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Hitachi Preps Lightning Strike

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has chosen to keep mum about its forthcoming Lightning release, allowing industry buzz to talk for it -- at least for now.

Not surprisingly, theres been a lot more speculation than cold details in advance of the news conference Hitachi's scheduled for Tuesday, September 7, to launch its high-end SAN. The announcement is set to be the first major Lightning SAN upgrade since January 2003 (see HDS Launches Preemptive Strike).

Hitachi isn’t briefing the press before Tuesday, but details have filtered out among analysts and competitors. The launch will apparently have three main themes: universal storage, replication among arrays from different vendors, and virtualization.

On the first two features, an industry source with knowledge of the new Hitachi controller says that either late this year or early next year the new system will support Symmetrix and Clariion systems from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and FastT and Shark arrays from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM). It will also support synchronous and asynchronous replication among the arrays from different vendors.

Other sources say the Lightning will also offer a blade with virtualization software that would compete with IBM’s SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and EMC’s planned virtualization hardware, both of which revolve around intelligent switches (see EMC & IBM in Virtual Skirmish).

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