Hitachi Intro's Tighter Storage Management Integration

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based storage vendor also unveiled hardware enhancements to increase the capacity and performance of its storage hardware.

The new Hitachi Storage Command Suite addresses the number one issue related to storage -- managing the incredible growth of storage capacity -- with a focus on integration and consolidation, said Rick Freedman, senior product marketing manager for storage management solutions at HDS.

"It's about sharing data across the suite and leveraging a wide range of services," Freedman said. "It's not just about spinning disks, but about the services."

New from HDS is Hitachi Replication Manager, a new software tool for managing, consolidating, and replicating data throughout a company's entire storage environment, said Christophe Bertrand, senior director of solutions and product marketing for business continuity at HDS.

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Hitachi Replication Manager leverages technology embedded in HDS's hardware to enable the replication, Bertrand said.

For instance, data such as a Microsoft Exchange volume which is stored on a thin provisioned volume can be replicated to another volume which is set up with thin provisioning at a remote site, said Kevin Sampson, director of product marketing for storage infrastructure at HDS.

"If it's not replicated thin to thin, and then you mount the secondary volume in case of a system crash, you would need a much larger capacity data set to handle the data restore," Sampson said. "For example, if a server thinks a 4-Tbyte data base uses only 1 Tbyte, when that data base is replicated thin to thin, [with Hitachi Replication Manager] it is still only 1 Tbyte."

Also new is Hitachi Storage Capacity Reporter, a software application that delivers storage array, host-level, and application-level storage capacity reporting across heterogeneous storage systems. The data is collected for presenting both real-time and historical capacity views, forecasting, and predictive analysis, as long as for storage virtualization mapping and reporting.

These two applications are combined in the Hitachi Storage Command Suite along with a number of legacy HDS applications including Hitachi Device Manager for configuring and provisioning storage on Hitachi storage systems; Hitachi Tuning Manager for automatically mapping, monitoring, analyzing, and reviewing storage network resources from the application to the storage device; Hitachi Tiered Storage Manager for non-disruptive movement of data volumes according to an application's quality of service requirements; and Hitachi Dynamic Link Manager for protecting data in case of a disk or an array failure via load balancing and path failover.

The new Hitachi Storage Command Suite provides a solid message to customers, especially sophisticated customers, looking for a single interface for all their storage, said Dave Cerniglia, president of Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based storage solution provider and HDS partner.

"Customers are looking for a single interface," Cerniglia said. "This ties together all that is needed to manage storage, not just on Hitachi equipment, but on heterogeneous infrastructures. Once you get an administrator used to it handling all that storage, his productivity goes up."

Most of the new software becomes available between Monday and June 2, with Hitachi Tuning manager expected to start shipping on June 21.

On the hardware side, HDS doubled the cache on its USP V storage appliance, which is used to virtualize multiple HDS and non-HDS arrays' capacity into a single storage pool, to 512 Mbytes.

The company also introduced two new hard drives for its arrays, including a 460-Gbyte, 10,000-rpm Fibre Channel drive for high-performance applications and a 1-Tbyte, 7,200-rpm SATA hard drive for application which require higher capacity at a lower cost, Sampson said.

Sometime before the end of the year, HDS also plans to unveil flash-based hard drives from multiple vendors to work in its arrays, Sampson said.