Hitachi ditches monolithic storage

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Hitachi ditches monolithic storage

Pitches modular storage to cloud providers.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has unveiled the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform aimed at enterprise, government and cloud service provider customers.

The standard, 19-inch rack-mountable unit virtualised and managed storage resources from more than 270 vendors.

Hitachi's ANZ director of pre-sales and solutions Adrian De Luca said the company had moved away from building monolithic storage arrays like its Universal Storage Platform V.

Echoing the tenets of cloud and virtualisation vendors, De Luca said modular storage was scalable and required less of an up-front investment.

"Traditionally, enterprise storage has been known as large-frame, monolithic architecture where there is a big upfront investment," he said.

De Luca said enterprises often spent upwards of $50,000 on customising their data centres for heavy, power-demanding, monolithic equipment.

His comments came after an 3 August blog post by HDS VP and CTO Hu Yoshida, touting the benefits of the Hitachi USP V/VM that combined modular back-end and monolithic front-end systems.

"I do not think it has to be an either/or decision as to which storage you chose," Yoshida wrote.

"I believe the best choice is a combination of modular storage that is virtualised behind monolithic storage as we do with the USP V/VM."

In a statement today, Yoshida said "only the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform and Hitachi Command Suite provide the scalability and integration that will transform the data centre with new levels of agility, flexibility, performance and sustainability.

"With unique 3D scaling and management, customers can deliver capacity and computing resources as quickly as virtual servers are created. This platform was actually built for virtualised server environments."

Three-dimensional scaling

The Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform was scalable in three-dimensions, De Luca claimed: it scaled up in capacity; scaled out performance; and scaled "deep" by virtualising external storage.

"Everything we've built into this platform has been aimed toward virtualisation and the cloud," he told iTnews.

"These attributes make up the foundation for the cloud. This is our proposition to be a platform for storage as a service and software as a service."

Hitachi's storage unit comprised the virtual storage platform, Hitachi Command Suite management software and Tier 1 capacity, and was priced from around $150,000, depending on customers' requirements.

Within 12 months, it was expected to reduce customers' total cost of storage ownership by a third, reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent, increase storage utilisation by 50 percent and reduce storage acquisition costs by 70 percent.

Rather than replacing old equipment, Hitachi urged customers to repurpose legacy storage resources, which could be virtualised and managed on its platform.

Local use

The vendor's senior ANZ marketing manager Tim Smith named Telstra and infrastructure as a service provider SteamEngine, and a "major Victorian Government department" as customers.

"A number" of the new units were already being deployed by some local customers, he told iTnews.

"This is an evolution, not a revolution," Smith said, touting the new unit as the product of "the past 10 years of constant innovation".

Despite recent infrastructure as a service launches, Smith expected the demand for on-premise storage to persist.

"We see that cloud is a very strategic focus for us; over time, we're going to see customers going from on-premise to private and public clouds," he said.

"But there's still a huge amount of opportunity and demand for Tier 1, 2 and 3 storage.

"We've been seeing strong, double-digit growth in government, enterprise and service provider customers," he said, expecting this to come from Hitachi's increasing market share.

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