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Hitachi Heads for SMB

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is pushing into the SMB market with a low-end version of its Thunder midrange system.

On Wednesday, Hitachi will announce availability of its Thunder 9520V system, bringing the enterprise-focused storage vendor belatedly into the emerging SMB space.

The new Thunder has SATA drives, comes in single- or dual-controller configurations, and offers SAN starter kit options that include low-end Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) HBAs and eight-port switches from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) or McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA).

In the new gear, Hitachi has tried to retain many of the high-end features of midrange Thunder, such as virtual storage ports, support for 512 LUNs, and the same software, except for TrueCopy remote replication. We’re taking our high-end storage, and scaling, sizing, and pricing it for this market,” says Karen Sigman, Hitachi’s VP of worldwide channels.

Despite Hitachi’s positioning the Thunder 9250V as a first SAN for small companies, it is actually a higher-end system than entry-level offerings from competitors, including products such as the AX 100 from Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), StorageWorks MSA 1000 from Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and the IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) DS300 and DS400. (See EMC, Dell Get Small With SATA, HP and QLogic Aim Low, and IBM Launches iSCSI SAN.)

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