Hitachi Announces Smart Data Center Suite

Hitachi announced a major reorganization last week and a new datacenter management suite.

The Tokyo-based conglomerate is combining three of its U.S.-based business units -- Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Hitachi Insight Group and Pentaho -- into a single company called Hitachi Vantara.

The combined business units will sell HDS's datacenter infrastructure, Insight's big data software and Pentaho analytics. The new organization is expected to generate $4 billion in revenue and employ about 7,000 people. It will be based in Santa Clara, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The big news here for datacenter managers is Vantara's Smart Data Center, a suite of tools for managing datacenters and infrastructure via sensors and analytics. The suite comes with of dashboards for risk management, planning and optimization, the company said.

"Our Smart Data Center technologies and services provide powerful new tools and approaches so the next-generation datacenter administrator can manage more, manage better, and improve IT's ability to become an agile and responsive resource for the business," said Bobby Soni, Vantara's chief solutions and services officer, in a statement.

Hitachi envisions Vantara's Smart Data Center as "the ultimate approach to optimize all aspects of IT operations across datacenters, reduce cost, manage risk and increase agility to respond to business change," the company said. It combines cutting edge infrastructure management, predictive analytics and internet of things (IoT) capabilities "to address the challenges customers face in managing today's complex IT environments."

What differentiates this approach from traditional IT administration is the level of automation; the Smart Data Center suite centralizes control and automates processes that span systems, datacenters and clouds, effectively automating decision-making, insight and guidance through predictive analytics, IoT and prescriptive intelligence. The suite centralizes the management of IT infrastructure for simple tasks, such as provisioning, as well as more complex operations, such as optimization and self-healing across datacenters.

Among other things, the Smart Data Center suite reduces the time it takes to deploy IT resources and complete administrative tasks; streamlines changing and adding new infrastructure technology; and provides holistic, dynamic datacenter operational and commercial views, on-demand, for data-driven decision-making, risk management and planning.

The new Vantara organization puts Hitachi in more direct competition with companies like Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Lenovo. Hitachi says it has an advantage over those companies, because of its depth of understanding about the operational needs of vertical markets. But it will also compete with General Electric, Microsoft, Amazon and Google in the Internet of Things (IoT) space.

The company unveiled Vantara at its Hitachi NEXT conference last week in Las Vegas. The Smart Data Center suite is available through an early customer adoption program, and the company made a strong pitch for customer input. The program "is designed to provide an opportunity for initial customers… to cocreate the final capabilities with our partners and us before the solution is standardized for general availability."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at jwaters@converge360.com.