Dot Hill has a rich history as an OEM supplier that built mid-range storage solutions for various manufacturers in the industry. They are now moving into a new era by providing unified storage solutions. These are either a turnkey storage hardware and software solution or software that can provide unified storage across heterogeneous storage platforms. Dot Hill calls this solution AssuredUVS. UVS stands for Unified Virtual Storage.
Unified storage typically means combining NAS (file systems) with SAN (block data) functionality into a single platform, and it typically also means supporting multiple interfaces. Dot Hill wants to expand that definition to include heterogeneous storage platforms. What this means to the enterprise is that all the disparate storage hardware in the data center can now be centralized under one management GUI. It also means that data services like snapshots, replication and thin provisioning are now common across all the storage platforms. This eliminates redundant costs and redundant training.
Architecturally AssuredUVS is delivered on a pair of 1U servers running on OpenSolaris. The systems cost somewhere between $20k to $50k. All the services are included except for NAS and replication. To these systems you either add storage from Dot Hill or leverage the existing storage in your data center.
Storage Swiss Take
The trend of OEMs becoming direct suppliers is going to continue and we think it will be a required transformation. Dot Hill has been a storage supplier for a long time and we think it is wise for them to be out in front of this transformation. They clearly have the history to be successful in this new initiative. The downside is that the unified market is becoming crowded. Dot Hill has differentiated itself by being heterogeneous and fairly cost competitive. We think that most storage managers will buy the systems with Dot Hill’s storage arrays for future capacity but want to leverage the heterogeneity to migrate data as well as repurpose old arrays to hold older data sets.