HDS reinvents high-end arrays


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New model for enterprise storage
The USP line offers an easier upgrade path than previous HDS storage products, HDS claims. Users may opt to start at the low end of the line with a minimally configured, single-cabinet USP100 and then upgrade nondisruptively all the way up to the flagship four-cabinet USP1100 model. The model numbers have little bearing on configurations, and disks, cache, ports and so forth can be added without taking the system offline. But whatever USP configuration is installed, the virtualized and single-pane-of-glass management capabilities are essentially identical.

Pricing varies considerably, given the broad range of possible configurations. HDS quoted sample prices of about $700,000 for a 6TB USP, up to $10 million for a fully loaded 330TB USP1100, HDS will also continue to sell and support its Lightning line of arrays.

Putting virtualization in primary storage is a bold move that may change the way enterprise-class storage is managed. Adding new, high-capacity storage to satisfy the high availability, high-performance requirements of enterprise applications and simultaneously being able to manage existing storage more effectively is no small matter.

Of course, some might say that casting your lot with USP' virtualization will lock your company into HDS. To a degree, that's true, but "buying any storage system today locks you in," says ESG's Asaro. You will be locked into HDS' virtualization

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solution--but not to a greater extent than with any other virtualization product. If HDS can deliver support for a wide enough assortment of heterogeneous storage products, USP's virtualization capabilities may, in fact, help avoid getting locked into any particular vendor's product line. With USP in place, you could buy and install whatever vendor's box suits current needs best, and let the USP system manage it.

HDS has wrapped an impressive set of features into the USP line and, in doing so, created a level of expectation that it will have to live up to. But Asaro underscores the importance of the TagmaStore line, calling it a "next-generation solution" with "overall capabilities [that] took me by surprise."

This was first published in September 2004

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