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Hitachi Data Systems redefines modular storage.

Continuing to deliver on the TrueNorth vision and strategy, Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT), has announced Hitachi Freedom Storage Thunder 9500 V Series storage systems for customers looking for high-performance, easy-to-use, centrally managed distributed storage with large storage capacity in a small footprint. In response to today's tight IT budgets, the Thunder 9500 V Series storage systems are optimal for small-to-medium-scale consolidation, allowing customers to optimize resources and reduce total cost of ownership.

"Wodonga TAFE is confident that with Hitachi Data Systems' new Thunder 9500 V in place, we will be set to manage our data storage requirements into the next five years and beyond," said Neil Taylor, manager, Information, Technology & Communications, Wodonga Institute of TAFE. "Considering the 35% growth we have experienced recently and the 12,000 new users we manage per year, getting the most technically advanced storage product--within our budget--was imperative. Our assessment after a four-month selection process and careful consideration of the three main players is that Hitachi Data Systems offers the most cost-effective and technically proficient system in the mid-range with the Thunder 9500 V."

"Hitachi Data Systems is committed to delivering the most advanced storage solutions, fully supported by our TrueNorth vision and strategy," said Dave Roberson, president and COO, Hitachi Data Systems. "The success of the Lightning 9900 V Series systems has helped Hitachi Data Systems reach for the top of the high-end storage market. With this announcement of the Thunder 9500 V Series we bring an equally superior technology and similar functionality to the modular, distributed storage space. These complementary products, united under a common management umbrella, enable customers to truly deploy information infrastructures that address their unique business needs--massively consolidated and distributed throughout a geographically dispersed enterprise."

Building on Hitachi's high-end storage technology leadership, the new Thunder 9500 V Series features a virtualization assist layer to ease storage management and better utilize resources. As with the Lightning 9900 V Series, the virtualization layer allows administrators to mix heterogeneous servers on a single port and provide security to the Logical Unit (LUN) level through Host Storage Domains. By simplifying the infrastructure through smaller SAN configurations, fewer switches, Fibre Channel cables and host bus adapters, virtualization further lowers total cost of ownership and accelerates return on investment. Additionally, the Thunder 9500 V Series boasts the industry's most compact form factor, allowing terabytes of storage capacity to be housed in a fraction of the space of its closest rivals.

"The success of the Lightning 9900 V Series introduced earlier this year distinguished Hitachi Data Systems as a technology leader in high-end storage," said Chuck Standerfer, senior partner, Evaluator Group, Inc. "With the introduction of the Thunder 9500 V Series, Hitachi Data Systems expands its broad range of solutions to include entry-level systems to full capacity modular systems that will be competitive in all segments of the modular market. If their track record continues, Hitachi Data Systems should gain considerable market share in this highly competitive space."

"Vendors that bring to market modular external controller-based storage systems that are cost-effective, scalable in performance and capacity, flexible to upgrade, simple to manage, make efficient utilization of available storage capacity, and conform to industry standard management specifications will find a highly receptive end-user audience," said Roger W. Cox, chief analyst, Gartner.

With the exclusive Hi-PER Architecture, the Thunder 9500 V Series delivers approximately 2.3 times the performance of its predecessor. This architecture provides superior hardware RAID design, with ultra high-speed I/O processing and interconnects. It also includes up to 2GB cache per controller, and advanced cache algorithms. Additional optimized performance is achieved with Hitachi FlashAccess software, which "locks" data into cache and provides solid-state response times. This performance level, combined with high capacity and packing density makes the Thunder 9500 V Series ideal for data-intensive industries, including healthcare, life sciences research, rich media, and retail.

The Thunder 9500 V Series is available in a number of flexible, upgradeable models that address customer needs in a wide range of business sizes and industries. All are based on the Hi-PER Architecture and share the same microcode and cabinetry.

In addition to these products, further advanced Thunder Series systems will be announced next year which will extend the boundaries for modular storage performance and scalability.

"Hitachi's new Thunder product line represents a significant step forward in distributed storage technologies," said Robert Montague, managing director, System Area Network Research, RBC Capital Markets. "We believe this product raises the bar for modularly scalable, enterprise-class storage. Customers are looking for common management schemes and high-availability features in the high-density footprint represented by the new Thunder line. Their ability to purchase in more granular quantities with these strong features should be very well received."

With the Lightning 9900 V Series and Thunder 9500 V Series customers can now more granularly match storage systems to their business needs--whether those are to massively consolidate, or to distribute storage systems across the enterprise--and manage it all from a single interface. The CIM-compliant HiCommand Device Manager, a component of the HiCommand Management Framework, provides centralized management for the Thunder 9500 V Series, as well as the rest of the Hitachi Freedom Storage 9000 product line.

The latest component of Hitachi Data Systems' TrueNorth vision, the Thunder 9500 V Series is part of the all-fibre Hitachi Freedom Storage family. Like other successful members of the Hitachi Freedom Storage family, the Thunder 9500 V Series enables customers to simplify their storage infrastructures, protect valuable information, and optimize storage by maximizing the ability to change.
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Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Date:Dec 9, 2002
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