Hitachi releases new VSP F AFA storage

In Hitachi VSP F400, Hitachi VSP F600, Hitachi VSP F800 by AdministratorLeave a Comment

Hitachi Data Systems® (HDS®) announced a new VSP® F series, all flash array storage that uses their next generation flash module for better performance and higher capacity.

New Hitachi VSP F storage systems

There are three new all-flash storage systems the VSP F400, VSP F600 and VSP F800 built from their corresponding VSP G series storage systems. Both the G and F series storage use the new Hitachi Flash Module Drive (FMD) DC2 storage which comes in 1.6TB, 3.2TB or 6.4TB of capacity per module. The new VSP F systems come with 1, 2 or 4 trays with 8, 16 or 40 (plus spares) FMD DC2 storage drives. That is, VSP F systems storage capacity ranges from 14TB (9 drives with 1.6TB of flash) raw flash up to 269TB (42 drives with 6.4TB flash) but with effective capacity (see below) this is from 13TB to 448TB of storage.

Hitachi has also elected to supply a unique bundle of their Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) software with the VSP F systems. The VSP F bundle includes SVOS plus data protection (with replication) and analytics. Note, storage virtualization is NOT available on VSP F storage systems.

The new systems are capable of 375K, 800K or 1,400K IOPS and a maximum sequential throughput of 11GB/sec., 12GB/sec. or 24GB/sec. for the F400, F600 and F800 respectively. The same performance is available from corresponding VSP G series storage systems with similarly configured FMD DC2 storage.

New Hitachi FMD DC2 storage

The new VSP F series storage makes use of Hitachi’s 2nd generation flash module, the FMD DC2 which comes with on the drive, hardware based data compression and 4-core ARM processing per drive. The data compression is always on and provides, on average, 2X the storage capacity over the usable NAND on the drive. The new 4-core ARM processing provides better performance such as faster response time/lower-latency IO activity and more IOPS than the previous generation FMD. That is, the FMD DC2 can sustain up to 99.6% of VSP F maximum IOPS at under a 1 msec average latency and up to 50% more IOPS than the original FMD storage.

When compared with the competition’s standard enterprise class SSDs, the FMD DC2 supplies up to 5X more write and 3X more read (8K) IOPS. Of course, the hardware compression available on FMD DC2 provides the same level of data reduction, at up to 10X the speed of software data compression available on competitor flash storage.

Hitachi is offering the new FMD DC2 storage at a price that is 28% below 15K RPM drives on a $/GB basis but when you double the effective capacity with data compression it’s more like 64% lower. With data compression’s boost to effective capacity, the FMD DC2 drives are actually lower in $/GB price than 10K RPM drives.

New Hitachi FMD Data Eradication service

HDS is also offering a new FMD Data Eradication service that can securely erase FMDs. Many customers have specific requirements to securely erase all data on their storage before it can leave their premises or before it can be re-purposed for other, less secure uses. Further, a prospect’s proof of concept test is often done with actual customer data and they want that data erased before it can be reused by others. Hitachi states that their FMD Eradication service exceeds the recommendations of US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for secure data erasure.

The problem with erasing flash storage is that to do so depletes the useful life of the storage and may leave data in over provisioned or bad blocks. With Hitachi’s FMD Eradication service all data in bad blocks and overprovisioned space is physically erased and verified along with normal flash data capacity. However, operational data such as wear leveling information is preserved. As a result, all Hitachi FMD device warranties remain in place after data eradication. No other flash device on the market can erase data in overprovisioned space and issue a certification that it was done.


Hitachi joins a number of other vendors (like HP & NetApp) that are supplying all flash versions of their hybrid storage arrays. Analysts and customers seem to want different storage systems to provide hybrid or all flash storage capabilities.

The new FMD DC2 is pretty impressive. We especially like the re-emergence of hardware based data compression. This gives one all the advantages of data reduction without the loss of IO performance. The better IOPS and responsiveness that comes with the 4-core ARM processors just adds to the allure of the new FMD DC2.

Not sure what to make of the new flash eradication service but with all the flash capacity vendors are shipping nowadays (Hitachi has shipped over 200PB of FMD storage through 3QCY15), the need was growing. Because Hitachi developed their FMD, they can add any unique functionality, wherever it makes sense. Non-depleting, secure erasure and onboard, hardware data compression are just a few examples of what Hitachi can supply in their FMD storage that others will have a hard time matching.

[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in November of 2015.  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. Dispatches are posted to our website at least a quarter or more after they are sent to our subscribers. Also we have recently updated (May 2019) our SAN Storage Buying Guide so if you are interested in purchasing block or primary storage, please checkout our Buying Guide available for sale on our website. ]  

Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & System consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.

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