HDS sends in SAS to shoot up modular storage range

Go Go Go Go Go


Hitachi Data Systems has refreshed its mid-range AMS modular storage line, adding a SAS backplane to boost internal bandwidth and turning the two controllers into an active:active pair.

As noted here, the AMS (Adaptable Modular Storage) line has three models: entry-level AMS 200, mid-range AMS 300 and high-end AMS 1000. All sport one or two active:passive controllers, mixed Fibre Channel (FC) and SATA drives, and FC, SCSI and NAS support across the range.

There are three storage tiers: 15K FC; 10K FC; and 7.2K SATA. There is also RAID 6 protection against two drive failures, logical cache partitioning so that cache can be set aside for specific applications, virtual storage ports so multiple hosts can share the 4Gbit/s FC ports, support for Windows multi-path IO (MPIO), and power-saving drive spin-down.

There are three models in the new AMS 2000 line: AMS 2100; AMS 2300; and AMS 2500. These effectively replace the original AMS product trio. They now have active:active controllers. HDS calls these 'dynamic load-balancing' controllers, and all three models have 99.999 per cent availability - the five 'nines' benchmark.

They also have a SAS backplane, instead of using FC arbitrated loops (FCAL) as before for linking the drives to the controllers. This runs at 3Gbit/s and has up to 32 point-to-point links with a combined bandwidth of 9,600MB/sec. HDS says this is 'dramatically' faster than before.

The FCAL scheme had four 2Gbit/s connections per tray, adding up to a tray interface bandwidth of 8Gbit/s. There are now eight 3Gbit/s SAS connections per tray providing 24Gbit/s of tray bandwidth.

We suspect that HP's coming ExDS91000 also uses a SAS infrastructure to link its drive trays and processors. We might suppose that a 6Gbit/s SAS II scheme would provide a good fit for SAS interface solid state drive (SSD) use.

Supported host numbers have also risen. The AMS 200 and 500 handled up to 512 host connections with the AMS 1000 supporting 1024. Two of the new models manage more: the 2300 supports up to 1024 and the 2500 2048, while the 2100 stays at 512 connections.

HDS has rounded up an IDC analyst, Richard Villars, who says that the combination of SAS backplane and better controller pairing makes the new AMS products well suited to supporting virtualised servers. This is because they can be provisioned faster, have better performance, etc. etc.

What the new AMS boxes don't have is thin provisioning, which HDS calls dynamic provisioning and which it ships with its high-end USP-V arrays. This is coming in the first half of next year. With it you need only buy as much disk space as is needed for the data you are going to be writing in the near-term, while spoofing applications that they have fully populated volumes. For now you're going to have to buy all your AMS disk capacity up front.

HDS is also adding security and data protection additions to its USP VM arrays, the lower-end USP product.

AMS 2100 prices start from around $31,500, AMS 2300 from around $47,500, and AMS 2500 from about $81,500. The AMS 2100 and 2300 are available now, and the 2500 will be available in quantity from November.

HDS says there will be more information here. It will be interesting to see if HDS competitors - EMC, HP, IBM, NetApp and Sun for example - follow its lead in abandoning FCAL technology for internal drive to controller linkage. ®


Other stories you might like

  • While the iPhone's repairability is in the toilet, at least the Apple Watch 7 is as fixable as the previous model

    Component swaps still a thing – for now

    Apple's seventh-gen Watch has managed to maintain its iFixit repairability rating on a par with the last model – unlike its smartphone sibling.

    The iFixit team found the slightly larger display of the latest Apple Watch a boon for removal via heat and a suction handle. Where the previous generation required a pair of flex folds in its display, the new version turned out to be simpler, with just the one flex.

    Things are also slightly different within the watch itself. Apple's diagnostic port has gone and the battery is larger. That equates to a slight increase in power (1.094Wh from 1.024Wh between 40mm S6 and 41mm S7) which, when paired with the slightly hungrier display, means battery life is pretty much unchanged.

    Continue reading
  • Better late than never: Microsoft rolls out a public preview of E2EE in Teams calls

    Only for one-to-one voice and video, mind

    Microsoft has finally kicked off the rollout of end-to-end-encryption (E2EE) in its Teams collaboration platform with a public preview of E2EE for one-to-one calls.

    It has been a while coming. The company made the promise of E2EE for some one-to-one Teams calls at its virtual Ignite shindig in March this year (https://www.theregister.com/2021/03/03/microsoft_ups_security/) and as 2021 nears its end appears to have delivered, in preview form at least.

    The company's rival in the conference calling space, Zoom, added E2EE for all a year ago, making Microsoft rather late to the privacy party. COO at Matrix-based communications and collaboration app Element, Amandine Le Pape, told The Register that the preview, although welcome, was "long overdue."

    Continue reading
  • Recycled Cobalt Strike key pairs show many crooks are using same cloned installation

    Researcher spots RSA tell-tale lurking in plain sight on VirusTotal

    Around 1,500 Cobalt Strike beacons uploaded to VirusTotal were reusing the same RSA keys from a cracked version of the software, according to a security researcher who pored through the malware repository.

    The discovery could make blue teams' lives easier by giving them a clue about whether or not Cobalt Strike traffic across their networks is a real threat or an action by an authorised red team carrying out a penetration test.

    Didier Stevens, the researcher with Belgian infosec firm NVISO who discovered that private Cobalt Strike keys are being widely reused by criminals, told The Register: "While fingerprinting Cobalt Strike servers on the internet, we noticed that some public keys appeared often. The fact that there is a reuse of public keys means that there is a reuse of private keys too: a public key and a private key are linked to each other."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021