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Hitachi VSP G-1500 and F-1500 – Product Brief

This document is retired and no longer updated. Concise 7-page overview of HDS VSP G-1500 and F-1500. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!


The Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform high end systems, the G1500 hybrid system and F1500 all flash system continues the evolution of Hitachi’s virtualized storage architecture with a new generation of purpose-built, Intel-based hardware and new advanced features along with a directional change to make the embedded Storage Virtualized Operating System (SVOS) the singular code stream for Hitachi storage. The VSP G1500 and F1500 builds on the high-end, highly reliable systems before it – the VSP and the earlier USP.  Advances in the technology have increased performance, expanded usability with active-active stretched clusters, extended storage virtualization with Virtual Storage Machines (VSMs), and added non-disruptive scale out capabilities to extend the life of the system.

The seamless continuation of the Hitachi VSP G1500 and F1500 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. The VSP G1500 supports both block and file access with file support coming with the high performance HNAS included with the G1500 (as an option).  The HNAS supports up to eight nodes in a cluster.  The VSP F1500 is offered for block access only.

Highlights of the VSP G1500 and F1500 include:

  • Purpose-built controllers using standard Intel components and no ASICs
  • Embedded software SVOS – Storage Virtualized Operating System
  • Command Suite software – system management & SRM
  • Block and file support with HNAS under the covers (G model only) – up to 8 HNAS nodes in cluster
  • Virtualizes up to 200 external storage systems
    • Up to 255 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 keys
  • Compression and deduplication in software for all devices (when not used on FMDs)
  • Automated Dynamic Tiering for G-model
    • FMDs, SSDs, SAS, and NL-SAS devices


The Hitachi VSP G1500 and F1500 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.
    • 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 G1500 and F1500 are targeted at applications that require block I/O and have extreme performance requirements and the G1500 offered where high performance file storage is needed as well.
    • 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 G1500 and F1500 base are a block storage system accessed using FICON for mainframe access and Fibre Channel or iSCSI for open systems with the ability of the G1500 to add file storage with the HNAS option. There is a wide range of server operating systems supported.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • The Hitachi VSP G1500 and F1500 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 G1500 & F1500 – 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 G1500 & F1500

The Hitachi Data Systems VSP high-end system, F1500 model for all flash and G1500 model for hybrid, are high-function block storage systems with an internal addition of the HNAS file storage as plug-in cards.  The NAS function is similar to a bolt-on solution in that it is operating independently of the block function.   The maturity of the NAS implementation includes a full spectrum of file protocols, more than is usual in the mid-tier and entry markets. Additionally, the NAS is a hardware-intensive implementation using FPGAs for greater performance.  A full suite of advanced features are also available.

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 eight engines (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.  Additionally the HNAS function can be scaled up to eight nodes, separately installed into the frame.  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 be introduced to the VSP system.

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