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.
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