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HDS slides into midrange storage market

Hitachi Data Systems has announced that it has released its first all-Serial Advanced Technology Attachment array and has bundled...

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Hitachi Data Systems has announced that it has released its first all-Serial Advanced Technology Attachment array and has bundled it with switches and network interface cards to create a preconfigured low-to-midrange storage-area network (San).

The company's new Thunder 9520V Workgroup Modular Storage System for the first time pits HDS against the likes of EMC and IBM in the fast-growing midrange storage space, analysts said. 

Tony Asaro, an analyst at research firm Enterprise Strategy Group, said Hitachi's 9520v array, which has 7,200rpm drives, has a slight advantage over EMC's midrange Clariion CX300 array, which sports 5,400rpm drives with slower read-write rates.

"The other important thing is that Hitachi's HiCommand [storage management software] supports its entire line of storage arrays," he said. 

The 9520v array comes with what have been traditionally higher-priced storage features, such as call-home capability and fully redundant components.

"Our [channel] partners were telling us they needed us to solve a lot of the same problems we'd historically addressed on the enterprise side," said Jeff Hill, director of infrastructure product marketing at HDS. 

A 9520v array with 3.4TBytes capacity and dual controllers is priced from $22,000 to $24,000 retail, the company said. 

Asaro said the new 9520v fits well with Hitachi's TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform, its high-end array that can manage multiple storage arrays behind it. "It wasn't a mistake that this comes out not too far after the [TagmaStore]," he said. 

The 9520v array can come preconfigured with an LP101 host bus adapter from Emulex and a SilkWorm 3252 switch from Brocade Communications Systems or a Sphereon 4500 switch from McData. Both switches are entry-level systems with eight fibre channel ports.

Lucas Mearian writes for Computerworld

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