Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F Series Review

Storage for large mainframes that has stability and sustainability


What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for storage in some industries such as banking, automotive, healthcare, and insurance companies. It is for large companies or companies with a large mainframe such as an IBM mainframe. Our primary use case was for core banking.

How has it helped my organization?

Businesses are looking for simple storage solutions that can exceed expectations and meet the challenge of delivering continuous availability and high performance while maximizing the value of physical and virtual infrastructures. Simultaneously, enterprise and mission-critical business application environments are becoming increasingly unpredictable and organizations need the ability to deliver and orchestrate automated operations.

What is most valuable?

Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F provides the always-available, agile and automated foundation needed for a trusted Continuous Cloud Infrastructure. Powered with Hitachi global storage virtualization, its new software capabilities unlock IT agility and enable the lowest storage TCO.

What needs improvement?

We have read in the latest newsletters that in 2020 there is going to be more data, more than four hundred zettabytes. It's a huge amount of data and you will need the right platform to process it. More than people, we will need a platform that can process that amount of data in less than a millisecond. So we are looking for a high-speed storage enterprise, such as VSP.

If you compare to other solutions, Hitachi is more complex, but the platform is improving and it's not as difficult as it used to be.

We are facing new technologies such as Container by Google. It's the new way of Application Virtualization. I think that Hitachi and other companies should follow these technologies for integration with new technologies such as container base and their products. I think that cloud integration is important with vVol technologies from VMware.

There will be many challenges, but we need more integration between F Storage and new technology for Cloud, vVol, and Container.

I would like the interface to be simplified more than it is. The interface can be improved with new technologies such as HTML5, which is being used by some storage vendors.

Hitachi interface management is not as easy as the EMC Unity series. It's better to use HTML5 for the management systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HDS solutions for over ten years and I have been using this solution for over five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. It is the most stable high-end solution in this area.

This product has eight controllers, it has special features for interconnecting on the backend, it has many front ports, and all of the components are redundant.

It is difficult to find issues with this product.

It was designed for those who don't want more than one minute of downtime a year. It's a 24/7 running product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As you know, the HDS company is one of the main key players in the storage world and it always offers the most high-performance products, as these products are designed for large business environments, they have good scale-out and scale-up capabilities. For instance, the HDS claims that the latest one which it's named VSP 5500 have more than 21M IOPS only in 8U and 69PB of storage.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It depends on the circumstances. We choose different storage products based on the business needs and in my opinion, there is no solution that can meet all customer needs.

We use low-cost SAN storage for some needs, such as Archie Data, and in some other cases, like the core business software, high availability levels are very important so higher-level SAN storage is used.

How was the initial setup?

The installation procedure it a bit difficult, because it is a high-end solution. With this type of product, the original company is interested in doing the setup for customers in the area, but because of sanctions we were not able to get support in our area. We faced many issued trying to learn to run this product.

What about the implementation team?

The initial setup was done by the CE of the company, when that was complete the configuration was done in our data center.

What was our ROI?


What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This solution is cheaper than Dell EMC VMAX. When you are looking for a high-end solution, price matters, but availability and stability are more important than the price.

Companies are looking for stability and sustainability, and the price, but as I said, it's not as important as stability and sustainability.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I researched the internet for our customers to find the right solution for them, and I compared products in this category. In this comparison, I included:

  • Dell EMC VMAX
  • HPE 3PAR F-Class Storage

I started to research details, compare, and score each feature, until coming across the Hitachi VSP Series. The number two option was the HPE XP P6500 Series.

It was challenging, and it took five to six months to persuade our manager.  

What other advice do I have?

The main functions in the G series and F series are the same, but if a customer is looking for high interoperability, then they should go for the F Series.

It's an attractive solution with several special features.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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