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Hitachi Data Systems is expected to announce a new storage array in early 2007 that has double the capacity and speed of its existing TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform (USP) arrays.

Code-named “Broadway,” the forthcoming storage array can be deployed with one Integrated Control/Array Frame and one to four Array Frames, which hold a maximum of 1,152 drives for a maximum internal capacity of 576TB and the ability to address as much as 256 petabytes of external storage.

It’s part of the TagmaStore USP line, which features Hitachi’s Universal Star Network Crossbar Switch to increase performance and scalability. The company declined to comment on its plans.

“In the stakes of UltraScalable (ULS) storage systems, it’s a constant game of one-upmanship, particularly in the area of speeds and feeds where bragging rights and capabilities mean a lot,” says Greg Schulz, senior analyst with StorageIO.

Schulz says two types of customers need a ULS system – “the ultra large sites who are now buying multiple petabytes of storage a year if not per quarter, and those looking to either physically consolidate their disparate storage systems into a single ULS storage system or logically consolidate them for management, data movement, virtualization and replication purposes.”

The interface to the hard disks is a dual-ported 4Gbps Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL). The array can contain 15,000rpm 73GB or 146GB drives or 10,000rpm 73GB, 146GB or 300GB drives, as well as the newest 500GB 7,200rpm drives.

It can address 128,000 mainframe connections and 64,000 connections to open system servers.

The new array uses the Hi-Star fourth-generation architecture, which allows it to perform at up to 500,000 I/Os per second and the ability to support 512GB of cache memory. It has Fibre Channel, iSCSI, network-attached storage (NAS), Enterprise Systems Connection and Fibre Connection connectivity.

Included with the new Broadway array are performance and resource management tools, as well as storage area management and device management software. Capabilities such as thin provisioning and logical partitioning also are included.

The Broadway array will compete with ultra large storage systems such as the Fujitsu ETERNUS, EMC DMX and IBM DS8000.

Pricing and availability are not known for the new array.