Hitachi to Bring High-End Storage Features to Windows 2000

As Windows 2000 moves Microsoft Corp.'s platforms higher into the enterprise, companies that build traditionally high-end storage solutions are beginning to offer Unix and Windows operating systems the features once reserved for mainframe-class systems.

Hitachi Data Systems Inc. (HDS, is the latest vendor to follow this trend with its Freedom Storage 7700E storage subsystem.

The library's features include Asynchronous Remote Copy and ShadowImage software, Path Manager, and Dynamic Optimizer.

Asynchronous Remote Copy is capable of moving large amounts of data over any distance from one 7700E to another with data integrity and minimal impact on performance. These copies may be used for disaster recovery, data vaulting, or business intelligence applications.

ShadowImage lets open-systems users create, at hardware speed, up to nine RAID-protected copies of data within a single 7700E subsystem. These cascaded copies can be used concurrently with applications such as disaster recovery, applications testing, offline database backup, and data mining. If anything should happen to the source data, one of the copies can take its place through a reverse synchronization procedure.

Hitachi Path Manager software eliminates the server's host bus adapter as a single point of failure by automatically detecting a failed path between the server and the 7700E. Moreover, Path Manager dynamically balances the load across multiple paths, automatically recognizing multiple paths to each logical unit of storage.

The new Hitachi Dynamic Optimizer software automatically monitors 7700E subsystem activity and applies policy-based rules to optimize performance. Depending on the level of physical disk performance, RAID type, access patterns, and other decision parameters that affect the performance of specific applications, the Dynamic Optimizer identifies optimal placement of logical volumes within the subsystem.

Hitachi Zone Allocation Manager controls host access to logical units (LUNs) within a 7700E subsystem in open-systems multiplatform or storage area network (SAN) environments using World Wide Names. With Zone Allocation Manager, customers restrict server access to specific LUNs, thereby securing data from unauthorized access.

Other enhancements include 47 GB disk drives, up to 17 TB of capacity and 16 GB cache.

"We’ve had a lot of these features on the higher-end, but now we brought them down to the major Unix and NT platforms," says Vicki Vollmar, director of product management and marketing at HDS.

To that end, HDS completed testing for Microsoft Cluster Server certification under both Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, which is different from the overall Windows 2000 certification testing conducted by VeriTest Inc. (

Windows NT and Windows 2000 are not the only platforms for which Hitachi tuned the library. The company also extended 7700E open-systems support to include Red Hat Inc.’s ( Linux and the newest version of Novell Inc.'s ( NetWare.

"This version of the library is mostly about open systems, but we haven’t forgotten about our OS/390 customers," Vollmar says.