Hitachi Vantara Bulks Up Converged Infrastructure Portfolio

The young Hitachi subsidiary brings GPUs and NVMe to its UCP lineup and introduces new application solutions for SAP HANA and Oracle databases.

Hitachi Vantara

Hitachi Vantara is bringing GPUs and NVM-Express to its lineup of converged and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions as part of a larger effort to offer a broad range of systems that can address almost any workload in modern data centers or cloud environments.

As part of that effort, the company—the technology subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.—also is unveiling an array of integrated application solutions in its Unified Compute Platform (UCP) that address such workloads as SAP HANA in-memory platform, Oracle databases, VMware technologies and big data analytics frameworks. The UCP also includes rack-scale systems to give organizations a choice of modular and integrated offerings.

The UCP systems are designed to enable “customers to respond quicker to business needs with a simplified, standard platform that is fast to deploy and easy to manage, with less risk,” Bob Madaio, vice president of infrastructure solutions marketing at Hitachi Vantara, said in a statement.

The enhancements to the UCP portfolio are the latest in a series of announcements Hitachi Vantara has made over the past several months since the company was created in September 2017. Hitachi combined its Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Pentaho—Hitachi’s data integration and data analytics business—and Hitachi Insight Group internet of things (IoT) unit to create Vantara, with the goal of addressing the technology needs of industrial and commercial customers. Those customers are adapting their infrastructures as they embrace multicloud environments, the IoT and other modern trends.

The new company is moving to compete with other OEMs, including Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell EMC, that are trying to ease the way of organizations as they migrate more of their workloads into public clouds, adopt edge computing strategies and adapt their operations to an increasingly digital world. In May, the company unveiled its new all-flash and hybrid Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) systems and artificial intelligence (AI) operations software.

Two months earlier, Hitachi Vantara Labs expanded its tools for machine learning orchestration to enable customers to more quickly monitor, test, retrain and redeploy supervised models in production.  Late last year, the company introduced a cloud-enabled data recovery offering.

Now Hitachi Vantara officials are turning their attention to their converged infrastructure solutions, which sit in a fast-growing and increasingly competitive space. IDC analysts in April said the global converged systems market grew 9.4 percent in 2017, to more than $12.5 billion. Eric Sheppard, research vice president for enterprise servers and storage at IDC, said in a statement that “the number of organizations deploying converged systems continued to expand through 2017. While not all market segments increased during the year, those that did grow were able to provide considerable benefits related to the most core infrastructure challenges facing today's data centers."

The top vendors in the space were Dell, Cisco/NetApp and HPE.

Enhancements to Hitachi Vantara’s UCP CI (converged infrastructure) systems include support for the company’s VSP systems and the addition of Hitachi Advanced Server DS220 and DS240 servers for both scale-up and scale-out options.

The hyperconverged lineup includes the new Advanced Server SD225, which includes Nvidia’s Tesla GPUs for such workloads as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), CAD/CAE and collaborative workspaces, according to company officials. Hitachi Vantara also is adding Intel’s Optane NVMe solid-state drive caching in the DS120. NVMe is a rising protocol designed to improve the performance and reduce the latency in flash and other non-volatile memory.

Hitachi Vantara also is adding servers that are powered by Intel’s latest “Skylake” Xeon Scalable Processors to its rack-scale offering (UPC RS) and offering all-flash memory as well as support for VMware’s vSAN. The goal is to lower the cost for smaller deployments, which will expand the vendor’s customer base.

Among the expanded application ecosystem solutions is the Hitachi Solution for the SAP HANA Platform that is aimed at simplifying the analysis of data from SAP HANA and big data from other sources in real time. The solution includes scalability to 64 nodes per frame, up to eight CPUs and 12TB, the new VSP flash storage systems, and tailored data center integration and appliance certifications. The Hitachi Solution for Databases optimized for Oracle Enterprise Data Warehouse offloads warm and cold data to a data lake that includes a certified MongoDB cluster running on its UCP RS system.

The company also is offering prevalidated infrastructure featuring Cloudera’s Enterprise Data Hub and MongoDB Enterprise compute clusters. The UCP systems and application ecosystem solutions will become available at different times between now and August.