Hitachi Vantara: Storage with an Internet of Things advantage?

Hitachi Data Systems is no more.

It has been rolled into a new division, Hitachi Vantara. That is, HDS, with its largely enterprise-focused data storage products has been joined with the Internet of Things-focussed Hitachi Insight and the analytics arm, Pentaho.

The premise for the move is that we on the verge of a world in which data from machines will become increasingly important. So, potentially large amounts and varying types of data will need to be stored. And there is no question that to get the most from that data there will be a pressing need to make some sense of it via analytics.

That’s more or less the explanation of Steve Lewis, CTO of Hitachi Vantara, who said: “The reality for a lot of companies – and the message hasn’t changed – is that they are required to manage data in increasingly efficient ways. There will be more and more machine-to-machine data being generated and the questions will be, how do we store it, how long do we keep it, what intelligence can we gain from it?”

Hitachi Vantara would appear to be in a prime position to profit from an IoT future. It’s a small part of a vast conglomerate built mostly on manufacturing businesses whose products range from electronics to power stations via defence, automotive, medical and construction equipment, but also includes financial services.

That background should provide almost unique opportunities to develop data storage for a world of machine data and intelligence gathering therefrom.

Will there be any impacts on the datacentre and storage in particular?

Lewis said: “Storage will continue on the same trend with the growth of data volumes and the need for different levels of performance.”

“But, for example, where companies used fileshare as a dumping ground and didn’t know what they had, increasingly organisations need to know what data they hold, the value of it and make more use of metadata. ‘Metadata is the new data’, is something we’re hearing more and more.”

Lewis cited the example of the Met Police’s roll out of 20,000 body-worn cameras and the effects – with several GB of data per 30 minutes of video – on their networks (“never designed for video content”), on storage volumes, but also the need to store that data for long periods (100 years in the case of the police), be able to find it, make sense of it and delete it when required.

“So, it’s all less about initial purchase price and more about the cost of retention for its lifetime,” said Lewis.

Clearly, Hitachi Vantara aims to profit from these type of needs and plans to, said Lewis, “Develop its own IoT framework and operating environment.”

It should be in a good position to do this. Time will tell.