Hitachi Data Systems says it is the first tier one storage vendor to enable customers to power up and power down disk drives on demand, creating a 20 percent cost-of-operation advantage.

HDS is enhancing its Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) and Workgroup Modular Storage (WMS) mid-range products to reduce energy consumption and cooling costs.

The Power Savings Storage Service (PSSS) can be invoked by either applications or users as needed. HDS suggests it is a useful feature for disk-based backup arrays, virtual tape libraries and/or disk archives in which files are accessed relatively infrequently. The drives can be powered down safely without affecting frontline application response time.

When files on powered-down drives are needed then the array starts them spinning again.

PSSS will be available for either serial ATA (SATA) or Fibre Channel disk drives in the AMS and WMS products. SATA drives of up to 750GB capacity are now available for both product lines.

Powered down drives don't need to be cooled, and this reduces an array's power consumption further.

Both Copan and Nexsan have similar Massive Array of Idle Drives (MAID) technology, in which a proportion of drives in an array are shutdown in order to save power.

Fujitsu offers MAID technology in its Eternus disk array line, but these products are mostly only available in Japan.

With Copan's implementation up to three quarters of the drives are powered down. This means much less heat is generated and more drives can be packed into the array. HDS isn't using PSSS to increase the number of drives packed into the AMS and WMS arrays though.

Better security

HDS is also inceasing the security aspects of AMS and WMS use with audit logs and role-based access security. The logs record a history of all user access operations performed on the system, including the time and user's identification. The audit logging is compliant with the BSD Syslog Protocol (RFC3164), meaning customers can integrate it with existing log shipping infrastructures.

The role-Based Access Service provides strong user authentication and access control. Each user has a unique login and password which limits the user to one of the three different management roles.

No pricing information was provided by HDS.