HDS says its storage products are cogs in a much bigger machine

HDS tells Hitachi Connect 2015 attendees of plans to expand reach beyond storage through social innovation strategy

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is transforming from a storage to an infrastructure company, the supplier told attendees at Hitachi Connect 2015 in Las Vegas.

With support from the rest of Hitachi, and as part of its social innovation strategy, HDS held the conference to showcase how it is evolving from a storage company to compete with the likes of GE and Siemens.

Addressing 3,000 attendees, Jack Domme, chief executive of Hitachi America and CEO of HDS, said the company’s storage products are “cogs in a much bigger infrastructure machine”.

“We’re connecting real innovation to the benefit of society and to the benefits of the planet. We're connecting what works today with what's next. We are trying to impact society in a positive way.”

According to Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman and CEO of Hitachi, society needs an update of sophisticated total product systems that are innovative, inclusive and sustainable.

“Hitachi is investing in its partners and solutions. We are very much energised. Today is the next step for our social innovation business,” he said.

Internet of things

At Hitachi Connect 2015 the company launched a range of products to extend its reach into the internet of things (IoT) and data analytics markets.

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Hitachi has acquired several businesses over the past year, in line with its social innovation and analytics business. These include Avrio, oXya, Pantascene and Pentaho.

The latest additions to the product portfolio are Hitachi Live Insight for IT Operations, Hitachi Clinical Repository for Connected Health, and Hitachi Live Insight Center of Excellence.

HDS’s social innovation theme revolves around the IoT, big data analytics and storing and using metadata in an effective way.

Domme pointed out that by 2020 the IoT is predicted to comprise 152 million connected cars, 1.1 billion smart meters and 200 billion connected objects.

“$19tn economic value will be created by the IoT, with $2.5tn annual impact of IoT in healthcare alone,” said Domme. “We connect it. We know it’s the future. Social innovation is about delivering innovative solutions to global markets. A strong infrastructure is needed to run social innovation. We are not just a storage supplier any more. We’ve added more than 1,600 customers this year.”

According to Domme, it is about “machine-driven data and writing applications that make decisions in real time”.

“An example is Hitachi’s Proton Beam Therapy, which is for advanced cancer treatment. I hope you never need this, but if you do, it is bringing the best of Hitachi to society,” said Domme. 

The IoT revolution is going to make our mission even better. We don’t just want to count your steps with a pedometer, we want to improve healthcare. We don’t just want to tell you when your fridge is empty, we want to feed the world

Kevin Eggleston, HDS

“It analyses cells so it only targets cancerous cells and not the healthy ones. It is powered by particle acceleration and a vast array of technology is needed just to run one room – it is all powered by us. It is passion with a purpose. A common purpose to connect ideas with the ability to bring innovation.”

Data ownership

When asked if HDS is in danger of losing its focus, Domme said: “We don't want to lose our focus. Look at our real-time analytics. That's enhanced our focus on infrastructure. We're strengthening that piece of it. I don't think there's a de-focus there.”

Kevin Eggleston, senior vice-president of social innovation and global industries at HDS, said social innovation is about making society safer, healthier and smarter. 

“Social innovation is a mission this company has been on for the past 105 years because we sincerely want to make a difference in the world. We want to make things better for people and drive economic growth,” he said.

“The IoT revolution is going to make our mission even better. We don’t just want to count your steps with a pedometer, we want to improve healthcare. We don’t just want to tell you when your fridge is empty, we want to feed the world.”

The company will be focusing on public safety, telecommunications, healthcare, business and analytics, energy and automotive.

“We are a different company today than we were in the past. And we'll be different in another three-to-five years,” said HDS COO Brian Householder.

“Our world, every part of it, is transforming more quickly than ever before. Customers must own their data. HDS is leveraging the data experience, but we want customers to own their data and to give them the keys to their own data. We want to give them back the control.”

At the conference the supplier announced the Hitachi Storage Virtualisation Operating System (SVOS) in an expanded Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) family. The portfolio now includes the G200, G400, G600 and the upcoming G800.

Also unveiled was the expansion of the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) series, to include small to large converged and hyper-converged infrastructure models.

The Hitachi Hyper Scale-Out Platform (HSP) for data analytics workloads was also presented.

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