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HDS expands flash ahead of EMC's XtremIO launch

A few days ahead of EMC’s ballyhooed official XtremIO launch, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) made flash news of its own this week. HDS bumped up the performance, capacity and number of arrays supported by the Hitachi Accelerated Flash (HAF) modules that are the heart of its flash strategy.

HDS first brought out its home-grown flash modules for its enterprise flagship Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) array in November 2012. Last July, it added them for the Hitachi United Storage (HUS) VM enterprise unified storage system, which HDS pushes as its preferred all-flash platform.

Today it added 3.2 TB HAF modules, double the capacity of the original modules. The 1.6 TB HAF trays are still available. HDS also rolled out new flash optimization software for HUS VM that it claims can deliver more than 1 million IOPS in one system. The optimization software previously delivered 500,000 IOPS. The flash modules are also now available for the HUS 150 midrange array.

To get 1 million IOPS, customers must use at least four HAF trays plus Hitachi’s flash controller. The code is a separate license.

Each HAF is a 2U tray with a controller and up to 12 flash drives. The 3.2 TB drives brings the total capacity per tray to 38.4 TB. An all-flash HUS VM holds up to eight HAF modules for 308 TB with 3.2 TB drives.

Bob Madaio, HDS senior director of product marketing, said HAF gives HDS an advantage in the flash wars over rivals using traditional third-party SSDs.

“We built a lot of smarts right into the device, such as flash management, wear leveling and garbage collection,” he said. “That’s a big differentiator for us.”

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