Blog Feed Post

HUS VM – Hitachi’s New Midrange Baby

The acquisition of BlueArc by Hitachi/HDS just over 12 months ago enabled the company to start producing more integrated unified products, which have been branded under the name HUS (Hitachi Unified Storage).  The latest announcement, made on 25th September 2012 (and discussed at the HDS Bloggers’ Day) is a new platform taking the HUS NAS component (i.e. BlueArc) and using a cut-down VSP to deliver mid-range unified platform that can also use external storage resources.


Hitachi’s previous high-end array, the USP-V also had a baby brother known as the USP-VM.  This was a cut down deployment of the USP in a class that HDS referred to as “enterprise modular”.  Prior to that, Hitachi offered the NSC55, which at the outset appeared to be a pure virtualisation solution but was actually shipped with disk.  These stripped down versions of enterprise arrays seem to fit a strange category.  They are probably not best deployed by enterprise customers as they don’t have the same scalability and the midrange products (AMS2000 series and now HUS) were probably cheaper and so more appropriate for mid-range customers.  However the benefit of using the enterprise technology is that of external storage virtualisation, which forms a key piece of Hitachi’s storage strategy.  The USP-VM, which was rack-mounted using standard power supplies, provided the same features as the USP but without the implications of deploying three-phase power and enterprise-class data centre facilities.

Enter HUS VM

The new clumsily-named HUS VM platform is the evolution in the stripped down enterprise option.  It offers the same features and functionality as a VSP (fitting what I’ve heard described as Tier 1.5) and can be combined with the BlueArc NAS blade to provide a unified protocols storage appliance that can also virtualise external storage arrays.  Without a doubt the benefits to customers are ones of ease of deployment and cost.  Having compatibility with the enterprise range of products provides enterprise customers the ability to deploy HUS VM in branch environments  and still maintain data replication and management tool compatibility.  All of this comes with the goodness of being able to plant some of the physical storage on an external array.

Custom Hardware

HUS VM Architecture

What’s not so obvious from the announcement of this new platform is the engineering that has been put into it.  The VSP architecture introduced custom ASICs that offloaded front and back-end director processing (FED/BED) to Virtual Storage Processors, making the overall design much more efficient, as it reduced the risk of over or under-utilised directors.  With HUS VM, Hitachi have collapsed the functionality of seven existing ASICs & processor chips into one custom ASIC.  This provides the benefits of reduced cost, reduced risk in component failure (there’s less to go wrong or to require replacement) and of course reductions in environmental requirements.

Where Next?

The new HUS VM design reminds me of another Hitachi platform, the previous block-based AMS range of arrays.  In fact, the similarity made me question the ultimate aim of producing this new platform; will Hitachi simply drop the old AMS block-platform in favour of the HUS VM in the future? It makes sense not to run multiple products and if one product can be made to hit different market segments and their price categories, then it makes sense not to run two product lines and harmonise them into a single device.

One point worth considering; HP also resell the VSP as the P9500.  This is identical hardware, with perhaps a few microcode tweaks, but they are essentially the same base product.  Will HUS VM be available to HP customers or is this an HDS-developed platform only?

The Architect’s View

Hitachi are aiming the HUS VM at the mid-range “Tier 1.5″ market while retaining all of the goodness of the VSP.  The idea of retaining some features in silicon perhaps shows a trend towards optimising those functions that can be done with commodity hardware while retaining ASICs only where necessary.  We could be witnessing the consolidation of their block-storage platforms too.  There’s more to discuss around how NAS is implemented in this architecture, what the BlueArc acquisition could really mean for true integration, all of which will have to wait for next time.

Disclaimer: I recently attended the Hitachi Bloggers’ Day 2012.  My flights and accommodation were covered by Hitachi during the trip, however there is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time when attending the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Related Links


Comments are always welcome; please indicate if you work for a vendor as it’s only fair.  If you have any related links of interest, please feel free to add them as a comment for consideration.

Read the original blog entry...

Latest Stories
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
Join us at Cloud Expo June 6-8 to find out how to securely connect your cloud app to any cloud or on-premises data source – without complex firewall changes. More users are demanding access to on-premises data from their cloud applications. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” but an important differentiator that drives competitive advantages. It’s the new “must have” in the hybrid era. Users want capabilities that give them a unified view of the data to get closer to customers and grow business. The...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists loo...
Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.