Sun, HP Support Hitachi Data Systems' New 9900V Arrays


Following the unveiling by Hitachi Data Systems of its new 9900V family of storage arrays, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard as expected introduced their versions of the arrays.

HDS on Tuesday unveiled its Freedom Storage 9970V, a single cabinet array which uses 73-Gbyte hard drives to scale to about 9 Tbytes of capacity with a 7.5-Gbyte bandwidth. The 9980V allows up to five cabinets to be connected into an array of over 75 Tbytes of capacity and a 15-Gbyte bandwidth. Both offer 2-Gbit-per-second Fibre Channel capability and support FICON and ESCON connectivity. By year-end, they are expected to come with NAS connectivity and iSCSI blade options.

Sun, which resells the HDS arrays through its direct and indirect sales channels, showcased the new arrays as part of an overall data center consolidation solution, which also includes a new tape library from longtime partner StorageTek at the NetWorld+Interop 2002 show, held here this week.

HP, which for several years has OEM'd the HDS arrays, highlighted the role the new arrays will play with its Superdome server line in enterprise data warehousing applications.

Sun will resell the new arrays as the Sun StorEdge 9970 and StorEdge 9980 arrays, said James Staten, director of strategy at Sun. The company dropped the "V" from the model numbers because it uses that letter in what it calls "volume" servers such as the V880 and V240. "People might think it's weird--why is this a volume product when it is so high end," he said.

Sun will include its own management software as part of its new array offerings, but will offer HDS's HiCommand, TrueCopy, Shadow Image, and Remote Copy as options, Staten said.

Both the HDS and Sun versions of the arrays are compliant with the Common Information Model (CIM) architecture to allow interoperability between products from multiple vendors, as well as with XML, Staten said. Sun's CIM-compliant software is currently in beta testing, he said.

Sun also introduced its version of the L5500 tape library from StorageTek. The library, which StorageTek unveiled publicly for the first time at Networld Interop, supports up to 960 tape drives and 132,000 slots. It supports both StorageTek T9840 and T9940 drives as well LTO Ultrium drives for up to 13.2 Pbytes of capacity.

The new Sun hard-disk and tape arrays are available to the vendor's solution providers, Staten said.

HP's versions of the HDS arrays are similar but have some differences. The new XP128, like HDS's 9970V, comes in a single cabinet but offers up to 8.1 Tbytes of capacity. The XP1024 comes in up to four cabinets with a maximum capacity of up to 64 Tbytes.

HP's full range of proprietary software, solutions and services works with the new arrays, said Steven Sanderson, North America product marketing manager for the company's XP line.

For instance, such HP software as Command View XP, Performance Advisor XP, Application Policy Manager XP, and AutoPath XP can be used with the new arrays, as well as with the XP48 and XP512, also OEM'd from HDS, Sanderson said.

The new arrays, like HP's XP48 and XP512, will mainly go through HP's direct sales channels, Sanderson said. However, the company plans to increase its indirect sales relationships in the near future beyond its current 30 or so solution providers for the product line, he said.