Fujitsu Boosts Performance of Eternus Systems

Mid-range and high-end systems get faster processors, 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel support

January 14, 2009

2 Min Read
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Fujitsu Computer Systems revamped and upgraded its Eternus storage systems this week, boosting performance with quad-core processors and offering 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel support.

The mid-range 4000 line and high-end 8000 line of Eternus products now include LUN-level disk encryption in the controller and MAID technology to spin down idle disks to cut power consumption. The company plans to add support for solid-state disks and thin provisioning in the future, according to Jim DeCaires, storage product marketing manager.

At the high end, Fujitsu introduced two Eternus 8000 series products to replace three previous products. The 1200 model replaces the 900 and 1100 models and offers two to four controllers and up to 1,020 drives for 783 Tbytes of capacity. The 2100 model is being replaced by the 2200 model, which offers up to eight controllers with four processors on each and 2.1 Pbytes of capacity. The 2200's system cache increases from 256 Gbytes to 512 Gbytes. Both models offer customers the option of mixing 8-Gbit/s FC or iSCSI interfaces in the same system.

The company also introduced two models for the mid-range market. Model 300 is being replaced by model 400, and model 500 is being replaced by model 600. Both offer two controllers and 8-Gbit/s FC on the front end. The 400 model can scale up to 210 drives and the 600 model up to 420 drives.

Fujitsu has high hopes for the mid-range systems, as it has seen a shift in customer buying patterns. "Revenues for high-end systems have been dropping for some time as customers who don't need massive throughput are opting for mid-range systems," said DeCaires. "We think the two-controller systems provide value during tough economic times."Fujitsu will probably offer support for solid-state disks and thin provisioning around the middle of the year, as much as a year behind some of its competitors. "Customers are asking for thin provisioning, and we will deliver it," DeCaires said. He called solid-state disks a niche product. "None of our customers are putting it in yet. We have a terabyte of cache in the 8000 line, so that takes care of most of their needs for performance. But we are going to provide support for SSDs."

Benjamin Woo, vice president of enterprise storage systems at research firm IDC , said Fujitsu's upgrades are an effort to become a more prominent vendor in the storage market. "As costs come down, it is only natural that vendors bring to market increases in performance. So these enhancements are natural."

Woo thinks thin provisioning will become a standard feature on storage systems down the road, and noted that Fujitsu is behind some of its competitors in offering that capability. Fujitsu's customer base is more mainstream rather than leading edge, Woo said. "I don't think the delay will hurt them in the market they play in."

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