Hitachi is poised to ship a cut-down version of its flagship USP V disk array aimed at mid-sized sized customers.
As well as reducing the number of processors inside the device, Hitachi has taken the new machine, the USP VM, out of its monolith enclosure or box, and mounted it in a 10-U high 19-inch chassis.
With a much smaller capacity for both internal disk and for virtualized external disk, when the device ships next month it will cost far less than a full-bore USP.
Starting price for a USP VM without disk drives or optional software will be just $60,000. The aim is to win mid-sized customers who want the sophistication of a USP V and its cross-vendor virtualization and replication functions, but cannot afford one.
Mid-range customers would probably faint if we offered them the USP V, said Claus Mikkelsen, chief scientist for Hitachi's storage subsidiary Hitachi Data Systems. The USP V - which lost its TagmaStore name at the last upgrade in May - carries a starting price of $250,000 for five-drive configuration.
It's a volume play, Mikkelsen said. What used to be a hard line between mid-range and high end customers is getting blurred. We're aiming this at what I call a bridge market, at customers who want high-end features, but can't justify buying a USP V, he said.
These customers are spread across multiple industries, and not concentrated in any particular vertical market, Mikkelsen said.
The USP V has a maximum internal capacity of 332TB and the ability to virtualize or take control of 247PB of external storage, and deliver over 3.5m IOPS, according to Hitachi. The USP VM in contrast scales to a smaller 72TB across 240 internal drives, 96PB of external virtualized disk, and 1m-plus IOPS.
Because it runs the same micro-code, the VM will be able to perform all of the thin provisioning, cross-box replication and other functions of its big sister.
The emergence of the VM does not signal the end of Hitachi's mid-range AMS disk arrays, which Mikkelsen said are still much cheaper than the VM. The AMS boxes have also had their name shortened, and sadly are no longer officially called Thunder boxes.
The switch from monolithic cabinet to modular-style rack-mounting for the VM has helped reduce its cost, but probably more importantly allows it to be used by customers who don't own data centers with raised floors. The VM runs from 220v power. You could plug it into your garage next to the washing machine, Mikkelsen said.