SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

HUS VM – Hitachi’s New Midrange Baby

The acquisition of BlueArc by Hitachi/HDS just over 12 months ago enabled the company to start producing more integrated unified products, which have been branded under the name HUS (Hitachi Unified Storage).  The latest announcement, made on 25th September 2012 (and discussed at the HDS Bloggers’ Day) is a new platform taking the HUS NAS component (i.e. BlueArc) and using a cut-down VSP to deliver mid-range unified platform that can also use external storage resources.

Background

Hitachi’s previous high-end array, the USP-V also had a baby brother known as the USP-VM.  This was a cut down deployment of the USP in a class that HDS referred to as “enterprise modular”.  Prior to that, Hitachi offered the NSC55, which at the outset appeared to be a pure virtualisation solution but was actually shipped with disk.  These stripped down versions of enterprise arrays seem to fit a strange category.  They are probably not best deployed by enterprise customers as they don’t have the same scalability and the midrange products (AMS2000 series and now HUS) were probably cheaper and so more appropriate for mid-range customers.  However the benefit of using the enterprise technology is that of external storage virtualisation, which forms a key piece of Hitachi’s storage strategy.  The USP-VM, which was rack-mounted using standard power supplies, provided the same features as the USP but without the implications of deploying three-phase power and enterprise-class data centre facilities.

Enter HUS VM

The new clumsily-named HUS VM platform is the evolution in the stripped down enterprise option.  It offers the same features and functionality as a VSP (fitting what I’ve heard described as Tier 1.5) and can be combined with the BlueArc NAS blade to provide a unified protocols storage appliance that can also virtualise external storage arrays.  Without a doubt the benefits to customers are ones of ease of deployment and cost.  Having compatibility with the enterprise range of products provides enterprise customers the ability to deploy HUS VM in branch environments  and still maintain data replication and management tool compatibility.  All of this comes with the goodness of being able to plant some of the physical storage on an external array.

Custom Hardware

HUS VM Architecture

What’s not so obvious from the announcement of this new platform is the engineering that has been put into it.  The VSP architecture introduced custom ASICs that offloaded front and back-end director processing (FED/BED) to Virtual Storage Processors, making the overall design much more efficient, as it reduced the risk of over or under-utilised directors.  With HUS VM, Hitachi have collapsed the functionality of seven existing ASICs & processor chips into one custom ASIC.  This provides the benefits of reduced cost, reduced risk in component failure (there’s less to go wrong or to require replacement) and of course reductions in environmental requirements.

Where Next?

The new HUS VM design reminds me of another Hitachi platform, the previous block-based AMS range of arrays.  In fact, the similarity made me question the ultimate aim of producing this new platform; will Hitachi simply drop the old AMS block-platform in favour of the HUS VM in the future? It makes sense not to run multiple products and if one product can be made to hit different market segments and their price categories, then it makes sense not to run two product lines and harmonise them into a single device.

One point worth considering; HP also resell the VSP as the P9500.  This is identical hardware, with perhaps a few microcode tweaks, but they are essentially the same base product.  Will HUS VM be available to HP customers or is this an HDS-developed platform only?

The Architect’s View

Hitachi are aiming the HUS VM at the mid-range “Tier 1.5″ market while retaining all of the goodness of the VSP.  The idea of retaining some features in silicon perhaps shows a trend towards optimising those functions that can be done with commodity hardware while retaining ASICs only where necessary.  We could be witnessing the consolidation of their block-storage platforms too.  There’s more to discuss around how NAS is implemented in this architecture, what the BlueArc acquisition could really mean for true integration, all of which will have to wait for next time.

Disclaimer: I recently attended the Hitachi Bloggers’ Day 2012.  My flights and accommodation were covered by Hitachi during the trip, however there is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time when attending the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Related Links

 

Comments are always welcome; please indicate if you work for a vendor as it’s only fair.  If you have any related links of interest, please feel free to add them as a comment for consideration.

Read the original blog entry...

Latest Stories
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure...
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
DevOps has long focused on reinventing the SDLC (e.g. with CI/CD, ARA, pipeline automation etc.), while reinvention of IT Ops has lagged. However, new approaches like Site Reliability Engineering, Observability, Containerization, Operations Analytics, and ML/AI are driving a resurgence of IT Ops. In this session our expert panel will focus on how these new ideas are [putting the Ops back in DevOps orbringing modern IT Ops to DevOps].
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Most organizations are awash today in data and IT systems, yet they're still struggling mightily to use these invaluable assets to meet the rising demand for new digital solutions and customer experiences that drive innovation and growth. What's lacking are potent and effective ways to rapidly combine together on-premises IT and the numerous commercial clouds that the average organization has in place today into effective new business solutions.
Concerns about security, downtime and latency, budgets, and general unfamiliarity with cloud technologies continue to create hesitation for many organizations that truly need to be developing a cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to elevate those concerns by enabling the combination or orchestration of two or more platforms, including on-premise infrastructure, private clouds and/or third-party, public cloud services. This gives organizations more comfort to begin their digital tr...
Keeping an application running at scale can be a daunting task. When do you need to add more capacity? Larger databases? Additional servers? These questions get harder as the complexity of your application grows. Microservice based architectures and cloud-based dynamic infrastructures are technologies that help you keep your application running with high availability, even during times of extreme scaling. But real cloud success, at scale, requires much more than a basic lift-and-shift migrati...
David Friend is the co-founder and CEO of Wasabi, the hot cloud storage company that delivers fast, low-cost, and reliable cloud storage. Prior to Wasabi, David co-founded Carbonite, one of the world's leading cloud backup companies. A successful tech entrepreneur for more than 30 years, David got his start at ARP Instruments, a manufacturer of synthesizers for rock bands, where he worked with leading musicians of the day like Stevie Wonder, Pete Townsend of The Who, and Led Zeppelin. David has ...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Addteq is a leader in providing business solutions to Enterprise clients. Addteq has been in the business for more than 10 years. Through the use of DevOps automation, Addteq strives on creating innovative solutions to solve business processes. Clients depend on Addteq to modernize the software delivery process by providing Atlassian solutions, create custom add-ons, conduct training, offer hosting, perform DevOps services, and provide overall support services.