HDS's MAID Mystery

Vendor's 'green IT' stuff looks an awful lot like M--D

September 25, 2007

2 Min Read
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Hitachi Data Systems has thrown itself onto the back of the green IT bandwagon, unveiling enhancements to its midrange storage systems that sound suspiciously like MAID technology.

Why is this noteworthy? Because it seems to represent something of a turnaround for the company. A couple of months ago, HDS highlighted monitoring issues as a major drawback of MAID technology. In a blog entry, HDS CTO Hu Yoshida explained that the vendor did not offer MAID "due to concerns over the inability to monitor the health of the disks during idle periods."

Today's announcement suggests that the firm has re-thought its stance on MAID, which is championed by Copan, Fujitsu, NEC, and Nexsan. HDS nonetheless avoids any reference to MAID in the press release accompanying the announcement and is yet to release specific details or pricing for its Power Savings Storage Service (PSSS).

HDS is now touting the ability to power down disks on the vendor's Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) and Workgroup Modular Storage (WMS) arrays when they are not being accessed, citing power savings of up to 20 percent compared to traditional arrays.

Available on Fibre Channel and SATA drives, the HDS technology certainly looks like MAID, even though the vendor claims to have developed something completely different.An emailed statement from HDS shed some light on this issue, but not much. "Our technology teams believe we have implemented a superior solution than MAID as our products can be used for production-type data or for long-term storage/archival," it states. "MAID products are typically designed to idle nearly all the time, whereas Hitachi offers greater flexibility."

At least one analyst thinks we should not get bogged down in the differences between HDS's technology and traditional MAID systems. "The nuances between MAID and HDS are less important to me than the fact that a market leader has come out and put its weight behind this technology," says Dave Vellante, lead storage analyst at the Wikibon user group, explaining that this should go some way to allaying users' fears about spinning down disks.

Curious minds still want to know exactly what HDS is offering and how it differs from MAID. When I find out, I will let you know.

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  • Copan Systems Inc.

  • Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • NEC Electronics Corp.

  • Nexsan Technologies Inc.0

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