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Hitachi Data Systems offers new enterprise all-flash array solution

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October 24, 2016

Earlier today, we learned that Hitachi Data Systems offers a new enterprise all-flash array solution and a faster hybrid array and doubled flash drive capacity. HDS has also updated its Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS).

Its Virtual Storage Platorm (VSP) products consist of all-flash arrays with the G series being hybrid, both flash and disk.

The new, higher-end VSP F-1500 system quadruples the cache, doubles the previous high-end systems bandwidth and more than triples its I/OPS. We can tell that the company has been busy lately.

That should give HDS more ammunition to fight Dell/EMC, HPE and IBM storage arrays.

The VSP F-1500 is positioned at the top of the existing F-400, F-600 and F-800 range.

Hitachi asserts that the VSP F-1500 has superior price/performance value, and is for enterprise customers looking to consolidate their IT assets across block, file and mainframe operations.

To be sure, HDS doesn't use SSDs but instead it is building its own FMDs. Previously the FMD capacities were 1.6 TB, 3.2 TB or 6.4 TB. Now they are 1.75 TB, 3.5 TB, 7 TB and 14 TB.

The refreshed FMDs use MLC (2 bits per cell) NAND, not TLC (3bits/cell), and have SAS interfaces, not using PCIe.

Older generation 1, 1.7 TB and 3.2 TB FMDs have a 6 Gbit/s SAS interface. All the other and later drives use 12 Gbit/s SAS.

The generation 1 drives utilize 25nm 32GB, MLC flash chip technology. Gen 2 (FMD DC2) drives with 1.7 TB, 3.5 TB and 7 TB capacities use 19nm 64 GB MLC flash.

The latest, 3rd-generation 7 TB and 14 TB FMD HD drives use 15nm, 128 GB MLC NAND.

The new FMDs have built-in, in-line compression using a VLSI engine and a derivative of the LZ-77 algorithm. Data compression can be distributed and managed across a system's set of FMDs.

There is an enhanced Flash Translation Layer with the compression that delivers up to about 80 percent of data reduction (typically 2:1) at about ten times the speed of competitors, HDS claims.

The company says this is because each FMD provides its own compression engine, giving HDS the ability to easily provide five to ten times the data reduction processing capabilities of other, traditional all-flash arrays.

Dell EMC added inline compression to HYPERMAX, the VMAX OS recently. HDS says these FMDs have the ability to prioritise application I/O requests over background tasks such as garbage collection, to minimise potential latency.

FMDs come in twelve drive/2U trays, with more than 338 TB effective capacity per tray, and HDS claiming I/OPS performance is up to five times better per FMD than enterprise SSDs.

A potential fourth-generation FMD could utilize TLC flash chips with an NVMe interface to increase both capacity and I/O performance further.

This time next year, 30 TB TLC NAND SSDs will likely be available and HDS could build gen 4 FMDs from the chips used in such drives.

Source: Hitachi Data Systems.


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