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Hitachi Offers Thin Provisioning on Externally Virtualized Storage


SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 5 -- Building on the worldwide success of the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V and in line with Hitachis Services Oriented Storage Solutions strategy, Hitachi today announced several significant storage software and performance enhancements that will enable enterprises to vastly improve the environmental characteristics of their existing multi-vendor storage assets. With todays announcement, Hitachi is enabling customers to extend all of the power, cooling, space and thin provisioning advantages of Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning as a service to externally attached storage systems -- an industry first.

Continuing the companys track record of breakthrough innovations in enterprise storage, Hitachi also announced today that the Universal Storage Platform V shatters the 4 million input output operations per second (IOPS) benchmark for maximum performance. Driving improved storage economics and unparalleled flexibility in tiered storage environments, Hitachi also announced the availability of native internal support for 750GB SATA II hard disk drives.

Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning Software Delivers Green Halo Effect to Storage Virtualization

Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning software enables customers to allocate virtual disk storage based on their anticipated future requirements without dedicating physical disk storage up front. If the need for additional physical disk arises, capacity can be purchased at a later time -- at a lower cost -- and implementation occurs transparently, without any disruption to mission-critical applications. Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning software delivers several important benefits to customers including reduced space, power and cooling costs achieved by eliminating the management overhead of allocated but unused disk space, that is often replicated many times for backup or other operational purposes. Now, only the capacity that is required to hold the actual data is provisioned and replicated, requiring fewer physical disks resulting in lower carbon footprints. Not only does this provide significant improvements in capacity utilization, it also takes the guess work out of allocating storage capacity, reduces the risk of out of space conditions, and facilitates the acquisition planning for future growth. In general, Hitachi has eliminated some of the most pressing storage management headaches affecting datacenter managers today.

Hitachi Data Systems unique ability to provide a heterogeneous platform for all storage services is further enhanced with Dynamic Provisioning. Now, thin provisioning can be applied as a new storage service for all devices attached to the Universal Storage Platform V and Universal Storage Platform VM, and better yet, they all can be centrally managed and treated as one virtual pool of data storage.

As a core part of Hitachis Services Oriented Storage Solutions framework, only Hitachi can equip customers existing storage assets with capabilities they were never designed to encompass, such as thin provisioning, thereby making virtualized storage systems greener, lowering customers power and cooling consumption rates and increasing the utilization of storage capacity, said Claus Mikkelsen, chief scientist at Hitachi Data Systems. Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning software can also potentially eliminate the need to re-provision LUNs as they grow.

We have documented proof from Hitachi customers that virtualization and internal thin provisioning have allowed them to push off the acquisition of entire arrays, said David Vellante, president and CEO of ITCentrix Inc., a CIO consultancy based in Boston. By extending the USP V to support Dynamic Provisioning on competitive arrays, we expect many customers will realize additional utilization benefits, often receiving their entire annual allotment of capacity for free.

"Hitachi continues to extend the intelligence and abilities of the USP V to heterogeneous storage systems," said Tony Asaro, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. "End users can now take advantage on the Hitachi USP V thin provisioning on other storage systems in their datacenter. We believe that thin provisioning is one of the most valuable technologies improving capacity utilization, improving capacity planning, and reducing power and cooling consumption. This is one important example of how external storage virtualization can improve the utilization and optimization of heterogeneous physical storage assets."

Hitachi continues to deliver robust, virtualized and common heterogeneous storage services by extending its thin provisioning functionality to externally attached storage, further expanding the economic benefits of this functionality, said Carl Greiner, senior vice president of infrastructure and software at OVUM. The virtualization-enabled common functionality of the USP V, encompassing data mobility, migration, replication, thin provisioning and heterogeneous array attachment, all linked via a consistent management scheme, continue to set the pace for enterprise storage virtualization.

Hitachi: The Hands-Down Champion in Enterprise Storage Performance

To keep up with the explosion in transactions that need to be processed by most companies, enterprises of all sizes are installing faster processors and increasing the utilization of their servers through the use of server virtualization technologies. This trend is increasing the need for much higher I/O performance in storage systems to keep up with and complement the servers increased throughput.

With more than 7,300 intelligent virtual storage controllers shipped, Hitachi is continuing to set the pace in the industry for enterprise storage performance. Hitachi unveiled today that the flagship Universal Storage Platform V, delivers more than 4 million IOPS of maximum performance -- an advantage of up to 440 percent over other enterprise storage systems in the market and more than 60 percent faster performance of the original, category-defining Universal Storage Platform. Powered by the vastly scalable Hitachi Universal Star Network V, the USP V enables customers to consistently overachieve on their service level agreement (SLA) requirements.

File and content services based on the Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V and Universal Storage Platform VM platforms enable these enterprises to grapple with increasing government regulations, long-term data retention policies as well as unstructured data growth from the Web 2.0 movement, as they are pressured to improve application performance, availability and response time

Improved Storage Economics with Support for 750 GB SATA II Drives

Rapid information growth from regulatory demands for data archiving and new applications put a strain on organizations' IT budgets and expose inefficiencies in traditional storage architectures. A tiered storage architecture can dramatically lower capital and operating expenses by matching the service-level needs of business applications to storage system attributes.

Today, Hitachi is delivering customers a new option for their tiered storage architectures with native support for 750GB SATA II hard disk drives. The lower cost, high capacity design of these disk drives deliver an improved gigabyte to kilowatt (GB/KW) ratio for IT operations which decreases power and cooling costs and contributes to a greener datacenter. In addition, by matching the service-level needs of the application to the characteristics of the storage infrastructure, Hitachi customers can make the most effective use of available resources, ensuring all allocations are optimally placed. For example, customers can make snapshots of tier 1 data and move it to cost-efficient SATA disk for backup or development tests.

The use of SATA II disk drives now offers USP V users another step in creating a tiered storage architecture within the USP V, said Tom Trainer, senior analyst with Evaluator Group. We anticipate that the expanded capabilities for tiering storage within the USP V will be widely embraced by Hitachi customers. In addition, the increased performance of the USP V will be of significant importance to those users who are leveraging Hitachis Services Oriented Storage Solutions strategy and relying on the highest levels of performance available from the product.

With todays announcement, Hitachi increases the 'virtualization' capabilities of the USP V and USP VM which are already the most 'virtualized' storage systems available today supporting internal and external volume virtualization, thin provisioning, partitioning and virtual ports, said Josh Krischer, founder of Josh Krischer & Associates, a leading storage research firm. The USP V leads the market from every aspect; performance, functionality, availability, ease-of-use and flexibility.

About Hitachi Data Systems

Hitachi Data Systems Corp. provides Services Oriented Storage Solutions that enable heterogeneous storage to be dynamically provisioned according to business needs and centrally managed via industry-leading Hitachi storage virtualization software. As an integral part of the Hitachi Storage Solutions Group, Hitachi Data Systems delivers storage infrastructure platforms, storage management software, and storage consulting services through direct and indirect channels in over 170 countries and regions. Its customers include nearly 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.hds.com.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 384,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2006 (ended March 31, 2007) consolidated revenues totaled 10,247 billion yen ($86.8 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, visit the company's Web site at www.hitachi.com.

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