HDS offers free storage virtualization software

By Kevin Komiega

-- In an effort to entice users into attaching heterogeneous arrays to its Universal Storage Platform V (USP V), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is launching a program that gives customers storage virtualization software to create a common pool of heterogeneous, tiered storage, at no cost.

Under the new "Switch it On" program, announced today and starting in early May, HDS is offering storage virtualization software that can be used to consolidate all externally attached, third-party storage under common management, and includes transparent data movement, dynamic provisioning, intelligent tiering and disaster recovery capabilities.

The company claims its storage virtualization and dynamic provisioning technology can improve overall storage utilization by up to 40%, recover up to 50% of unused storage capacity, and reduce overall power, space and cooling costs in the data center.

Those who take part in the program will receive software licenses to virtualize an unlimited capacity of third-party storage behind the USP V using free Basic Operating System V software for virtualizing heterogeneous storage. Users will also receive free Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning (thin provisioning) software (up to 10TB), tiered Storage Manager software for data migration, and In-System Replication software for data protection.

Hu Yoshida, HDS' chief technology officer, says the program is targeted at USP V customers that have been hesitant to attach existing heterogeneous storage arrays to the USP V for a variety of reasons, including cost.

"Our program is designed to make it easier to attach third-party storage systems to our USP V platform and use all of the capabilities and functions of the USP V," says Yoshida.

Yoshida says customers are subject to run-of-the-mill fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), from other vendors who say their storage will not work with the USP V, but economic pressures are forcing users to look for ways to consolidate their storage infrastructures and do more with less.

"Even though we've had these capabilities available for some time, users are reluctant to attach existing assets to the USP V. This program is about encouraging them to take that leap of faith," he says. "This program takes away the cost element and provides immediate payback [in reclaimed capacity] for customers looking for a return on their investment within this budget year."

The Switch it On program begins May 6, and runs through December 31, 2009. The fine print can be found on the HDS Switch it On registration page.

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This article was originally published on April 22, 2009