HDS Adds Enterprise Capabilities To Midrange AMS 2000 Arrays


Hitachi Data Systems this week introduced hardware and software enhancements aimed at improving the operational efficiency, performance, reliability and scalability of its Adaptable Modular Storage 2000 product line of midrange storage arrays

HDS is adding four enterprise-class features to the AMS 2000 product line, as well as introducing a new member of the product line for use in telecom environments, said Mark Adams, AMS 2000 senior product manager at HDS.

The first enhancement is a new extra-dense expansion tray, which allows the addition of up to 48 SATA hard drives in a 4U rackmount enclosure. The drives are inserted in the top of the box, not the front, to give it the extra density, Adams said.

Previously, expansion was done by the addition of a 3U, 15-drive enclosure. But with floor space in a typical data center costing about $10,000 per tile, per month, the use of higher-density expansion enclosures leads to long-term savings, Adams said.

"This is for tier-two storage applications, or for applications where cost is a concern, like cloud computing," he said. "We're targeting it at large data center environments which are growing their floor space requirements faster than expected."

The second new feature is dynamic provisioning, which is HDS' name for thin provisioning.

Dynamic provisioning, which has been available on HDS' enterprise-class storage arrays, stripes data across every drive spindle in an array to increase performance and to set up a virtual storage volume that is not necessarily connected to the actual physical capacity of the array, Adams said.

Also new is the addition of 8-Gbit Fibre Channel on two of the three models in the AMS 2000 family to increase the performance of the array.

Adams said that 8-Gbit Fibre Channel has yet to take off in the market, but that HDS, which also resells Brocade's 8-Gbit Fibre Channel switches and HBAs, is ready for when it does.

"I wouldn't characterize it as having a lot of demand," he said. "But indications are that the entire industry will transition to 8-Gbit soon. We're on the forefront."

HDS also enhanced the security of its AMS 2000 arrays with external authentication support for users who access the system to do storage management. The technology works with existing authentication infrastructures and multifactor authorization technologies, Adams said.

HDS also added Common Criteria certification to provide security to meet government requirements, he said.

Also new from HDS is the AMS 2500DC. This model is a DC-powered array compliant with European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and Network Equipment-Building System (NEBS) Level 3 environments, which are requirements in the telecom industry.

The ability to bring dynamic provisioning to the midrange market is important as customers are underutilizing their existing storage capacity, said Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and HDS partner.

"Customers are wasting a lot of space," Kadlec said. "When I can provision 20 Tbytes for a customer, but sell them only 12 Tbytes, this gives them a lot of flexibility. And if I can help customers increase capacity without increasing their investment, it makes everyone happy."

The new high-density expansion enclosures provide a lot of flexibility for customers, Kadlec said. "This lets them increase their capacity while keeping their data center footprint down, especially for disaster recovery or co-location environments," he said.

The new expansion box and the NEBS-certified appliances are currently shipping. Dynamic provisioning, 8-Gbit Fibre Channel and the security enhancements are slated to be available in August.