Hitachi to bolster storage arrays

Hitachi Data Systems is expected to launch July 11 a series of mid-range to high-end storage systems that offer customers high availability and performance at a modest price.

The TagmaStore Workgroup Modular Storage System (WMS100) and the Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS200 and AMS500) are storage arrays that are optimized for tiered storage and data lifecycle management. The WMS100 has all Serial ATA drives and a capacity of 42T bytes; the AMS200 and AMS500 intermix Fibre Channel and Serial ATA drives for a total capacity of 40T bytes and 88.5T bytes, respectively. The new boxes are smaller than Hitachi's TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform (USP) 100, 600 and 1100, and priced to sell better.

"The TagmaStore is not selling well - it is too expensive at its entry point," says one analyst, who asked not to be identified. "Hitachi needs a less expensive but still high-end system."

The TagmaStore Network Storage Controller (NSC55) is a mid-range box that consolidates storage resources into a single pool. It can move and migrate data non-disruptively as part of a customer's data lifecycle management plan.

All boxes will be managed from a single integrated software suite and be able to perform remote copies of data among them.

The WMS100, which replaces the Hitachi Thunder 9520V, has single or dual controllers and cache ranging from 1G bytes to 2G bytes. It contains a total of 105 hard disk drives and supports RAID levels 0+1, 1, 5 and 6. Network-attached storage is expected to be embedded in it as soon as the fourth quarter of this year.

The AMS200 also has single or dual controllers, but larger cache memory than the WMS100. It supports 2G bytes to 4G bytes of cache and RAID levels 0+1, 1, 5, and 6. It replaces the Hitachi Thunder 9530V.

Both the WMS100 and AMS200 support as many as 512 connections to host computers that use 1G bit/sec and 2G bit/sec Fibre Channel for connection to the storage area network. The AMS500 has 2G to 8G bytes of cache and supports as many as 2,048 host computer connections. It replaces the Thunder 9570V.

The WMS100 is expected to be available as soon as August. The AMS200 and AMS500 and NSC55 are expected to be available this month. Sun, which OEMs the TagmaStore as its StorEdge 9990, is also expected to announce its products soon.

Pricing, while not available, is expected to be less than the TagmaStore USP family of products, sources say.

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