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Hitachi Data Systems Announces New SSD Controller As Enterprise Storage Leads The Industry – FMS 2012 Update

Hitachi Data Systems, well known for their high performance storage solutions, has stated their intent to bring a new, high performance SSD controller to market. This appears to be a completely homegrown design, and not a result of its joint venture with Intel. Also announced was their new VSP (Virtual Storage Platform) solution, which will enable enterprise customers to achieve more than 1,000,000 sustained IOPs, facilitating high performance on even the heftiest workloads. Both of these releases are part of a broader strategy set forth by Hitachi to facilitate the expansion of its original flash technology across their entire range of enterprise and mid-range solutions.

New SSD controllers are always big news, and it doesn’t get much bigger than this, as Hitachi has stated that their latest solution, using MLC flash, will offer sustained throughput four times greater than what’s available in existing products. This likely means that SSDs based on the new processor will be PCIe based in order to facilitate the extra bandwidth. This makes perfect sense, even in the wake of SAS 12GBps, which offers twice the speed of consumer oriented SATA, yet is still seen as a primary bottleneck when it comes to SSDs. This is an excellent example of how far the storage has come in the past few years, and it’s no wonder that Hitachi is doing what it can to get its piece of the pie. With things like greater than 5 years endurance and robust security functions at its disposal, the firm should have no issues carving out a larger slice for itself. The only thing missing at this point is a consumer variant (keeping fingers crossed).

Also mentioned was a new version of their Virtualized Storage Platform which uses flash to accelerate many popular enterprise applications. In fact, Hitachi has stated that scalability increased by about 3 times over the previous generation, while I/O latency has decreased by approximately 65%, and that customers will enjoy around 2 times the performance when it comes OLTP applications; I can’t wait to see what this solution can do in TPC. If the performance benefits stand up to IBM’s claims, we may end up seeing some new benchmark records established. In any case, it appears that Hitachi is in agreement with the rest of the industry when it comes using flash to enhance server performance, which should have positive ramifications for the lower end segments, especially as flash production is increased in response to it’s ever greater role in multiple markets.

It seems Hitachi has taken the initiative when it comes to expanding its presence in the enterprise. By developing their own in-house controller, they can effectively set themselves apart from many other players who have neither the resources or expertise to develop the core components for their products. This automatically makes them part of a select group of companies that are able to maintain tight control over many aspects of their solid state storage offerings, allowing for increased performance and reliability. These aspects may be a boon in the consumer space, but they are an absolute necessity in the Enterprise segment, where speed and up-time equate to greater profit margins. As such, Hitachi may have hit the nail on the head with their latest strategy. It’s nice to see them doing their part to hammer in the inherent advantages of solid state storage, and the future of the industry looks like it will have a solid foundation.

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