions are enabled by a full suite of software products including the Hitachi Universal Volume Manager, Virtual Partition Manager, and Universal Replicator. Furthermore, previously available software products, such as Hitachi TrueCopy remote replication, ShadowImage in-system replication, and Volume Migration (formerly CruiseControl), now operate on virtualised storage. Single pane of glass management is provided by the Hitachi HiCommand software suite. With its connectivity (ESCON, FICON) and virtualisation capabilities, the Universal Storage Platform is unique in being able to move mainframe data to lower-cost SATA storage for archival applications.

Hitachi TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform
The Universal Storage Platform is the only storage solution capable of providing large-scale virtualisation, with safe multi-tenancy for thousands of host connections, and logical partitioning of storage resources for application Quality of Service (QoS). It supports up to 32 Petabytes of internal and external storage, which can be aggregated into one common storage pool and managed by a single set of software tools. The Universal Storage Platform supports up to 192 Fibre Channel ports that can be virtualised to support over 30,000 virtual ports for open systems connectivity, each with its own secure storage domain providing safe multi-tenancy. In addition, it supports ESCON and FICON for mainframe connectivity, and NAS for file serving.

The Universal Storage Platforms cache, ports, and internal and external capacity can be logically partitioned into as many as 32 independently managed Private Virtual Storage Machines. Virtual machines can be set to meet different application service levels (QoS) and provide chargeback capabilities. Powered by the Hitachi Universal Star Network, the third generation of Hitachis unique massively parallel, mega-scalable crossbar switch architecture, the Universal Storage Platform delivers an unsurpassed 68 GigaBytes per second of cached bandwidth, up to 2 Million IOPs (input output operations per second), and 256 concurrent internal memory operationsrepresenting advantages over comparative products of 850%, 500%, and 800%, respectively.

With todays announcement, the Universal Storage Platform is fully interoperable with an even more comprehensive set of leading storage products, including HP StorageWorks XP Disk Arrays, IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server, and Sun StorEdge storage systems. Other storage devices will be added in 2005, based upon the demands of the marketplace.

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