HDS releases two mid-range targeted NAS products

Hitachi Data Systems Corp. is launching a pair of Network Attached Storage offerings aimed at both mid-sized organizations and enterprise branch offices increasingly facing unstructured data challenges.

The company is targeting IT shops that want to replace their older NAS systems or backup solutions, decrease their energy costs, or consolidate their server/direct-attached storage systems.

The NAS 3080 will deliver one petebyte of capacity, while the NAS 3090 tops out at two petabytes, the company said. But the biggest advantage of upgrading to these storage systems, according to HDS, will be to take advantage of its upgraded file tiering capabilities.

The NAS 3090, for instance, supports 256 terabytes of file system, which HDS said was a big improvement over the typical 16 terabyte file systems offered by most comparable storage platforms on the market. More from IT World CanadaHitachi helps firms reclaim unused storage capacity

“On either block-based applications or file-based applications, it’s very common to have amounts of files that would overlap those (16 terabytes) limitations and, therefore, create an administrative nightmare manually breaking up databases or files,” said Fred Oh, senior product marketing manager for Hitachi’s NAS portfolio.

Beyond the administrative headache, breaking up this data can create problems for applications or performance monitoring tools that are unable to look beyond cross-volume boundaries, Oh said.

The offerings will be integrated with both the Hitachi Data Discovery Suite and the Hitachi Content Archive Platform to allow customers to set policies that will automatically transfer data between fibre channel, SAS, SATA and archive tiers.

Related to this, Hitachi is pushing the storage platform’s intelligent tiering capability, which will enable IT shops to search the tiered storage silos and use the results to trigger data movement, if necessary. Files can be searched by a variety of attributes including file size, content type, data and time, or keywords.

A search will not only provide the location of a file, but will also give administrators the option to move files to a higher or lower tier, Oh said. At a health-care organization, for example, IT administrators will be able to gather all of its one-year-or-older patient records and move the content to a lower tier content archiving platform device.

Mark Peters, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, said Hitachi’s intelligent tiering functionality will do a great job in optimizing storage usage for organizations.

“Their new NAS offerings can do this as standalone systems, or can also be primary storage manager devices, or can be part of a wider, more complex virtualized and unified environment,” he said. “In all cases the products can be integrated with Hitachi’s archive and federated search components.”

Peters added that the greatest tiering in the world will be completely useless without an effective way to track down data when it’s needed.

Dave Pearson, senior analyst covering storage for IDC Corp., agreed, saying that spending the time to automate tiering and then letting the technology do the heavy lifting for you is far more economical than having storage administrators constantly verifying that storage is being used appropriately.

“Lowering management costs and complexity are the first and second most important criteria by which end users are selecting storage solutions, according to our surveys,” he said.

Pearson added Hitachi is doing a good job pushing its capabilities farther downstream towards price bands that are very attractive to end users.

“HDS Canada has done very well for itself in high-end, enterprise storage, but there is a great deal of business in the $15,000 to $150,000 range where they have not traditionally focused their attention,” he said.

The new Hitachi NAS 3080 starts at US $70,000 list price for the entry software bundle.

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