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Hitachi HNAS – Product Review

The Hitachi HNAS system is a scale-out NAS system with custom hardware designs for high performance NFS and CIFS/SMB access. HNAS is a dedicated file-serving appliances with the ability to scale up to 16PB in a single namespace with a single file system of up to 256 TB. The system uses the HNAS custom architecture, which implements file server functions in hardware using parallel state machines to provide the same functionality as the software functions running on a standard server of competitive offerings.

Hitachi has created a high-performance NAS system by implementing much of the traditional file serving functionality in hardware. It does this by implementing the TCP/IP software stack, file system, file system protocols and storage functions in hardware using field programmable gate array chips (FPGAs). Using internal switching logic, HNAS includes a switched back-end architecture for the storage. The hardware-intensive implementation allows the device to process remote file requests faster than implementations that use standard server platforms with software implementations. The implementation is based on custom logic implemented with FPGAs for specific tasks that are usually performed by a processor running software.

The HNAS system supports deduplication through hardware FPGAs to minimize impact of the data reduction. Migration with a policy engine is supported for file to NAS systems using NFS and to object or cloud systems using Amazon S3 protocol.

Hitachi HNAS Product Review Includes:

Architecture Deployment
EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
Evaluator Group’s Opinion

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Related to this document:
NAS Comparison Matrix – High-End, NAS High End Storage EvaluScale Comparison Matrix, Dell PowerScale – Product Review

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December 15, 2023


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