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HDS Join the Converged Infrastructure Club

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Yesterday HDS announced (via this press release) their entry into the converged infrastructure market.  The solution offerings go under the name Hitachi Unified Computing Platform and comprise reference architectures and orchestration software to bring the whole thing together.  While I think it is a good thing that HDS are starting to deliver unified solutions, I’m not sure the initial approach is the right one; there are a number of things I’m not clear on.

  • Storage Choice. The single reference architecture uses AMS2500.  Why no solutions with VSP?  The VSP and VAAI support has been one of the most talked over things of the last few months from a virtualisation perspective, so I don’t see why only AMS is available.
  • Hypervisor Choice. Speaking of VMware, the single hypervisor choice is Microsoft’s Hyper-V.  Again I’m confused by this.  VMware is by far the market owner in this space and many customers won’t even consider Hyper-V, regardless of how good it may be.  By not offering a VMware solution from day 1, it strikes me that HDS are cutting off a massive part of their available market.  Perhaps the logic was to fit a niche not currently covered by folks like VCE, but by only offering a single virtualisation layer HDS are doing exactly what VCE do today – delivering a single reference architecture.  Most of the virtualisation conversations I’ve had with HDS over the last few months have focused on demonstrating their close relationship with VMware.  This first release seems to ignore this.
  • Reference Architecture. Speaking of reference architectures, from what I can see there is only a single configuration supported.  It isn’t easy to find on HDS’ website.  As far as I tell this page lists the configuration in the following PDF.  The reference architecture isn’t described as a product; with VCE it is at least clear that there are four products to choose from.  I can’t tell what HDS are selling; it may be a single fixed configuration; it may be flexible solutions based around a standard architecture of which the reference is an example – I’m just not sure.

No doubt it is a good thing that more choice is coming into the converged solutions market.  It would be good if HDS could clarify exactly what they are offering and to make those offering more comprehensive in terms of hypervisor, server and storage components.  If this isn’t done, then HDS will forever be playing catchup in a market place where the competitors have been active, have shipped product and most important, have gained experience and market share for quite some time.

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
  • http://www.iljacoolen.nl Ilja Coolen

    Well Chris,

    this seems to confirm HDS still isn’t evolving marketing wise, despite all the feedback they are getting from the blogger community and others.
    The HDS online (social) community seems to do very well, and is very responsive, but the HDS marketing machine is running slowly and is not keeping pace.

    Cheers.

    • http://www.brookend.com Chris Evans

      I’m surprised by the almost complete lack of branding in this product; OK we have the term UCP but what is this first offering? At least with previous products I could see a name I could identify with. It’s a competitive market out there. VCE and HP have much stronger branding and marketing messages. It doesn’t mean they have better products, but they are doing a better job of conveying their offerings to customers.

      Chris

  • http://etherealmind.com EtherealMind

    Microsoft has been rumoured to be handing significant financial incentives for partnerships. Maybe this is one of those ?

    • http://www.brookend.com Chris Evans

      Interesting thought. It wouldn’t surprise me if MSFT were doing that. However in this instance HDS could still have the partnership and offer VMware based products too. Perhaps the partnership requires restrictions like coming to market with Hyper-V first. That seems a little pointless though, if you’re likely to get few or no sales.

      Chris

  • Equals42

    Why not a Citrix VDI solution? It seems every IT shop has VDI on their todo list. A packaged VDI solution with clear and easy sizing and deployment guidelines would go far in this market. I agree that they need more than one reference architecture. Why not a small, medium and massively expandable to go with the VSP marketing? All in 19″ racks.

    HDS is the Novell of storage. They just can’t get their marketing and sales depts to work at all.

    • http://www.brookend.com Chris Evans

      I’d agree Citrix is also work to be done. In terms of market coverage, VMware ESX(i) would have been essential to have at day 1.

      Chris

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