Hitachi Data Systems Offers New Arrays

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Hitachi Data Systems this week plans to take the wraps off the latest weapon in its war with storage rival EMC: two new storage arrays and a new software emphasis that company executives expect will help HDS take the No. 1 spot away from EMC.

On the hardware side, HDS plans to unveil the Freedom Storage 9970V, a single-cabinet device that scales up to about 9 Tbytes of capacity, and the 9980V, which allows up to five cabinets to be connected into an array of more than 75 Tbytes of capacity, said Jim Beckman, director of product marketing at the vendor.

Both arrays offer 2-Gbps Fibre Channel capability. The 9970V and 9980V come with 24 and 32 Fibre Channel ports, respectively. Those port will double by next quarter, he said.

HDS also plans to unveil version 2.1 of its HiCommand storage management software, which includes support for the new arrays, partial-access capability to the arrays to prevent accidental unauthorized changes, and increased performance, said Steve East, vice president for storage integration at HDS.

HiCommand is the foundation for HDS' True North strategy, which East described as the vendor's vision of how heterogeneous storage should be managed. Over time, True North is expected to include storage management software suites, new device drivers and new technology such as virtualization, East said.

The new arrays will be available through Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, HDS direct and HDS solution providers, Beckman said. Pricing for the hardware and software has not been finalized.

Jim Quasius, president of GCA, a solution provider in St. Petersburg, Fla., said HDS is really on the ball with its new products. "They were already ahead of everybody else, and now they're taking another step away from the pack."

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