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Storage hardware and software maker Hitachi Data Systems on Jan. 22 introduced what it called “significant” performance enhancements in its mid-range Hitachi Adaptable Modular Storage AMS1000 that it claims boosts the system’s processing power by about 20 percent.

Hitachi’s new multi-processor design in the AMS1000 augments the storage system’s business-enabling capabilities first unveiled in April 2006, which include 32 logical cache partitions, non-disruptive “on-the-fly” data movement across multiple tiers of storage, and enterprise-class RAID-6 data protection.

The AMS1000 also features what the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company claims is an industry “first”: embedded, multi-protocol support for iSCSI, NAS and Fibre Channel SAN.

“Performance is one of the fundamental core aspects of a storage system,” said Tony Asaro, senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Conn. “The processing power of a storage system is one of the key elements that impact performance. Customers should plan for performance requirements today and for the future, and they need a storage system that can meet their requirements as they grow.”

The AMS1000 also offers 4G bps Fibre Channel SAN connectivity, which aims to enhance the performance of high-end applications such as video-on-demand and medical imaging.

The AMS1000 enables users to mix and match multiple tiers of storage in a single rack (including 73GB, 146GB and 300GB Fibre Channel and 500GB SATA drives), consolidate Fibre Channel SAN, NAS or iSCSI attached storage within a single rack—with the ability to isolate resources for consistent quality-of-service, secure multi-level access and deliver non-disruptive volume migration.

Click here to read more about Hitachi’s 1TB hard drive.

For example, data volumes can be migrated from economical SATA drives to Fibre Channel from RAID 5 to RAID 6 or from one RAID profile to another—dynamically empowering clients to adjust their storage infrastructure to their changing business needs or data requirements.

“Driven by escalating costs, not only in terms of yearly outlays for storage, but also in energy and support costs, users are looking to consolidate and maximize the efficiency of storage assets,” said John Webster, principal IT adviser of Illuminata, in Nashua, N.H.

“By giving customers the ability to dynamically move application data between different classes of storage within the system, now coupled with a performance enhancement and multi-protocol interfaces, the AMS1000 is worthy of consideration as a flexible, long-term data consolidation platform,” Webster said.

Hitachi’s lineup of advanced midrange storage systems are all powered by dual-controller, high-speed bus technology and offer Logical Cache Partitioning, Virtual Ports, and Host Storage Domains within a single system. They also complement the Network Storage Controller or Universal Storage Platform as tiered or archive storage, especially when configured with SATA drives for lower costs, a company spokesperson said.

Pricing and availability

The AMS 1000 base system is priced at about $80,000 and is available now.

“We expect the average AMS 1000 configuration to ship between 15 to 20TB at a price of approximately $115,000 and $130,000. The average configuration includes SATA and FC disk drives,” Hitachi spokesperson Jennifer Mercer said.

“No other vendor can provide the same level of performance and high-end features such as logical cache partitions, on-the-fly data movement across multiple tiers of storage (Modular Volume Migration software), RAID-6 and multi-protocol support at such an affordable price,” Mercer said. “We are unmatched in this regard.”

Hitachi also announced Jan. 22 it has been positioned by IT researcher Gartner in the “Leaders” quadrant in its “Magic Quadrant for Midrange Enterprise Disk Arrays, 2H06” report.

According to Gartner, vendors positioned in the “Leaders” quadrant have the market share, credibility and marketing and sales capabilities needed to drive the acceptance of new technologies.

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