Jan 21, 2014
In past years, when customers were asked to name the leader in midrange NAS; Hitachi was probably not on the top of the list. Hitachi has long earned a reputation for enterprise scalability, availability, and performance, but never made an impression in the midrange. Well that perception has changed according to a survey of qualified Storage Magazine and SearchStorage.com readers where Hitachi recently won the Quality Award for midrange NAS for the second year in a row.
The midrange NAS products that were considered were the HUS100 series, with NAS option, as well as the AMS2000 family. On a scale from 0 to 8 Hitachi’s midrange NAS was ranked as follows:
Initial product quality: 6.89
Product features: 7.06
Product reliability: 6.94
Sales force competence: 7.14
Technical Support: 6.98
Hitachi scored the highest in all 5 categories, which resulted in an overall rating of 7.00 to lead all other midrange NAS vendors where the next closest score was 6.69. A score of 7 plus is a rare occurrence and underscores Hitachi’s leadership in product features and sales competence.
While HUS and AMS NAS options are priced and packaged in the midrange category, these NAS engines are the same as our enterprise HNAS gateways and provide greater scalability and functionality than other NAS products in this category. Here is a summary of NAS features on our HUS product line.
1 Based on SPECsfs_2008 NFSv3 Benchmark
2 Dual-node configuration
3 With mixed read/write workloads
While midrange NAS systems are sensitive to price and packaging they require no less in scalability and functionality than their Enterprise counterparts. This is especially true as midrange users embrace server virtualization, where the I/O demand scales up and becomes more random with each virtual image. These virtual systems require more IOPS and throughput for performance than standard NAS appliances can provide. While midrange NAS systems do not need the large storage capacity and functionality of enterprise systems, they need the capacity in terms of file size and number of directory objects and functionality of enterprise NAS.
The unique engineering that has gone into the FPGA based architecture of Hitachi NAS engines, Hitachi Object based file system, and the separation of data movement from data management distinguishes it from all other NAS systems that are based on appliances. When these NAS engines are integrated and unified with high performance, high availability, midrange storage systems from Hitachi, the midrange market gets the best of both worlds. The NAS performance, scalability, functionality, and investment protection of enterprise NAS; priced and packaged for the midrange.
HUS VM was not included in this survey since it was still relatively new. This addition to the HUS family brings additional features like storage virtualization, enterprise level disaster recovery, and an all Flash HUS VM to the midrange market. The HUS VM All Flash Array is also one of the finalists in the SearchStorage TechTargetEnterprise Storage Systems: 2013 Product of the Year Award. With HUS VM, the difference between enterprise and midrange storage functionality becomes blurred and the only major difference is price, packaging and degree of scalability.
Today, the requirements for enterprise and midrange customers are the same in terms of NAS performance and functionality. The only difference will be in packaging and price point. The 2014 SearchStorage Quality Award for Midrange NAS confirms that the HUS family of products with unified NAS is delivering on these requirements.