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HDS revving AMS

Monterey mid-range storage refresh coming

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The wires are humming that Hitachi Data Systems is going to update its AMS mid-range storage array line with three new Monterey models. We should expect an announcement quite soon.

The AMS - Adaptable Modular Storage - line was introduced in mid-2005 as the successor to the previous Thunder range, with two models: entry-level AMS200 and mid-range AMS300 both sporting 1 or 2 active:passive controllers and mixed Fibre Channel (FC) and SATA drives. A top-end AMS1000 was introduced in mid-2006, along along with iSCSI and NAS support across the range.

The AMS range features three storage tiers - 15K FC, 10K FC, 7.2K SATA, RAID 6 protection against two drive failures, logical cache partitioning so that cache can be set aside for specific applications, virtual storage ports so that multiple hosts can share the 4Gbit/s FC ports, and support for Windows multi-path IO (MPIO) so that if a controller fails read and writes could be redirected to the surviving controller node.

Power-saving drive spin-down was added in September '07.

These AMS machines compete against EMC's Clariion, recently refreshed with the CX4, NetApp's FAS 3000, and HP's EVA.

Word is that there will be straight model upgrades to new AMS2100, AMS2300, and AMS2500 models. The controllers will become active:active, and MPIO will be added to the controller firmware to boost performance. A volume will be able to be accessed by either controller.

With quad-core Xeons available and HDS a fan of intelligent and virtualising controllers, we might expect improvements in host (1024 currently) and LUN (4096 now) support, the addition of 8Gbit/s FC, FCoE support intentions, thin-provisioning, and could possibly hear about SAS drive and solid state drive (SSD) support.

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