HDS Extends TagmaStore Array's Virtualization Reach

HDS on Thursday unveiled multivendor virtualization capabilities for its TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based storage vendor made its Hitachi TrueCopy Remote Replication software compatible with a wider range of competitive storage platforms that attach to the TagmaStore, said Claus Mikkelsen, senior director of storage applications at HDS.

Introduced in September, TagmaStore lets users connect external storage devices behind the array to virtualize the amount of addressable storage to up to 32 petabytes. Of that, up to 332 Tbytes can be internal Fibre Channel hard drives, with the rest of the capacity coming from attaching other vendors' arrays. In December, HDS added the ability to connect IBM Shark arrays to TagmaStore, and in January enabled that capability for EMC's DMX, Symmetrix and Clariion arrays in January, Mikkelsen said.

With Thursday's release, nearly all high-end and midrange arrays from IBM, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, and HDS can be virtualized behind the TagmaStore into a single storage pool, Mikkelsen said. The new capabilities allow customers to do synchronous and asynchronous data replication between TagmaStore's internal storage and externally connected arrays, he said.

For instance, users can do asynchronous replication from an EMC DMX array to an IBM Shark or from an HDS Thunder to an EMC Clariion. "They can also replicate from a high-end array to a SATA array," Mikkelsen said. "Of course, it's not always recommended."

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TagmaStore gives customers a choice of how to do replication, said Fred Huang, vice president of hardware infrastructure at HDS. "We would rather have the customer run disaster replication from a high-end array to a high-end array," Huang said. "But if they can run at 40 percent performance in case of a disaster, then they can also replicate to a lower-cost array."

Customers have invested in storage platforms from a variety of vendors and will welcome the ability to move more of their storage behind a single platform, said Mark Teter, CTO of Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based HDS, IBM and EMC solution provider. TagmaStore lets users redeploy existing storage assets, he said. "It helps customers looking for more capacity and performance. It's a great reuse capability."

Of all the vendors, HDS seems to be the most advanced in terms of multivendor virtualization--and not just in its ability to tie the most platforms together, Teter added. "For instance, they have performance impedance delivery, which takes various storage arrays with different performance characteristics and ensures consistent I/O delivery," he said. "This delivers a specific amount of I/Os for applications to guarantee specific service levels."

Customers also can simplify their storage environment with TagmaStore, Mikkelsen said. "You seldom find a one-logo customer," he said. "When they replicate, they have different products and user interfaces and need different training. With TagmaStore, they can use just one interface."