Hitachi Steps Up to the Plate in Storage Management


In a bid to become the number one storage infrastructure provider by 2004, Hitachi Data Systems on Tuesday outlined its storage hardware and software plans that include an open management initiative called TrueNorth.

Hitachi executives say TrueNorth is designed around three areas: the continued development of the company's HiCommand Management Framework that integrates best of breed solutions, the development of management features to help Hitachi's hardware scale in capacity, performance and cost, and a collaborative business model that uses partners.

The HiCommand Management Framework is described as a policy-based automation management product where software developed by Hitachi and independent software vendors' products can work together. This framework is compliant with the emerging open standard called CIM (Command Information Model), which is currently be developed by the SNIA (Storage Network Industry Association).

It also will be compliant with the object-oriented standard SOAP, so that third-party products can hook in. The framework will include core services for policy automation, hooks into storage applications such as Veritas Volume Manager, data management services for backup and recovery and resource management services for LAN configuration and data migration.

"We are actively developing solutions based on the CIM bus," says Phil Townsend, senior director of global marketing at Hitachi. "Everything we do will be developed around CIM."

One of the first framework components is the HiCommand Device Manager, formerly known as just HiCommand, which enables customers to configure, monitor and tune systems through a single GUI interface.

An part of its push, Hitachi introduced its new Freedom Storage Lightening 9900 V Series--its second-generation storage subsystem that uses a switch architecture instead of a bus. The series is comprised of two models, the 9970 and the 9980V. Townsend says the 9970 has up to 24 physical connections, but can be increased to more than 3,000 logical connections, for both servers and subsystems, through the use of virtualization techniques. That device scales up to about 9 Tbytes.

The 9980V, however, has 32 physical connections that can be configured to more than 4,000 logical connections so it can scale up to 75 Tbytes with five chassis. The current Hitachi Lightening scaled up to 27 Tbytes.