2018: A Year in Review for Storage Systems.

By Hubert Yoshida posted 01-16-2019 00:00



2018 was a very busy year for Hitachi Vantara. September marked the one year anniversary of Hitachi Vantara which was formed by the integration of three Hitachi companies, Hitachi Data Systems, an IT infrastructure systems and services company; Hitachi Pentaho, a data integration and analytics company; and the Hitachi Insight Group, developer of Lumada, Hitachi’s commercially available IoT platform. This new company will unify the operations of these three companies into a single integrated business as Hitachi Vantara to capitalize on Hitachi’s social innovation capability in both operational technologies (OT) and information technologies (IT).

When the formation of Hitachi Vantara was announced, it was clear that combining Hitachi’s broad expertise in OT (operational technology) with its proven IT product innovations and solutions, would give customers a powerful, collaborative partner, unlike any other company, to address the burgeoning IoT market.

For lack of similar capabilities, some of our competitors began implying that we would no longer be focused on the innovative data infrastructure, storage and compute solutions that were the hallmark of Hitachi Data Systems. In fact, the closer collaboration between data engineers and data analysts from Pentaho, the data scientists from Insights with the proven software and hardware engineering skill of Hitachi Data Systems has given Hitachi Vantara even more talent and resources to drive innovation in storage systems.

During 2018 we proved our detractors wrong in many ways with the introduction of a new family of all flash and hybrid VSP storage systems which could scale from a low end 2U form factor to the largest enterprise storage frame with the same high end enterprise capabilities, including Global Active/Active availability, non-disruptive migration, multi-data center replication, and 100% data availability guarantee. A common Storage Virtualization Operating System SVOS RF, enables the “democratization” of storage services. A midrange user now has access to the same, super-powerful features as the biggest banks. Or, as a large company, you can deploy the same super-powerful features in remote, edge offices as you do in the core, using a lower cost form factor.

A Common Architecture from Midrange to Mainframes

Analysts like Gartner acknowledge that sharing a common architecture and management tools from the smallest VSP G200 to the flagship VSP G1500 provides users with an easy to follow upgrade path that leverages their investments in training policy and procedures. It also leverages Hitachi's investments in infrastructure monitoring and management tools, as well as ecosystem certifications and plug-ins. 2018 saw competitive storage vendors follow suit by announcing their intent to consolidate 3 to 5 disparate storage systems just to have a common storage system for the midrange. Since many of these storage systems were acquisitions, this consolidation effort will be a 2 to 5 year journey, with questions about migration between the systems. Hitachi Vantara is ahead of the pack delivering, a common storage platform from small midrange to large enterprise and mainframes system without any limitations in capabilities.


Another area of storage innovation was the introduction of AI and automation tools for the smart data center which was enabled by an open REST API. A REST API is built directly into our VSP storage controllers. We increased the memory and CPU in the controller specifically to support the REST API running natively in the controller. This gives us the opportunity to not only connect with other vendor’s management stacks, but also apply analytics and machine learning and automate deployment of resources through REST APIs.

Analyze Infrastructure Metrics from Servers to Storage

Hitachi Vantara has developed an analytics tool, Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor (HIAA) that can provide predictive analytics by mining telemetry data from servers, storage appliances, networking systems and virtual machines to optimize performance, troubleshoot issues and forecast when a business may need to buy new storage systems. Based on an analysis of metrics from host servers to storage resources the analytics tool can determine the right actions to take, then launch into an automation tool to invoke the appropriate services to execute that action.

Automate the Delivery and Management of IT Resources

The automation tool, Hitachi Automation Director (HAD), contains a catalog of templates that can automatically orchestrate the delivery and management of IT resources. The analytics tool communicates with the automation tool, through a REST API, to select a template, fill in the parameters and request deployment of resources, which is done automatically. The APIs are open, and Hitachi Vantara provides a design studio and developer community site for customers and third parties to design their own templates to fit their own environment, operation policy and workflow. Our customers love the ability to integrate Automation Director with their ServiceNow tickets for speedier resolution of the client’s requests.

Enhance Flash performance, Capacity and Efficiency

The common Storage Virtualization Operating System, SVOS, has been greatly enhanced from previous versions of the operating system, and has been renamed SVOS RF, where RF stands for Resilient Flash. SVOS-RF’s enhanced flash-aware I/O stack includes patented express I/O algorithms and new, direct command transfer (DCT) functionality to streamline I/O. Combined, these features lower latency up to 25% and increase IOPS per CPU core up to 71%, accelerating even the most demanding workloads. Quality of service (QoS) makes sure workloads have predictable performance for better user experiences. User selectable, adaptive data reduction with deduplication and compression, can reduce capacity requirements by 5:1 or more depending on the data set. A Total Efficiency Guarantee from Hitachi Vantara can help you deliver more storage from all-flash Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F series (VSP F series) arrays and save up to 7:1 in data efficiency.


If there was any doubt that Hitachi Vantara would continue to be a storage systems leader, that should have been proven wrong in 2018. 2019 will provide even more proof points. Hitachi Vantara will continue to drive data center modernization with high-performance integrated cross-platform storage systems, AI-powered analytics, IT automation software, and the best in Flash efficiency. While these storage announcements were made in May of 2018, they did not make the cut off dates for Gartner's 2018 Magic Quadrant or Critical Capabilities for Solid State Arrays and General-Purpose Disk Arrays. So look for their evaluation in Gartner's 2019 reports. However, even without an evaluation of these new capabilities Hitachi Vantara did well in the Gartner 2018 reports and other Industry recognition reports.

Industry Recognition