Hitachi Data Systems was going to get into the cloud platform business at some point. And it also was going to touch consumers directly at some point. Amazingly, despite 24 years of making modular midrange and high-end storage systems, it had not done either until this month.
HDS is one of those companies that prefers to do things inside its own time frame, unfettered by competitors. Whether the company risks market share for coming in late is something that can be debated.
After watching dozens of other players in the IT cloud services and infrastructure market come forth with early generation products—and, yes, fumbling some of them—HDS is ready to launch its own cloud services platform.
HDS's cloud infrastructure setup is designed to manage multiple demands of IT, including the explosive growth of unstructured data, user expectations to access information from anywhere, and the requirement to ensure security, simplicity and protection of all data, wherever it lives.
Core components in the new HDS Cloud Services platform announced May 22 include:
—Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere: This is a cloud and object storage package, delivered most often in the form of a data center appliance. HDS is positioning this as "the industry's first integrated file sync-and-sharing package that is built and supported for the enterprise entirely by a single vendor." Platform Anywhere aims to bring secure mobility to the enterprise, enabling users to access data and collaborate on any device, from any location at any time and easily share files.
At the same time, IT keeps the data within its control for security and compliance practices—unlike some consumer-grade file-sharing services that have struggled to gain the confidence of enterprise IT groups. Having the cloud ecosystem plugged into the appliance is the main news here.
—New version of Content Platform: One seamless cloud storage platform for data protection, enterprise mobility and content cloud, it features advanced metadata management and sets a foundation for big data and analytics.
—Cloud Services: An extension of the enterprise into a secure off-premise content cloud managed by HDS. This includes a pay-per-use model as well as customized services, such as index and search across multiple data types.
—Cloud Service Provider Program: A partner-provided public cloud offering built on HDS cloud infrastructure and services, this is part of a new HDS cloud partner framework.
Built Expressly for the Enterprise, But for End Users
"HCP Anywhere is built expressly for the enterprise," Sean Moser, vice president of HDS software platforms product management, told eWEEK. "This is all about leveraging cloud properly and appropriately, not just trying to market around cloud.
"This is fun and exciting for us, because it provides functionality all the way out to the end user customer, which is not what we at HDS have done a tremendous amount of. Customers have been superexcited about this, and having that energy has been good."
Moser said that despite the success of such independent cloud storage services as Box and Dropbox, which are popular with individual users, services like those can wreak havoc with IT departments, who have no access or security control over business files kept in those cloud coffers. HCP Anywhere solves those issues, Moser said.
HCP Anywhere is extremely easy to set up, deploy and manage for IT as well as users, Moser said. No end user training is required, and a self-service portal is provided. It works with existing IT practices and processes, and no backups are needed. End users can download the HCP Anywhere client app on their iOS devices from the Apple iTunes store.
How It Works
Users simply save a file to their HCP Anywhere folder, and they instantly become more mobile, Moser said. HCP Anywhere automatically syncs to all registered devices and becomes available via Web browsers. Users can bring their own device and have access to work files anywhere. They can safely share files with access-controlled, time-sensitive links, Moser said.
HCP Anywhere is available now. Go here for more details.