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XP vs. Hitachi

Dave Wherry
Esteemed Contributor

XP vs. Hitachi

I'm currently running an XP256 and have been very happy with it. I'm looking at bringing in an XP512 and Continuous Access over IP for a disaster recovery project.

Hitachi is knocking on our door proposing to sell to us direct. That would give us the XP256 and an HDS-something. Does anyone know if Continuous Access is strictly an HP product? Could the XP talk to the HDS with CA?

Other posts have spoken of the 8 LUN per interface limit with the HDS frame. HP has a patch for that and easily beats them there. Are there other significant differences between the XP and HDS?

Thanks.
8 REPLIES
Bill McNAMARA_1
Honored Contributor

Re: XP vs. Hitachi

have a look at http://www.hds.com/storage/ and you'll find that they have a lot of equivalent software products, but I'd be very wary about them, talk to your hp rep first and just make sure they're supported MCSG configurations.

Later,
Bill
It works for me (tm)
Paul R. Dittrich
Esteemed Contributor

Re: XP vs. Hitachi

Our local XP array guru tells me the HP and Hitachi hardware are identical but that HP has their own tweaked firmware that is likely to cause problems if you mix vendors.
Victor BERRIDGE
Honored Contributor

Re: XP vs. Hitachi

Hi Dave,
So as you have seen previous posts on the subject, here are my 2 cents:
XP512 is nothing more than a HDS 9960 OEM for with some of their own microcode to add value and marketting advantage for HP (otherwise why would you want to buy an XP512 knowing that it is in fact HDS and pay more) Im not sure HP hasnt put their own disks but the functionalities like shadowimage or remotecopy do have an equivalent HP name and the microcode is developped by HDS, Im not saying they are identical since HP can have very well modified it for the above reasons...
Well I suppose you read my previous posts about the HP FC driver limiting HDS to 8 luns (yes HP deliberately limits its driver to 8 when the disk announces itself as HITACHI open, instead of HP open..., doesnt that remind you of some old Microsoft strategies?)... and I suppose you saw my last reply about supporting JNI here in Switzerland..., the last I heard is of a big site the opposite end of the lake has been using a few HDS770E for quite some time now when HP came along with new HP servers (I think superdomes) they told this copany they couldnt garanty the compatibilities, and added to the LUNs problem,
HP finished up by having to accept that HDS sell and support their new XP512 at HDS conditions, HP are fooling no one with their stupid commercial strategies, with us during that month of not wanting to support MCSG with JNI or giving us the microcode for HP drivers, I had to accept to buy other unix box at the only period when it was necessary and had money, we bought 5 suns and 4 IBM H80 instead of HPs...(and an IBM ESS... in case...), now all is better HP supports us with JNI with MCSG, but now there is no new boxes till next year.
Are you going to connect mainframes? go for HDS (HP woulnd support ESCON form IBM, they may have changed since...).


So I suppose you could stay with HP if you have a good deal, or easily convert your XP256 to an HDS7700E by changing its microcode
and be 100% HDS with a new 9960, I can tell you that with aix and HDS IBMHPO driver installed on an IBMH80 with 2 FC the speed is amasing the L2000s with the same config but with (still) HP fc are fare slower, this is due to dynamic load balancing so it always write trough the 2 cards, Ive been told by HDS I can achieve this using Veritas LVM manager, so Im trying to convince my chief to get the soft so I can give it a try...

All the best
Victor
Peter Mattei
Honored Contributor

Re: XP vs. Hitachi

Dave

The HP and HDS boxes are HW wise identical. The difference is in the software/microcode. Continuous Access (CA) is based on HW and SW. If you setup CA between HP and HDS this will not be supported by neither HDS nor HP, even if it would eventually work.

So a remotecopy pair has to be either HDS or HP boxes!

Regards
Peter
I love storage
Dave Wherry
Esteemed Contributor

Re: XP vs. Hitachi

Peter,
Has either HP or HDS specifically told you this? When HDS was in here last week we were told they "expected" CA would work between an XP and an HDS frame. They were not definitive though. I felt like I was talking to EMC reps. They would tell me anything to make a sale.

In some other posts people have mentioned that HP and HDS will not support a JNI card configuration. The HDS folks said they would certainly support the JNI cards. Of course they can't speak for HP.

I was very uncomfortable talking to them. I fear that they will come in with a low ball quote and I'll get stuck with a support mess.

Thanks to all for your replies. If anyone has both an XP and HDS in the same shop I would love to hear your thoughts.
Insu Kim
Honored Contributor

Re: XP vs. Hitachi

Continous Access is a HP term. In the mean time, Hitachi product name for that is HORC.
Below is what I found out on the Hitache web site.

HORC is a storage system based remote mirroring product that runs on Hitachi Freedom Storage 9900 Series/7700E subsystems. Two 9900/7700E arrays are connected to each other by remote links (ESCON). There are sometimes two or more channel extenders like CNT UltraNet between 9900/7700E arrays for longer distance. The primary 9900/7700E is connected to hosts via SCSI or Fibre Channel running standard protocol.

Hope this helps.

Never say "no" first.
Dave Wherry
Esteemed Contributor

Re: XP vs. Hitachi

Vincent,
Can I assume you are not a fan of Hitachi? ;)

I took your advice and did ask Hitachi for a letter stating that they will support the JNI card. I received the letter today. An excerpt from it: "HDS would like to assure you that HDS' full support processes for the JNI Emerald card are in place:" For what it's worth they now claim to support the card. Honestly, I have no intention of using the JNI cards. Having read some of your other posts I just wanted to see how they would react.

You said that CA/HORC between an XP and HDS is NOT supported. Can I ask where you got that information? It is what I want to hear because I do not want to mix my environment. I quoted one of your other posts to them and they said you must be an HP employee. I told them you're another user in the Forums and this is your experience. I'm looking for sources though so if you could direct me to a document or web page that says CA/HORC is NOT supported it would be a great help.

As for the pricing issue, I'm comparing my HP and HDS quotes. It's tough because they both package the frames differently. On just the hardware, if HP gives us our typical discount, they are a little more expensive, about 5%. If HP gets a little more aggressive, they easily beat HDS on price.

Thanks Vincent.
Dave Wherry
Esteemed Contributor

Re: XP vs. Hitachi

Vincent,
Very, very interesting information. Thank you.

I'm out this week at an 11.i class so I can not look at the letter. When I get back in the office on Friday I'll check. I believe it was just from the local HDS office in Chicago. From the beginning I thought it odd that HDS was back-dooring their partner.

I'll get back to you on Friday, and assign points. I'm having some trouble from here.

Dave