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Hitachi Vantara Beefs Up UCP With NVMe, GPU, Software To Increase Flexibility In Modern Workloads

Hitachi Vantara is using upgraded hardware with its Pentaho business intelligence software and new SAP HANA and other certifications to better manage data in such applications as Cloudera Hadoop clusters and MongoDB databases.

Hitachi Vantara on Wednesday unveiled new hardware and software updates to its Hitachi Unified Compute Platform, or UCP, modular converged infrastructure and hyper-converged infrastructure offerings.

The hardware updates include the addition of new NVMe SSD caching to improve storage performance, along with new GPU processor-based options to enhance compute performance.

Hitachi Vantara also unveiled new SAP HANA, Oracle database, VMware, and big data optimizations for mission-critical environments, said Chris Gugger, director of infrastructure solutions marketing for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor.

[Related: Hitachi Vantara Adds Predictive Analytics And New Automation To AI-Driven Software, Refreshes All-Flash Hardware]

Hitachi Vantara was formed in September 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.

The UCP enhancements are aimed at meeting the key requirements of modern data centers, including agile data center infrastructure, modern data protection, and artificial intelligence-based applications, Gugger told CRN.

"We're continuing to expand UCP with enhancements across the server, storage, and management components," he said.

Paula Phipps, director of solutions marketing for Hitachi Vantara, told CRN that the company is now offering UCP-based systems certified for SAP appliances and SAP Tailored Datacenter Integration, or TDI.

"SAP has some of the most stringent certification programs in the world," Phipps said.

UCP is now also certified with several Mode 2 applications, which Phipps said is analyst firm Gartner's way to describe applications optimized for uncertainty. These include such applications as Cloudera Clustered Hadoop or MongoDB databases.

This would, for instance, let customers use Hitachi Vantara's Pentaho business intelligence application migrate data from an Oracle data warehouse to a MongoDB-certified cluster, or from SAP HANA or any SAP application to Cloudera Hadoop, she said.

Hitachi Vantara is also updating its UCP Advisor, which is the company's composable infrastructure management platform, with new policy management capabilities, Gugger said.

On the hardware side, Hitachi Vantara is adding two new servers as part of its UCP hyper-converged infrastructure platform, Gugger said. They give UCP a new NVMe caching capability and introduce Nvidia Tesla GPU-based compute, he said. "Combined, they can handle applications which require low latency and high performance," he said.

Hitachi Vantara's UCP is a solid solution, with customer-proven performance, reliability, and service, said Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and 15-year Hitachi channel partner.

"Hitachi's UCP is very flexible," Kadlec told CRN. "If customers have a problem they can use UCP for a complete solution. Hitachi is good at putting together proposals that address customer issues."

The addition of NVMe cache and GPU-based servers to UCP will go far towards moving customer conversation from a focus on speed and feeds and towards solving business issues, Kadlec said.

The increased use of Pentaho shows just how much Hitachi's 2015 acquisition of Pentaho shows how increasingly significant it is to partners and customers, Kadlec said.

"We're seeing more business deals thanks to Pentaho," he said. "Pentaho helps make Hitachi more and more entrenched in customer environments. Now we just have to get the word out. For years, people have thought of Hitachi as expensive big iron. But it's actually very competitive."

The UCP enhancements are mostly already available to channel partners, with some expected to roll out in July or early August.

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