Storage Soup

Aug 4 2010   7:51PM GMT

HDS: We’ll outpace FAST … eventually

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Hitachi Data Systems has kept a tight lid on any upgrades to its flagship USP-V enterprise storage platform. Everybody in the storage industry expects an upgrade this year, but the HDS folks won’t even confirm that much. They will talk about other developments, though, while keeping details sparce.

One thing HDS is working on is automated tiering software, which HDS VP of storage platforms Robert Basilio says is a key to driving solid state storage adoption. “SSD adoption will be limited until you have a better way of managing storage,” he said. “And prices are not coming down as fast as anybody would like.”

Basilio says he’s not concerned that archrival EMC already has its FAST tiering software out with version 2 on the way. “We have more know-how than anybody in this area,” he said. “EMC is bringing out FAST, but we think we’ll have faster and fastest.”

HDS, which partners for backup data deduplication, plans to have dedupe for primary storage as well but “there’s nothing I can share now,” Basilio said.

HDS did break out its revenue results from the Hitachi parent company’s earnings report, and while it doesn’t get as specific with its numbers as most of its competitors those numbers do show some interesting trends.

HDS said its revenue for last quarter was $804 million, up 13% from the previous year. This compares to 21% year over year growth by EMC, but Stifel Nicolas financial analyst Aaron Rakers points out EMC’s revenue grew 14% if you exclude the Data Domain platform that EMC acquired after the second quarter of 2009.

Still, EMC said its high-end Symmetrix revenue grew 32% since last year. HDS says its USP-V grew only “high-single digits.”

But HDS is becoming less reliant on USP-V business. Hardware made up 55% of its revenue for last quarter with services contributing 30% and software 15%. And HDS midrange modular storage grew in “strong double-digits.” Basilio says USP-V isn’t losing share to competitors but customers are finding more value in the HDS Adaptable Modular Storage 2000 midrange platform. It is also selling a lot more NAS through its OEM partnership with BlueArc.

“There’s a lot of change in the storage world today,” he said. “The AMS is not our best or fastest system, but it’s the most consistently reliable product in the modular area today.”

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