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Hitachi VSP Midrange – Product Brief

Last updated December 10th, 2018 for general updates. Concise 9-page overview of Hitachi VSP Midrange Covers usage cases, potential, system specifications, & strengths/concerns commentary. Product Brief includes Eval(u)Scale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!

Overview

The Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Midrange G Series hybrid and F Series all flash models are built on the high-end VSP design with configurations that use two purpose-built controllers, the same embedded software, and differing physical packaging.  The hardware uses standard Intel components with no custom ASICs as were used on previous Hitachi midrange systems.  The embedded Storage Virtualized Operating System RF (SVOS RF) is a singular code stream for Hitachi block storage systems.  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 high-end Hitachi VSP series 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 for midrange storage can be expanded with the new capabilities and simplified operations of the VSP G and F series. The VSP G series supports both block and file access with file support coming with the high performance HNAS included with the specific G model (as an option) as a single inserted card in the VSP chassis.  The HNAS supports up to eight nodes in a cluster.  The F Series all flash systems support block mode only.

In May 2018, Hitachi refreshed the product line with new Intel processors and other updates and changed the product model numbers.

Hightlights of the VSP midrange systems include:

  • Four hybrid models that vary in configurations: G350, G370, G700, G900
  • Four all flash models: F350, F370, F700, and F900
  • Continuation of Hitachi VSP high-end hardware design using standard Intel components in a purpose-built system
  • Embedded software SVOS RF – Storage Virtualized Operating System RF
  • Hitachi Storage Advisor – management application with GUI for configuration and provisioning
  • Block and file support with HNAS under the covers (G-Series) – up to 8 HNAS nodes in cluster
  • External storage system virtualization
  • Thin provisioning for external volumes, fat-to-thin conversion
  • Real-time tiering as cache extension
  • Automated Dynamic Tiering (G-Series)
    • FMDs, SSDs, SAS, and NL-SAS devices
  • Inline compression in FMDs
  • Software based compression and deduplication

Usage

The Hitachi VSP midrange systems are targeted for usage across the midrange enterprise space for the 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 G and F series including system management and analytics 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.  The larger high-end system has performance information posted.
    • Availability – The Hitachi VSP midrange systems have multiple redundancies built into the system and is one of the most reliable and highly available systems.
    • 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. Global Active Device will operate between any VSP model.
  • Applications
    • The Hitachi VSP midrange systems are targeted at applications that require block I/O and have extreme performance requirements and the G-series 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 G and F series base is a block storage system accessed using Fibre Channel or iSCSI for open systems with the ability to add file storage with the HNAS option only for the G series. There is a wide range of server operating systems supported.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • There is a wealth of administrative tools available from Hitachi and can be utilized by storage professionals to improve usage of the system.
    • The new GUI with Hitachi Storage Advisor should allow customers to install and configure the system.
    • Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor

Evaluator Group EvaluScale™: Hitachi VSP – 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 Midrange

The Hitachi Data Systems VSP midrange systems, F models for all flash and G models 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.

The VSP midrange systems are not scale-out systems, which means for increasing performance in parallel with capacity, a new controller pair (another model) must be installed.  Other competitive systems have implemented scale-out functionality for a more measured growth.  Evaluator Group believes the experience in the high-end enterprise and the demonstrated reliability of the large VSP system executing the same embedded software means the VSP midrange systems are low-risk, high functional value storage solutions.  The lack of scale-out is one limitation that must the managed by the customer with choosing the correct model and planning for replacements on pace with coupled capacity and performance demands.


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