Hitachi, Microsoft Combine for New Converged Cloud Systems

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-06-14 Print this article Print

Hitachi's brand of "converged" features its own compute blades to go with standard network infrastructure components to handle multiple applications and operating systems.

Hitachi Data Systems jumped into the increasingly crowded "converged" data center systems pool June 14 with the launch of several items that include two new blade servers, an appliance for Microsoft Exchange 2010, and new automated cloud system hardware/software packages.

Converged data center system components -- often simply another term for "pre-configured"components -- feature more functionality (computing, networking and storage) and automation squeezed into smaller rack units, which in turn require less power from the wall. They are designed to be both agile and power-efficient.

Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Cisco Systems and several other systems makers are already in this market.

Hitachi's brand of "converged" features its own compute blades to go with standard network infrastructure components to handle multiple applications and operating systems.

"Because we are integrating our storage with new compute blades and network infrastructure components, we are now providing repeatable, converged architectures for the data center, as customers move down the path toward cloud," Miki Sandorfi, Chief Strategist for File and Content Services at HDS, told eWEEK.

Tightly Integrated, Shared Components for Efficiency

The new Hitachi packages provide a cloud system foundation of tightly integrated, shared components, Sandorfi said. Thus, predictability becomes one of the prime management benfits, he said.

Many enterprises want to start up private clouds but aren't sure how to begin because there are currently few standards, integrations and certifications for such deployments that bring predictable and reliable results, Sandorfi said.

The "predictability" HDS claims to bring to the table is based on pre-validated reference architectures, pre-packaged hardware/software units with enterprise-class components in the stack, and targeted pre-configuration. Templates and built-in automation help replicate processes and results, Sandorfi said.

The new HDS/Microsoft data center products -- which also can run on VMware ESX, as needed -- announced June 14 are:

  • Two new cloud-enabling compute engines: Hitachi Compute Blade 2000 and Hitachi Compute Blade 320, with logical partitions (LPAR), are x86 enterprise-class blade servers that offer mainframe-like functionality, Sandorfi said. LPAR is an embedded virtualization feature that builds virtualization right into a blade server's hardware. Because it is hardware-based, LPAR provides a greater level of security through physical partitioning. Hitachi Compute Blades enable users to have selected blades running LPARs next to other blades, Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware, all in the same chassis.

  • Converged Platform for Microsoft Exchange 2010: This is the first in a new series of pre-tested, application-specific converged packages, Sandorfi said. This is engineered for rapid deployment with Exchange 2010's new features for predictable performance and scalability.

  • Cloud systems built on Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track: This is a combination of Hitachi storage and computing with networking and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V and System Center for high-performance private cloud infrastructures.
The new products will be rolling out later this summer.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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