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Hitachi Vantara VSP One adds new block storage

Hitachi Vantara has added a new block storage appliance to its VSP One storage platform, expanding its aim in the midrange with a 150% performance increase over previous versions.

Hitachi Vantara refreshed its midrange block storage offerings this week with the launch of its new Virtual Storage Platform One Block appliances.

VSP One Block, which is available in three models, comes with up to 1.8 petabytes of effective capacity per 2U. It can be purchased as a single appliance and scale out by adding 64 more nodes in a single cluster. The block storage offers a 4-to-1 data compression guarantee, 100% availability and up to a 150% performance improvement compared with previous models, according to the vendor.

The release is the latest addition to Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform One, a single hybrid cloud platform introduced in October 2023 to provide a unified view across the vendor's products. Hitachi used to offer more modular versions of storage for many different use cases, but the company has simplified that with VSP, according to Ashish Nadkarni, an analyst at IDC.

"[Hitachi's] operating system is the same across the board," he said, noting similar approaches from Pure Storage and NetApp OnTap, NetApp's unified storage operating system. Hitachi Vantara's recent reorganization shows a renewed focus on delivering core infrastructure such as storage, he added.

"Hitachi has always been considered an underdog when it comes to delivering general storage," Nadkarni said.

Move toward the midmarket

VSP One Block is geared more at the midrange market, with a balance of price to performance, than other offerings from Hitachi Vantara geared toward mission-critical, ultra-high performance such as the VSP 5600. It's a change for a company more known for its higher-end block storage offerings, according to Steve McDowell, founder and analyst at NAND Research.

"Hitachi's bread and butter is mainframe storage -- really big storage for transaction processing," he said. The shift to the midmarket will open the company up to more competition, such as Dell PowerStore and Pure FlashArray, McDowell added.

Hitachi is setting itself apart from competitors by layering Virtual Storage Platform software over its hardware. Users can get unified boxes that have file, block and object, but Hitachi is taking a different approach.

Hitachi's bread and butter is mainframe storage, really big storage for transaction processing.
Ashish NadkarniAnalyst, IDC

"Hitachi has an appliance for each, but with the software layer on top, hidden from users," he said. "It's abstracted, so it's a little bit of software-defined storage, but it lives on top of hardware.

Hitachi is also highlighting its sustainability through Dynamic Carbon Reduction technology that automatically reduces energy consumption into an eco-mode when the demand is lower. This, combined with its data reduction leading to lower storage footprints and flash storage, allows for a lower CO2 footprint, according to the vendor.

Having a message around sustainability is table stakes for storage vendors now, Nadkarni said.

"Storage is one of the layers of infrastructure that cannot be switched off," he said.

VSP One Block also features data protection options like Hitachi Thin Image Advanced snapshots for immediate use and always-available copies of production data.

The big performance improvements seen this year from storage players comes from the switch to the latest CPUs, McDowell said. New CPUs mean the hardware now has PCIe 5.0 architecture and DDR5 DRAM.

"Going from the previous-generation hardware to this generation is pretty significant, as it brings two times the speed on the bus," McDowell said. "All-flash runs at bus speed, so doubling the speed of the bus doubles the speed of the storage."

While the vendor did upgrade to new CPUs, it also highlighted its data optimizations -- or better data compression and placement for higher performance and density -- as part of its overall performance improvements.

Hanging around the block

In the last few weeks there have been several block product launches, with rollouts from HPE, Dell, NetApp and on Infinidat. This is more about availability of components than anything else, McDowell said. The same is true for cloud vendors.

"We've seen a lot of new instance types popping up because of CPU availability," he said.

High-performance workloads such as AI and high-performance computing need block storage, as it makes the foundation for many of these workloads, Nadkarni said.

"Block was kind of forgotten because of the focus on object and file the last few years," he said. "But block isn't going anywhere."

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware and private clouds. He previously worked at

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