FalconStor Network Storage Server (NSS) 6.0

Disk and disk subsystems

Bronze Award:

Hitachi Data Systems Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) 2000 Family

By offering a SAS backplane and active-active controllers in a midrange storage system, Hitachi Data Systems is at least slightly ahead of its time.

Industry experts agree it's only a matter of time until SAS replaces Fibre Channel as the performance drives in storage arrays, but Hitachi got the ball rolling among major vendors with the AMS 2000 family. The systems are available with SAS or SATA drives.

Hitachi also rolled out a new Dynamic Load Balancing Controller for the platform. The symmetric active-active controller doesn't require logical unit number (LUN) assignments to match preferred paths from server to controller, and can send I/Os to any host port without a performance penalty. The system also monitors controller utilization rates and rebalances the load between controllers. The AMS 2000 series supports disk spin down when no I/O activity is taking place to save power.

The 2000 family comes in three versions: the AMS 2100, AMS 2300 and AMS 2500. Hitachi claims an IOPS cache burst rate of 400,000 for the AMS 2100 and 2300, and 900,000 for the 2500. The sustained throughput ranges from 1,250 MBps for the 2100 to 2,400 MBps for the 2500. Capacity scales to 118 TB on the AMS 2100, and to 472 TB on the AMS 2500.

"This is proof that midtier storage is growing up, with true active-active controllers," says one of our judges, a SAN architect. "It's a real big gain in stability, performance and management for real-world applications."

Hitachi AMS 2100 pricing starts at approximately $31,500.

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