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Hitachi Starts Another Virtualization Revolution with “Disk-Less” Network Storage Controller


Pushes Storage Market Further into the Future with Completely Disk-Less Intelligent Virtual Controller, the “Brains” of the Storage Environment, While Competitors Continue to Push Monolithic Commodity Arrays

Customers Achieve All the Benefits of Virtualization, Obtain the Latest Enterprise Functionality and Maximize Current Storage Assets, Without Buying Unneeded Disk Capacity

Hitachi Enables the “Only Buy What You Need” Approach, and Turns the Traditional Storage System Purchasing Model on its Head

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—April 24, 2006— Hitachi Data Systems, provider of Application Optimized Storage™ solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), today began another virtualization revolution with the availability of the Hitachi TagmaStore® Network Storage Controller model NSC55 “Disk-less” version. The disk-less Network Storage Controller for midsized enterprises completely separates the commodity media (disks) from the innovation (intelligent control unit) required to provide storage, data and content services, enabling customers to adopt the latest functionality and capabilities while utilizing existing storage assets. Hitachi’s unique approach to virtualization delivers total flexibility for IT buyers to match unique application requirements to specific storage attributes. The NSC55 disk-less version is available immediately from Hitachi Data Systems’ global direct sales force and through more than 500 channel partners worldwide.

“The traction we have experienced with our unique controller-based virtualization approach has been phenomenal, with several thousand intelligent virtual controllers shipped to date,” said Claus Mikkelsen, chief scientist, Hitachi Data Systems. “While our competitors stumble around with one virtualization excuse after another, Hitachi is selling the future of storage today. The new NSC55 disk-less version will further increase the market adoption of our virtualization approach and expand Hitachi’s addressable market by providing customers with a lower entry-point to join the Hitachi family of storage solutions. We are giving clients access to this revolutionary technology and providing them with a sophisticated upgrade path to the NSC55, which offers additional enterprise functionality.”

Hitachi is freeing customers from buying unneeded disk capacity and enabling them to maximize their existing storage assets. Meanwhile, competitors are continuing to focus on building monolithic disk arrays still based on antiquated 20th century designs, forcing customers to buy more storage capacity just to obtain the latest functionality while the management of the storage infrastructure is left unaddressed.

The NSC55 disk-less version seamlessly manages up to 16 petabytes of externally attached heterogeneous storage—including support for the latest high-end and midrange storage systems from EMC, IBM, Hitachi, HP and Sun, among others. While many small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) have an abundance of disk capacity in their data centers, much of it remains underutilized. With the NSC55 disk-less version, SMEs can significantly increase storage utilization rates with Hitachi’s Universal Virtualization Layer software. In addition, the solution allows SMEs to apply advanced functionality to their depreciating storage arrays—such as tiered storage management software and storage-agnostic replication—thereby increasing their value to the business.

“The Hitachi disk-less NSC disaggregates the storage controller from the disk enclosures and its storage virtualization technology acts as the glue to logically connect the physically discrete elements into a single virtual system,” said Tony Asaro, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “This results in greater usage and economy that cannot be achieved with traditionally integrated storage systems.”

“Storage professionals are looking for solutions that enhance the value of existing storage investments and reduce the management headaches associated with a heterogeneous storage environment,” said John McArthur, group vice president and general manager, Information Infrastructure and Enabling Technologies, IDC. “Solutions, such as HDS’ NSC55 disk-less version, enable heterogeneous data replication for previously installed disk arrays and simplify the process of migrating data off of arrays which need to be taken out of service.”

“The significance of the disk-less NSC55 lies in the fact that customers can now acquire and exploit a controller-based storage services platform whose price is based solely on the cost of the controller platform plus software,” said John Webster, senior analyst and founder of Data Mobility Group. “This essentially allows customers to buy controller-based virtualized storage services without paying a premium for the underlying commodity disk.”

“In our opinion, for I/O intensive workloads, the advanced architecture in Hitachi’s new disk-less NSC55 is significantly more scalable, compelling, and architecturally sound than the virtualization appliance approach we’ve seen from major competitors such as EMC and IBM,” said Dave Vellante, CEO of ITCentrix, an independent software and services firm. “ITCentrix continues to believe that Hitachi has achieved unique advantages by placing the locus of control close to the data versus in the network.”

The NSC55 and NSC55 disk-less version completely revolutionize the midrange storage market as the first products in this segment architected with a multi-processor global cache disk controller that can be accessed by any server through a non-blocking crossbar switch. Access to storage can be load balanced across multiple virtual host ports since all servers can view the same cache image. Featuring the massively parallel Hitachi Universal Star Network crossbar switch architecture, the NSC55 disk-less version introduces levels of availability and multi-tasking capabilities previously unheard of in this market—capabilities, such as running multiple data-intensive applications concurrently, which many companies without raised floor data center environments cannot obtain with their existing, conventional midrange products. The architecture’s switched internal networks separate cache and path resources for data and control information, enabling the intelligent controller to dynamically optimize storage resources to meet application requirements for both performance and availability. The NSC55 disk-less version is powered by 32 multi-processors designed for extremely heavy I/O workloads and, together with the NSC55 standard version, are the first midrange storage systems backed by a 100-percent data availability guarantee.

For additional information about Hitachi Data Systems’ latest innovations in the midrange storage market, visit

About Hitachi Data Systems
Hitachi Data Systems leverages global R&D resources to develop storage solutions built on industry-leading technology with the performance, availability and scalability to maximize customers’ ROI and minimize their risk. By focusing on the customer’s perspective as we apply the best hardware, software, and services from Hitachi and our partners, we uniquely satisfy our customers’ business needs.

With approximately 2,900 employees, Hitachi Data Systems conducts business through direct and indirect channels in the public, government and private sectors in over 170 countries and regions. Its customers include more than 50 percent of Fortune 100 companies. For more information, please visit our Web site at

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 347,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2004 (ended March 31, 2005) consolidated sales totaled 9,027.0 billion yen ($84.4 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s Website at

© 2006, Hitachi Data Systems Corporation. Hitachi Data Systems is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a trademark and service mark of Hitachi, Ltd. TagmaStore is a trademark of Hitachi Data Systems Corporation. All other trade names, trademarks, and service marks used herein are the rightful property of their respective owners.


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