Hitachi Introduces Freedom Storage Lightning 9900

Hitachi Data Systems today rolled out the first in a new line of storage systems based on an internal switch-network architecture.

Hitachi's ( Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 is based on the Hi-Star architecture that Hitachi says improves upon the shared bus architectures of current subsystems. The Lightning 9900 features up to 6.4 GB per second of internal bandwidth.

The Lightning subsystem delivers 37 terabytes of storage space, twice the capacity of other storage subsystems. Lightning users will have a choice of 18 GB, 47 GB, or 73 GB drives, each packaged in a 3.0-inch form factor and spinning at 10,025 rpm. The drives will run across 32 Fibre-Channel Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) configurations to eliminate a major bottleneck to performance.

"[The Lightning 9900] is a very technically advanced product," said Dan Tanner of analyst firm The Aberdeen Group ( "It's a very high-end, enterprise level product that seems to be capable of great scalability, performance, and reliability."

Because of recent reorganization within Hitachi, however, Tanner said that the Lightning 9900 "won't be on the radar screens of the decision makers, and it should be."

The Lightning will offer copy software such as Freedom Storage 7700E, ShadowImage, Asynchronous Remote Copy, and NanoCopy, as well as support for IBM Corp.'s ( Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS).

The Hi-Star architecture provides switched point-to-point connectivity between disks, cache, and host interfaces. Separate connections are used for data and control paths. To further expedite performance, Lightning incorporates multiple sold-state cache memories - up to 32 GB of fully usable cache capacity for data. Control information is kept in separate memory banks.

Lightning provides up to 32 Fibre Channel or ESCON ports to hosts or SANs. Lightning storage is designed to operate with a variety of server platforms, including Unix, Windows NT/2000, Linux, Novell NetWare, and OS/390. - Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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