HDS upgrades AMS2000

Today, HDS refreshed their AMS2000 product line with a new high density drive expansion tray with 48-drives and up to a maximum capacity of 48TB, 8Gps FC (8GFC) ports for the AMS2300 and AMS2500 systems, and a new NEBS Level-3 compliant and DC powered version, the AMS2500DC.

HDS also re-iterated their stance that Dynamic Provisioning will be available on AMS2000 in the 2nd half of this year. (See my prior post on this subject for more information).

HDS also mentioned that the AMS2000 now supports external authentication infrastructure for storage managers and will support Common Criteria Certification for more stringent data security needs. The external authentication will be available in the second half of the year.

I find the DC version pretty interesting and signals a renewed interest in telecom OEM applications for this mid-range storage subsystem. Unclear to me whether this is a significant market for HDS. The 2500DC only supports 4Gps FC and is packaged with a Cisco MDS 9124 SAN switch. DC powered storage is also more energy efficient than AC storage.

Other than that the Common Criteria Certification can be a big thing for those companies or government entitities with significant interest in secure data centers. There was no specific time frame for this certification but presumably they have started the process.

As for the rest of this, it’s a pretty straightforward refresh.

HDS Dynamic Provisioning for AMS

HDS announced support today for their thin provisioning (called Dynamic Provisioning) feature to be available in their mid-range storage subsystem family the AMS. Expanding the subsystems that support Thin provisioning can only help the customer in the long run.

It’s not clear whether you can add dynamic provisioning to an already in place AMS subsystem or if it’s only available on a fresh installation of an AMS subsystem. Also no pricing was announced for this feature. In the past, HDS charged double the price of a GB of storage when it was in a thinly provisioned pool.

As you may recall, thin provisioning is a little like a room with a bunch of inflatable castles inside. Each castle starts with it’s initial inflation amount. As demand dictates, each castle can independently inflate to whatever level is needed to support the current workload up to that castles limit and the overall limit imposed by the room the castles inhabit. In this analogy, the castles are LUN storage volumes, the room the castles are located in, is the physical storage pool for the thinly provisioned volumes, and the air inside the castles is the physical disk space consumed by the thinly provisioned volumes.

In contrast, hard provisioning is like building permanent castles (LUNS) in stone, any change to the size of a structure would require major renovation and/or possible destruction of the original castle (deletion of the LUN).

When HDS first came out with dynamic provisioning it was only available for USP-V internal storage, later they released the functionality for USP-V external storage. This announcement seems to complete the roll out to all their SAN storage subsystems.

HDS also announced today a new service called the Storage Reclamation Service that helps
1) Assess whether thin provisioning will work well in your environment
2) Provide tools and support to identify candidate LUNs for thin provisioning, and
3) Configure new thinly provisioned LUNs and migrate your data over to the thinly provisioned storage.

Other products that support SAN storage thin provisioning include 3PAR, Compellent, EMC DMX, IBM SVC, NetApp and PillarData.