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Hitachi Vantara To Buy Rean Cloud To Enhance Big Data, IoT Expertise

Rean Cloud brings an automated platform for shifting business, including big data and IoT, to the cloud, and that fits well with Hitachi Vantara which last year combined storage, IoT, and big data into a single business.

Storage and IoT powerhouse Hitachi Vantara on Tuesday said it plans to acquire Rean Cloud, a global Amazon Web Services systems integrator and MSP with expertise in developing cloud-native applications.

Rean Cloud (pronounced "rain") is a premier consulting partner in the AWS Partner Network as well as an AWS managed services partner with expertise in industries where security and compliance are essential including financial services, healthcare and life sciences, education, and the public sector.

The Herndon, Va.-based cloud consultant works with clients in such areas as enterprise cloud transformation, cloud foundation, migration and deployment, operations, and big data services, and has competencies with a variety of vendors in migration, storage, security, big data, and Microsoft workloads.

[Related: Hitachi Combines Data Center Infrastructure, IoT, Big Data Capabilities In New Company: Hitachi Vantara]

Hitachi Vantara, based in Santa Clara, Calif., last year was formed by combining the Hitachi Data Systems storage and data center infrastructure business, its Hitachi Insight Group IoT business, and its Pentaho big data business into a new combined company aimed at delivering new collaborative data offerings for commercial and industrial enterprises.

Rean Cloud is a hyperscale public cloud migration and management company with two key activities that make it a good fit for Hitachi Vantara, said Bobby Soni, chief solutions and services officer for Hitachi.

The first is its expertise in helping very large-scale, complex enterprises migrate to the cloud, whether it is gradually or in a lift-and-shift motion, Soni told CRN.

While other cloud providers have that capability, Rean Cloud has a unique platform that provides a significant amount of automation, he said.

"Hitachi Vantara's clients are all going through a digital transformation," he said. "To do that, they need the agility and scalability of public clouds. But the reality is, they will live in a hybrid cloud world. Hitachi Vantara wants to use Rean Cloud's capabilities and skills in that digital transformation."

The second is expertise in big data analytics via Rean Cloud's 2017 acquisition of 47Lining which brought it significant expertise driving big data analytics via machine learning and artificial intelligence, Soni said.

"They've worked with AWS, and are specialists in IoT and big data," he said. "This fits with Hitachi Vantara's strategic direction."

Hitachi Vantara did not disclose the value of the acquisition. Soni said that the planned acquisition is an exclusive deal, so there will be no competing bids for the company. He said Rean Cloud is a profitable company.

The deal is expected to close in the next two to three months, he said.

Rean Cloud currently works with multiple hardware and software vendors to build multi-cloud solutions, including storage vendor NetApp.

Soni said the key vendor partner to watch is AWS. Rean Cloud is an AWS premier consulting partner, one of 26 such partners worldwide. Rean Cloud is also a silver-level Microsoft partner, he said.

Rean Cloud has been in the news this year after the systems integrator announced in February that it had been awarded a five-year contract, with a potential value of $950 million, to provide cloud migration services to the U.S. Department of Defense. The project involved implementing a custom solution for automating the procurement of cloud resources for the military.

But that contract was reduced in scope when Oracle and other vendors lodged a protest with the Government accountability Office, saying Rean's selection violated government competitive bidding procedures. The companies argued that given Rean's relationship with AWS, selecting the implementation partner before selecting the cloud provider that would host the project's workloads gave AWS a de facto lock on the deal.

Rean's contract was reduced to working on a project for the U.S. Transportation Command with a maximum price of $65 million.

The Pentagon is readying a request for proposal for a multi-billion-dollar cloud contract, which Department of Defense officials have argued is best granted to a single service provider while Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and other major IT vendors have argued that a multi-cloud approach would be better.

Hitachi Vantara will continue existing relationships with Rean Cloud, Soni said. "In the multi-cloud world, we'll have to deal with competitors," he said. "We have our Hitachi Enterprise Cloud for our on-premises solution, and with Rean Cloud we'll be able to clients with on-premises and cloud offerings. We will have to deal with heterogeneous infrastructures. But we will have preferred solutions for Hitachi Vantara in our portfolio."

Hitachi Vantara channel partners should not expect to see competition from the company's acquisition of Rean Cloud, but will instead find new services opportunities, Soni said.

"Global and regional systems integrators and service providers can leverage the Rean Cloud platform to create their own services above the platform," he said. "For example, cloud advisory services can be built above the platform to manage the cloud. Or partners can leverage the platform for automation to power their own managed services."

Hitachi Vantara's mission is clear, Soni said. "We're not in the business of providing consulting services," he said. "We may help with the first few projects as a start. But for us to scale, we need to partner. We believe there is so much opportunity for the ecosystem."

Hitachi Vantara has traditionally had an infrastructure focus, but has lately been making large moves to help clients on the cloud, said Chuck Strickland, strategy architect at Sirius Computer Solutions, a San Antonio, Texas-based solution provider and long-time Hitachi channel partner.

The vendor has software products like Hitachi Content Intelligence for unstructured data, which is a software-only offering, and things like Security Visualization Suite and Digital Evidence Management System which primarily run in the cloud, Strickland told CRN.

"If Hitachi adds to its cloud capabilities, it gives us an additional attachment to the cloud," he said. "This may become more important as Hitachi moves more into the software-defined world in the next couple years, and they know the need more expertise to do that. It's a strong move for them."

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