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Virtual Storage Platform: The First 60 Days

by Hu Yoshida on Dec 3, 2010

It is now just over 60 days since we announced the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) on September 27 in Santa Clara, which was called a “game-changing moment”.


HDS CEO Jack Domme unveiling VSP

In all my years in the industry, I have never experienced this type of transition when we introduced a new generation product. Usually, there is a dip in sales as customers hold off on buying the previous generation product while they take time to evaluate the new. This time we saw very little delay.

I think there are several reasons for this. The first is 3D scaling in VSP, which enables it to scale up to meet the consolidation requirements of virtual servers, scale out to support the dynamic requirements of multiple servers, and scale deep to enable external storage to scale up and scale out.

The second reason is the addition of new capabilities like page-level tiering, which enables a volume to span multiple tiers of storage based on the activity of the individual pages in a volume. This makes more efficient use of the higher performance tiers of storage whose cost can be offset by a larger capacity of lower cost storage. Since only a small percent of the data in a volume requires high performance, it only takes a small amount of high performance storage to have a major impact on total IOPs at a lower cost.

And finally, it is the obvious environmental savings from the use of Small Form Factor, 2.5 inch, Serial Attached SCSI drives. This, combined with the packaging in VSP dense drive module can reduce space, power and cooling cost by 40 percent or more over competitive storage systems.

With that said, I believe the main difference is in the use of storage controller-based virtualization, which enables us to move storage to the next level without a “rip and replace” of existing storage assets.  You can install a diskless VSP, virtualize your existing storage, and increase the scalability and performance of your storage systems. With storage virtualization, you can migrate to VSP in a matter of weekends rather than a matter of months. Even if you decide you cannot wait and you need to add capacity to your older generation storage to meet immediate capacity needs, you do not have to wait to capitalize that investment before you upgrade to the new generation VSP.

Based upon the demand we are seeing, these last 60 days have proven the value of storage controller-based virtualization in making the transition from USP V to VSP.

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[...] What the three most popular posts below show me is that tiering was a topic of great interest this past year, which is one of the reasons that our Virtual Storage Platform launch was so well-received. [...]

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