Hitachi Launches Storage Array And Software For ‘Business-Defined IT’

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The company says new VSP G1000 array and Storage Virtualization Operating System make your drives go faster, last longer

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate, has launched several new virtualised storage products as part of the architecture it calls “Business-Defined IT”.

On the software side, the company released Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS), which claims to double the lifespan of storage equipment. The new OS is accompanied by new hardware – Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000 – a universal appliance for all business data.

Both were created to foster healthy interaction between IT departments and executives, and enable them to react quickly to changing business needs without disruption.

To introduce the new products, Hitachi prepared an all-out media and marketing assault, holding simultaneous launch events at multiple locations around the world, from California to Dubai.

The European event was held at the recently built HDS distribution centre in Zaltbommel, Holland – a facility powered by 6200 solar panels and heated by its own geothermal plant.

A box of tricks

Hitachi SVOS is the company’s first standalone software implementation of storage virtualisation. It enables independent provisioning of capacity and performance, and claims to increase the lifespan of storage hardware from 3-4 to at least 6-7 years.

Hitachi VSP G1000SVOS also offers flash optimisation, automated tiering and non-disruptive data migration. Hitachi says this is the first storage OS on the market to feature active-active high availability across separate geographic locations without the need for a specialised appliance.

The Hitachi VSP G1000 is the first hardware platform on which customers can deploy SVOS. It combines up to 1,152 3.5-inch HDD or SSD drives to offer up to three million IOPS and over 48GB/sec of usable bandwidth in a single box.

Hitachi positions G1000 as a single platform for all data, competing with such juggernauts as EMC and IBM. “This software, with this hardware, gives us the highest performance, most scalable storage platform that the world has ever seen,” said Sean Moser, SVP of Global Portfolio and Product Management at HDS.

The new features of SVOS and G1000 can be managed with the latest version of Hitachi Command Suite, also launched on Wednesday.

During the presentation at Zaltbommel, Gartner analyst Valdis Filks urged the audience to stop looking at IT as a cost and recognise it as a revenue generator. However, to have a greater impact on business, IT departments would have to offer “Business-Defined IT”.

Filks said that competing on the basis of hardware is becoming harder and more expensive, as smaller companies get access to the same tools and services as large corporations, so it made sense to invest more into software. At the same time, he warned against being too taken with ‘software-defined anything’.

“We started off with virtualisation to consolidate servers,” explained Filks. “It was basically a cost benefit. And then we came up with software-defined networking, and that seemed to work quite well.

“As an IT industry, we’ve said ‘OK, we’ve done virtualisation, what do we do next?’ So now we see software-defined whatever: software-defined storage, software-defined computing, software-defined data centre. All of these things are happening in the industry, but not all of these things are mature, useful, and not many of these actually work.”

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