HDS recently announced their latest version of midrange, the Hitachi Unified Storage (HUS). The HUS includes an upgraded file module and block storage module combined into one storage subsystem that is a significant technological advance over prior generation Hitachi midrange storage.
The HUS is sold in file and block storage or block-only configurations.
HUS hardware features
The HUS comes in three versions, an entry level, mid-range and maximum configuration, or the HUS 110, HUS 130 and HUS 150, respectively. Each HUS comes with a block module and one or more file storage modules. Multiple file storage modules can be clustered together to service file IO activity, supporting both 4-10GbE as well as 6-GigE interfaces per file module. Block module host port options vary depending on the HUS system selected.
Every HUS block and file storage module supports two controllers for redundancy and high availability. Also, each block storage controller includes NVRAM to hold data for recovery purposes in the event of a power failure.
HUS storage options
Physical storage options for HUS systems include:
- For 2.5” or small form factor (SFF) disk drives, 300GB, 600GB or 900GB 10Krpm SAS drives at general availability and arriving in second half, 2012 will be a new, 300GB 15Krpm drive,
- For 3.5” or large form factor (LFF) disk drives, 2TB or 3TB 7200rpm near-line SAS (NL-SAS) drives,
- For SFF solid state drives, 200GB or 400GB SSDs.
Storage capacity can be expanded for any HUS system by adding 2U sized, LFF or SFF disk shelves that support up to 12- or 24-drives, respectively. For the HUS 130 and 150 systems, storage capacity options also include a 4U sized, LFF disk shelf that holds up to 48-3.5” disk drives. Consequently, with 3TB disk drives, the HUS 150 provides ~3PB of capacity and even the entry level, HUS 110 system supports up to 360TB of raw data storage.
HUS storage performance
The HUS markedly improves the IO performance of HDS’s previous generation storage. Specifically, for block storage.
- Sequential performance has improved by over 175%, maxing out at ~8.7 GB/second,
- Random IO performance has also improved by over 30%, maxing out at over 72K IOPS.
The HUS also supports Dynamic Provisioning, automated storage tiering, larger file systems and larger LUNs sizes with improved replication and snapshot/cloning services. In addition, the HUS supports Dynamic Virtual Controller (DVC), which is a new performance feature that automatically load balances block I/O across controllers. Finally, a new version of Hitachi Command Suite has been modified to support all HDS file and block storage systems from a single pane of glass.
Although Hitachi is somewhat late to the unified storage game, it does introduce some interesting multi-node, almost clustering file system services. Clearly not up to NetApp’s C-mode clustering or scale-out NAS systems from EMC Isilon, HP IBRIX or IBM, but clearly a step in the right direction.
Also, the HUS is touted as providing an object-based file system with both file and block storage mapped onto a common storage pool. This has the benefit of faster searches, intelligent file tiering, automated migration and fast replication. Using the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) provides an underlying object store capability and supplies a RESTful HTTP interface to it. Object storage could have the potential for much more meta-data than available with standard file systems today. One can probably see some of the advantages of the object storage with the HUS combined with the HCP for regulatory compliance and application-specific metadata customization.
Well with HDS on the unified bandwagon now all the major enterprise class storage vendors have them. It seems like the midrange is a good fit for unified storage, having great need for both file and block in one storage system.
[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in April of 2012. If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports.]
Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.