Hitachi Server Group rolls out a new enterprise-class BladeSymphony 2000 blade system and an enhanced BladeSymphony 320, part of its aggressive push into the highly competitive North American blade server market currently dominated by HP and IBM. Both new blade systems are powered by Intel's new Xeon 5500 Series Nehalem EP chips and take advantage of Hitachi's own Virtage virtualization technology. The BladeSymphony 2000 is aimed at I/O-intensive workloads and virtualization-based consolidation projects.
Hitachi continues to aggressively build out
its blade server portfolio, rolling out a new enterprise-class system and updating its mid-range offering.
Hitachi Server Group announced the BladeSymphony 2000 and new blades
for its BladeSymphony 320 May 19. The rollouts come two years after
officials with Hitachi-a Japanese company with a subsidiary in
Brisbane, Calif.-said they were making a second run
at the highly competitive North American blade business, a fast-growing market dominated by Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
The new blades are powered by Intel's new Xeon 5500 Series
chips-also known as Nehalem EP-and extends the reach of Hitachi's hardware-based Virtage
virtualization technology, introduced last year, which takes advantage of Intel's chip-based VT virtualization capabilities.
The BladeSymphony 2000 also offers high throughput and a number of
configuration options, key drivers for Hitachi's goals for
differentiating its systems from those of competitors, according to
Steve Campbell, vice president of marketing and solutions for Hitachi
"The focus of our product development efforts has been balanced
performance and maximum flexibility," Campbell said in a statement.
"Our balanced architecture delivers the high-productivity computing
needed for enterprise-class workloads, and the choices we offer in
virtualization technologies and industry-standard components give our
customers by far the broadest configuration flexibility in the
Though battered by the global recession, the worldwide blade server
market is still growing. Research firm IDC reported that in the fourth
quarter 2008, revenue grew 16.1 percent and shipments 12.1 percent over
the same period in 2007-still positive, but slowing. Blades make up
10.4 of the overall server market and 18.5 percent of all x86 servers,
according to IDC.
HP continued its strong leadership role, with a 54.8 percent share
of revenue, followed by IBM, at 21.7 percent. Rounding out the top five
were Sun Microsystems, Dell and Fujitsu.
Hitachi is aiming its high-end BladeSymphony 2000 at workloads that
demand high interconnect capabilities and virtualization-based
Each blade in the 10U, eight-blade system supports up to 144GB of
memory and 162 Gigabits per second of throughput on each blade. The
hybrid I/O subsystem supports both PCIe and unique interconnect
interfaces. The system also includes the Virtage virtualization
technology, which Hitachi officials said the company derived from its
mainframe days. The BladeSymphony 2000 can support hardware
virtualization, VMware products and Microsoft Hyper-V technology on a
Enhancements to the BladeSymphony 320 include not only the addition
of Intel's new Xeon processors, but also four new blades. One is
optimized for standard configurations, while a second is aimed at SAN
(storage-area network) connectivity, according to Hitachi officials.
A third supports six 300GB SAS drives for up to 1.8 terabytes per
blade. In addition, a PCI blade will be released later this year.
The BladeSymphony 2000 and enhanced 320 will be available June 1.