Hitachi is an interesting company. Headquartered in Tokyo, it isn't really one company but rather an umbrella name under which a massive range of subsidiary businesses operate. Infrastructure systems, information and telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional materials and components, automotive systems, and healthcare all fall under the Hitachi banner. In recent years, however, there has been a strong attempt to build the collaboration between different Hitachi units - much of this is powered by Hitachi Data Systems, one of the more technology-focused parts of the franchise.
HDS does a lot of work in the big data and storage areas. Indeed, it is already one of the larger suppliers of flash storage in the industry; HDS claims to have already shipped over 210 petabytes of flash. Today, however, the company is furthering its flash aims with the introduction of new flash module devices aimed at accelerating hybrid and, more importantly, all-flash offerings. HDS has an interesting road to travel here. It is, of course, a very well-known supplier in the traditional storage space. It now aims to parlay that into being of similar importance in the flash area.
So, what is HDS actually announcing today? The range of new and expanded flash and hybrid arrays are joined by software offerings in the performance optimization and data analytics areas. The list of products coming out today includes the new all-flash Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) F Series, enhanced models of the Hitachi VSP G series offerings, next-generation Hitachi flash modules with inline data compression (FMD DC2), and enhanced Hitachi Automation Director and Data Center Analytics tools.
The Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F Series are all-flash versions of HDS's existing G-series line. The F series promises 1.4M IOPS and includes the new FMD DC2 flash modules. HDS is offering a 100% data availability guarantee on this series, which ranges from 14TB all the way up to 490TB.
The new flash modules themselves are designed to offer improved response times and good economics. The Hitachi FMD DC2 design leverages a high speed, parallelized architecture that delivers up to five times more write IOPS and three times more read IOPS than standard solid state drives.
The software releases offers service templates and management workflows (via Hitachi's Automation Director Software). At the same time the Hitachi Data Center Analytics suite offers tools that can position new flash-based storage investments within the context of a multi-vendor and multi-platform storage landscape.
It's not just about physical storage. The real value here is marrying new storage platforms with software fabrics that allow management and automation within the context of an organization's existing storage assets. This is the real value that Hitachi can bring above and beyond other traditional vendors. Its experience in both the physical storage and software fabric parts of the puzzle should allow it to remain a relevant and important player as we enter a world of greater flash and hybrid importance.
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