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In an effort to reduce the complexity and cost associated with managing and storing data, Hitachi Data Systems on Monday unveiled the midrange offspring of some of its enterprise-level products.

HDS’ rack-mounted TagmaStore Network Storage Controller model NSC55, available now, incorporates the features of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based developer’s Universal Storage Platform, such as its parallel crossbar switch architecture for availability and performance; a large-scale controller-based virtualization layer; logical partitioning for application quality-of-service; storage-agnostic universal replication for business continuance, as well as management software.

The NSC55, with 5TB of storage, will sell for about $150,000, said Rachel Young, vice president of global marketing at HDS.

“The ability to have one controller and be able to virtualize all the volumes in the data center is very attractive,” said David Floyer, co-founder and chief technology officer at ITCentrix, a developer of enterprise decision portfolio management software designed to improve organizational planning, analysis and management.

“Obviously, the opportunity [to solution providers] is to offer a different way of organizing the data. It’s a different philosophy.”

The NSC55’s expandability and management capabilities will help solution providers differentiate themselves from their competitors and allow them, in many cases, to play a bigger role in advising clients about storage development, Floyer said.

“This is an opportunity for them to guide customers and take them through all the strategies and options,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity for them to go and find out about it and to be the first. When something new comes out—like this—it’s an opportunity to understand it well and provide solutions for your customers that can be far, far more cost-effective.”

HDS also took the wraps off the TagmaStore Adaptable Modular Storage and Workgroup Modular Storage lines—models AMS500, AMS200 and WMS100—a collection of midrange modular storage systems that offer logical cache partitioning, host storage domains and virtual ports.

The AMS500, with 10TB, will sell for less than $70,000, while the 5TB AMS200 will list for less than $40,000, said Young. Both are available.

The WMS100, which will ship in August, features 5TB and will cost less than $20,000, she added.

All units support up to 4G bps Fibre Channel port connectivity. The AMS products include both high-availability FC drives and a SATA intermix option.

Click here to read more about Hitachi’s storage virtualization.

The WMS line offers SATA drives solely, further reducing the price.

Both AMS and WMS support advanced software for point-in-time snapshots, remote copy and backup, and are designed to complement the Network Storage Controller or Universal Storage Platform as tiered or archived storage, according to HDS.

“[With] the very, very interesting remote copy capability in the Network Storage Controller, you can cut down the telecommunications costs by around 50 percent for remote sites,” said Floyer.

These cost savings occur due to a decreased dependence on tape, he noted.

HDS sells the entire family of products through its more than 500 partners worldwide, said Young.

In addition to VARs and solution providers, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. will market the units under their own names, she said.

Lenovo, Acer and Gateway also will sell HDS’ new storage technologies, Young added.

“For our channel partners, it’s easier for them to implement,” said Hu Yoshida, HDS’ chief technology officer. “This will give the channel something different to sell.”

To sweeten the ante, HDS is making it easier to buy and finance these products, said Young. “This is available directly through us or through the value-added reseller,” she said.

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