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Hitachi VSP 5000 – Product Brief

Published on October 14th, 2019. Concise 7-page overview of HDS VSP 5000. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!


The Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform high end systems, the 5100H and 5500H hybrid systems and 5100 and 5500 all flash systems continue the evolution of Hitachi’s virtualized storage architecture with a new generation of purpose-built, Intel-based hardware. The VSP 5000 models use the same SVOS software as the earlier G1500 and F1500 models and builds on the high-end, highly reliable systems offered by Hitachi. Technology changes include new processors, new PCIe internal switches, support for NVMe devices, and new controller architecture.

The seamless continuation of the Hitachi VSP systems will allow customers familiar with the earlier systems to expand on their value derived from the system with the new capabilities and performance. Environments where the Hitachi VSP are used can be expanded with the new capabilities and simplified operations.

Highlights of the VSP 5000 models include:

  • Purpose-built controllers using standard Intel components
  • Dual internal PCIe switches with FPGAs for internal connections
  • Embedded software SVOS – Storage Virtualized Operating System
  • Command Suite software – system management & SRM
  • Virtualizes up to 200 external storage systems
  • Up to 287 PB external storage support
  • Thin provisioning for external volumes, fat-to-thin conversion
  • Real-time tiering to optimize cache usage for performance
  • Flash Module Devices – 7 and 14 TB with inline hardware compression and optional encryption supporting internal or external KMIP key NVMe attached devices
  • Compression and deduplication in software for all devices (when not used on FMDs)
  • Automated Dynamic Tiering for hybrid models


The Hitachi VSP 5000 systems are targeted for usage in the high-end enterprise space for the most demanding applications and as a platform to be used for consolidation with the ability to virtualize other storage systems behind it. A full complement of advanced features is available with the Hitachi VSP including Command Suite system management and storage resource management software.

  • Characteristics
    • Performance – The Hitachi systems have a history of being among if not the highest performing storage systems in their class. The SPC-1 performance at the Storage Performance Council website should be consulted for the latest performance information.
    • Availability – The Hitachi VSP high-end system has multiple redundancies built into the system and is one of the most reliable and highly available systems. Hitachi has a 100% uptime guarantee and a claimed 8-9’s of availability.
    • Replication for BC/DR – Both asynchronous and synchronous remote replication is available with multiple features. Hitachi Replication Manager is used to manage replication, consistency groups, and snapshots.
    • Business continuity – Active-active stretched clusters are supported with Global Active Device providing metro distance stretched clusters and workload mobility in a server virtualization environment.
  • Applications
    • The Hitachi VSP systems are targeted at applications that require block I/O and have extreme performance requirements.
    • The features of snapshot and remote replication give customers high-end system capabilities. The performance and features allow applications to be deployed in high availability and business continuity environments.
  • System environments
    • The Hitachi VSP 5000 base are a block storage system accessed using FICON for mainframe access and Fibre Channel or iSCSI for open systems. There is a wide range of server operating systems supported.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • The Hitachi VSP are complex systems and will require Hitachi support personnel to install and configure. Storage specialists will need to be trained to manage the VSP.
    • There is a wealth of administrative tools available from Hitachi and can be utilized by storage professionals to improve usage of the system.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale: Hitachi VSP 5000 – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the  Evaluator Series Evaluation Guide. Download the product brief now to view the Evaluscale for this product.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Hitachi VSP 5000

The Hitachi VSP high-end system, 5100 and 5500 models for all flash and 5100H and 5500H models for hybrid, are high-function block storage systems. With the 5000 models, Hitachi has added NVMe device support and rearchitected the controller cards and interconnect. The systems use the same SVOS embedded software as the earlier models and the midrange systems.

The VSP systems support storage virtualization to allow attachment of external storage systems for use as another tier of storage or for migrating data. With external storage attached, the system can scale very large in capacity and performance.

The VSP high-end system has an architecture that allows up to 12 controllers to be installed into a backplane with a shared memory space. This architecture is different than traditional scale-out storage systems but still does allow scaling up to a point. The system represents the type used in high-end enterprises where reliability is of the utmost importance. A full set of feature capabilities including storage virtualization makes this one of the premier storage systems for enterprises.

Currently, both SSDs and FMDs are supported, which can be confusing during an evaluation. Also, the FMDs connect through an adapter card to convert PCIe to SAS. A change to directly attach with PCIe would provide greater performance through less latency. Evaluator Group believes this improvement will eventually be introduced to the VSP system.

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