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Hitachi UCP HC adds all-flash model, VSP beefs up VVOLs support

The Hitachi UCP HC V240F is an all-flash version of a hybrid hyper-converged system launched in June; both versions start with three nodes and scale a node at a time.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is launching a new all-flash version of its Unified Compute Platform (UCP) HC V240 hyper-converged...

appliance based on VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) software. The UCP HC V240F gives HDS an all-flash model for each of the products in its UCP converged and hyper-converged infrastructure line.

The Hitachi UCP HC V240F is due for general availability Sept. 6.

Hitachi's hyper-converged UCP HC line uses VSAN to help with storage provisioning and management. The all-flash V240F model includes space-saving features, such as data deduplication, compression and erasure coding.

The Hitachi UCP HC V240F has a maximum raw storage capacity of 4 TB per node, or an estimated 12 TB usable capacity after deduplication. The product uses solid-state drives (SSDs) for both cache and persistent storage. The minimum configuration is three nodes, and customers can scale as high as 64 nodes per cluster.

The hybrid Hitachi UCP HC V240 required a four-node minimum, and customers had to scale in four-node increments when it launched in June. Now both the hybrid V240 and the all-flash V240F can start with three nodes and scale in one-node increments.

Chris Gugger, director of infrastructure solutions marketing at HDS, said the three-node minimum and one-node addition make it easier to deploy in remote offices. He said he expects the V240F to also hold appeal for workloads such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Dinesh Singh, a marketing manager for hyper-converged and VMware virtualization offerings at HDS, said the sub-millisecond latency and highly scalable IOPS in the new V240F will also make the all-flash hyper-converged model suitable for analytic applications, such as Hadoop. He said other key use cases include test/development and cloud hosting.

Singh said the UCP HC V240F will have Docker support when the product becomes generally available. The hybrid hyper-converged model added support for Docker container technology on Aug. 18. Customers also have the flexibility to deploy vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) on the Hitachi UCP HC, according to Singh.

Software-defined networking coming to UCP

HDS is also integrating VMware's NSX software-defined networking on UCP platforms. Hitachi will demonstrate the technology with Brocade networking this week at VMworld. The NSX support will be available on the UCP 4000 in September and on the UCP 2000 in October, Singh said.

Also in October, Hitachi plans to introduce UCP Advisor software to enable single-pane-of-glass management with the UCP 2000. The product formerly used UCP adapters and the native element managers of the components for administration, according to Gugger. HDS will disclose pricing for the UCP Advisor license when the software becomes generally available.

Customers can order factory-installed, pre-loaded VMware vSphere and VSAN software with the Hitachi UCP HC product, Singh said.

VVOLs enhancements

HDS also enhanced support for VMware vSphere VVOLs for the all-flash and hybrid versions of its Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) systems. VVOLs provide foundational support for failover and failback replication to provide high availability of virtual machines (VMs). Customers must use vSphere 6.0 to take advantage of VVOLs.

VSP users can deploy high-availability and fault-tolerant configurations known as Hitachi VMware vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) providers. The APIs set up an out-of-band communication path between vCenter and the storage array, and it publishes the array's capabilities to the virtual machine (VM) administrator and transmits the VM's storage requirements through VM policies, Singh said.

"These were some of the sticking points for VVOL adoption in the broader enterprise scenario," Singh said. "Array-based replication is a necessary requirement for customer's business continuity needs and is further bolstered with new availability options for Hitachi VASA provider. The VASA provider is a key element for provisioning operations and interfacing with Hitachi's scalable off-load storage services, such as snapshots, clones and replication."

Hitachi VASA Provider 3.3.1 with array replication capabilities on Hitachi VSP hybrid and all-flash systems became generally available on Aug. 18.

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