HDS Enhances Security, Performance Of Storage Line


HDS unveiled the new products at the Storage Networking World conference being held this week in Dallas.

While HDS is not known for quickly releasing new products, solution providers can be sure the company has done its homework before any releases, said Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and HDS partner.

"HDS is very well guarded in its releases," Kadlec said. "It doesn't release anything new without testing the heck out of it. It's great for VARs like me, and for the customer."

Hitachi Data Systems boosted the performance of its AMS 2000 series of midrange arrays with the addition of new symmetrical active-active controllers and dynamic load management, said Mark Adams, senior product marketing manager.

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The new controllers allow either one to take data from any host without users needing to get involved in data path management, Adams said. And with dynamic load management, the utilization rates of both controllers are monitored and adjusted automatically according to I/O response times, he said.

The AMS 2000 series of arrays also include the industry's first SAS backplane to offer 3-Gbits-per-second performance and the ability to scale to over 100 SAS hard drives, Adams said. The AMS 2100 scales to up to 120 SAS drives, the AMS 2300 to up to 240 drives, and the AMS 2500 to up to 480 drives, he said.

As a result of that backplane, bandwidth of the arrays is now up to 9,600 Mbytes per second, Adams said. "No other modular system can do that," he said.

From a performance and overall architecture view, the changes will make it easier to bring the AMS 2000 arrays to customers, Kadlec said.

"From my understanding, the performance of the new AMS 2000 arrays will blow away anything else in the market place," he said. "SAS with the symmetrical controller configuration offers a lot of performance advantages."

HDS also enhanced its USP V and USP VM series of storage virtualization appliances with the addition of several new capabilities, said Malcolm Brickwood, senior manager of product marketing for the vendor.

The first is the ability to encrypt data at rest via its controller-based AES 256 encryption technology without any performance impact, Brickwood said. The controller works with any storage media, including flash drives, which Hitachi plans to introduce to its storage line in the near future, he said.

Encryption can be a big deal, depending on the customer, Kadlec said. "Everyone has certain data they are concerned about," he said. "And they don't want to worry about data getting out, or about disgruntled employees stealing data."

HDS is also partnering with PeakData, a Niwot, Colo.-based provider of data erasure and storage device destruction services, Brickwood said. HDS will help customers erase the data on single hard drives or on entire arrays with multi-pass data wiping and rewrites, and will also destroy and recycle disk and tape drives in an ecologically-sound fashion, he said.

Also new is enhancements to HDS's Dynamic Provisioning, or thin provisioning, technology which allows its TrueCopy remote data replication and Universal Replicator local replication software work together for business continuity purposes.

For instance, Brickwood said, a company can use TrueCopy to replicate data to a second site, which serves as a high-speed remote cache from which data is replicated to a third site using Universal Replicator in order to have multiple copies of data available in case of disaster.

The USP appliances can also take advantage of new 450-Gbyte, 15,000-rpm Fibre Channel hard drives to increase the capacity of data stored by up to 50 percent, he said.

The enhanced AMS 2100 and AMS 2300 are currently shipping, while the AMS 2500 is expected to ship in December, Adams said. The AMS 2100 starts at $31,000 with dual controllers, four Fibre Channel host ports, and 600 Gbytes of SAS storage.