Hitachi Vantara tries to catch up, with VSP arrays, hybrid cloud and containerisation support

Hitachi Vantara has added new top-end storage arrays along with support for hybrid clouds and containerisation, faster object storage and S3 object ingest, plus improved Ops Center management.

Update; VSP 5100 and 5500 latency numbers added, 13 Oct 2021.

The announcements were made at a Hitachi V event — “The Road Ahead: Digital Infrastructure for the Data-Driven” — at which execs revealed a roadmap combining hybrid cloud infrastructure products with Hitachi Virtual Storage Software for block, virtualised across distributed environments, spanning (with an echo of the HPE mantra) from edge to core to cloud. 

Mark Ablett, President of Digital Infrastructure at Hitachi Vantara, said in a statement: “Our new VSP 5000 and E Series hybrid cloud products deliver performance, consolidation, and enterprise class data services seamlessly on-prem, off-prem, and for cloud-based storage. Clients want agility and performance to meet the demands of digital business, and we’re delivering both.”

The new 5000s and updated E Series arrays will have common data services and virtualisation from Hitachi V’s software-defined and cloud-hosted offerings.

VSP 5000

The VSP (Virtual Storage Platform) is a mid-range to high-end storage array line starting with the entry-level all-flash F Series and hybrid and higher capacity SSD/HDD G Series. Then there is a three-model all-flash E Series (590, 790 and 990), followed by the high-end 5000 products.

There are H (hybrid) variant models to several all-flash arrays, which add disk drive capacity.

Hitachi V has refreshed its VSP 5000 range with two new models — the 5200 and 5600 — effectively replacing the current 5100 and 5200, as a table shows:

The proprietary FMD (Flash Module Drives) used in the 5100 and 5500 are dropped and the capacity limits remain the same. Both the IOPS and bandwidth performance are increased compared to the old models. Hitachi Vantara has subsequently told us that the latency for the 5100 and 5500 is 70 microseconds. The 5200 gas the sane latency a the 5100 but the 5600 has a much lower latency than the 5500.

Hitachi V does not supply the controller CPU details, but we would suppose that the new arrays have newer and more powerful Xeon processors.

Hitachi V says the new 5000s have 42 per cent improvement in data reduction efficiency, increasing their usable capacity by up to that amount. The 5600 has an end-to-end NVMe design, with the company claiming an industry-leading 33 million IOPS and under 39 microseconds of latency.

Hitachi Vantara VSP 5600.

The 5000 software gets containerisation integration with Google’s Anthos (on-premises and major public cloud support) and Red Hat OpenShift, the leading enterprise Kubernetes platform. This lays the foundation, Hitachi V says, for extending data fabrics to the cloud.

There is also a Hitachi Replication Plug-In for Containers, to replicate data off the host 5000.

Finally, the new 5000s feature Hitachi Modern Storage Assurance, which provides “seamless upgrades to all future enhancements of the latest VSP technology — simplifying the procurement process for several years”. This can be included in an array purchase or be part of an EverFlex pay-as-a-service offering.

VSP E Series

There are H (hybrid flash/disk) versions of the E590 and E790 arrays which means they get SAS drive expansion to increase their capacity. They can configure all-NVMe, all-SAS or mixed NVMe/SAS products, with the HDDs forming a data retention storage tier. The new capacity limits are 8.9PB internal and 144PB external for the E590 and 8.9PB internal and 216PB external for the E790.

Hitachi Vantara E590 or E790 chassis.

These refreshed E Series systems also get the Anthos and OpenShift integration and the replication plug-in plus a data-in-place, non-disruptive upgrade path to future E Series arrays.

The updated E Series has a simpler installation process and can be installed and switched on in 30 minutes or so. 

Hitachi Content Platform

The object-storing Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) has optimisation settings that distribute the objects across the architecture more efficiently and deliver a greater than 2x improvement in performance.

A new scale-out policy engine optimises performance through data services that can be customised per use case or workload. The actual performance numbers are not revealed, so comparisons with other suppliers are impossible to make.

HCP systems using Hitachi Content for File now support object ingestion using the S3 protocol which broadens the number of devices which can send data to HCP for storage and analysis.

Ops Center

An updated Ops Centre management facility applies AI and ML methodologies to reporting, performance optimisation and data management for simpler to use cloud-based health monitoring capabilities. We’re told there is an integrated real-time analytics and automation capability which automates 90 per cent of manual tasks and helps admins get to root cause analysis up to 4x faster than before. Hitachi V is now calling Ops Centre an AIOps facility.

On the green front, Hitachi V says customers can fine-tune system performance to reduce their overall carbon footprint by consuming less energy and cooling across the systems. 


These mid-range and high-end VSP product updates will strengthen Hitachi V’s ability to compete with Dell EMC (PowerMax, PowerStore), HPE, IBM, NetApp and Pure Storage.

Hitachi V is updating its marketing messages and tactics with containerisation support, phrases like “edge to core to cloud”,  the non-disruptive array upgrades (which Pure, for example, has been offering for several years), and a “Data fabric” notion — shades of NetApp.

What we are seeing here are elements of catch-up development, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all — it’s necessary. However there’s not a lot here, on the innovation front, to dissuade purchasers of Infinidat DRAM-cached or VAST Data single QLC flash tier storage to change their minds. Nor indeed is there much on offer for Hitachi V to claw market share away from its six main competitors in the enterprise storage array area: Dell, HPE, NetApp, Pure Storage, IBM and Huawei. 


The  VSP 5000, E-Series and Hitachi Content Platform are available for purchase worldwide now from Hitachi Vantara and its partner network, and also available through EverFlex.