HDS Preps Broadway Debut

The vendor will unveil its high-end storage system on Monday, according to analysts

May 10, 2007

3 Min Read
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Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) looks set to unveil the bulked-up, version of its TagmaStore storage system next week in an attempt to tap into users' growing capacity demands. (See HDS: Users Pick TagmaStore.)

The last few months have been rife with speculation about the high-end system, code-named "Broadway," and for what HDS describes as a "strategic announcement" for Monday morning.

HDS officials declined to divulge any specifics about the news announcement when contacted earlier today. But an analyst, who asked not to be named, confirmed for Byte and Switch the Broadway debut. "It's the follow-up to the TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform [USP] system," he says, explaining that the system's internal capacity maxes out at around 576 Tbytes. "This is basically a big, centralized, virtual storage system."

The USP family, which was launched in September 2004, currently offers a maximum 332 Tbytes of internal storage. This can also be scaled up to 32 Pbytes with the addition of external storage, according to HDS. (See Hitachi Struts Mr. Universal, Hitachi Enchances TagmaStore, Hitachi Plans Midrange Rollout, and Midrange Makes Its Move.)

Another publicity-shy analyst adds that HDS is "way overdue" for some enhancements to its TagmaStore platform.As well as the internal capacity hike, Broadway's also expected to let users, via virtualization, connect to a maximum of 256 Pbytes of external storage. (See HDS PrepsTagmaStore, Ponders Sun.)

At least one technology analyst, who asked not to be identified, expressed skepticism about HDS's ability to reach these capacity levels. "There's the theoretical and the practical," he says. "I doubt that they have got the processing power to do that."

HDS does not reveal which chips are used within its high-end storage systems, although the TagmaStore line is said to use 400MHz MIPS processors from Broadcom.

Other anticipated features of Broadway include thin provisioning and improved local and remote replication, supporting more volumes and replication pairs than previous versions of TagmaStore. The replication software will also increase the number of systems mirrored in each data center, up to a maximum of four.

HDS is also expected to reveal support for 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel, something rival EMC is yet to add to its own high-end Symmetrix DMX-3 box. (See EMC Bulks Up Systems.)The largest DMX-3 system currently scales up to just over 1 Pbyte of raw storage capacity, according to EMC, which also added a note of skepticism to the rumored capacity limits of Broadway today. "We question whether users really want to daisy-chain multiple Pbytes of storage behind a single system," says spokesman Colin Boroski, explaining that this brings with it a significant "energy drain" and additional complexity for IT managers and CIOs.

HDS has had a busy few months overhauling its storage product line, which included buying Sun's 6920 midrange technology and unveiling a souped-up NAS box based on ans OEM deal with BlueArc. (See Sun Shifts SAN to HDS, HDS Hikes High-End NAS, and Sun Storage Chief: We're Not for Sale.)

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • BlueArc Corp.

  • Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

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