Hitachi Vantara Unifies Data Infrastructure, Management With VSP One

‘It’s a very Hitachi approach. We’re not going to do a Dell and you know, kill a product line and panic. We’re taking customers on a journey,’ says Ian Clatworthy, director of data platform marketing for Hitachi Vantara.


Hitachi Vantara Tuesday unveiled Virtual Storage Platform One, a new data platform and data management technology that will over time bring all the company’s storage technologies into a single hybrid cloud data platform.

For Hitachi Data, the goal is to have a single common data platform for infrastructure alongside a single common data management software family, said Ian Clatworthy, director of data platform marketing for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

“We’re taking our entire portfolio of data storage offerings and collapsing them into a single data platform,” Clatworthy told CRN. “We’re taking our block, file, object, and mainframe storage capabilities, and offering that as a single data platform. And customers will be able to take that either as an appliance, as software-defined, or natively running in the public cloud.”

Sponsored post

[Related: Storage Vendors Evolve With The Times: 2023 Storage 100]

Hitachi Vantara’s Virtual Storage Platform One, or VSP One, is not aimed at replacing the company’s current various storage lines including its original VSP arrays, Clatworthy said.

“It’s not an elimination, it’s an amalgamation,” he said. “So we will not be chucking things out. There’s no forklift upgrades. It will all have a transition plan into the new strategy. It’s a very Hitachi approach. We’re not going to do a Dell and you know, kill a product line and panic. We’re taking customers on a journey.”

Hitachi Vantara was formed in 2017 by combining the Hitachi Data Systems storage and data center infrastructure business, the Hitachi Insight Group IoT business, and its Pentaho big data business into a new combined company aimed at delivering collaborative data offerings for commercial and industrial enterprises.

With VSP One, the company plans to eventually have a combined operating system across all the different data types, Clatworthy said.

“We will offer block, file, object, and mainframe storage across a common data plane,” he said. “Because having an underlying OS across all of those different data types, it gives us an ability to transport data across deployments. We’re going to manage it as one with a single control plane, so common management, common embedded data protection, and all the AIOps stuff that we have. So not just an AIOps capability only aligned to block. We’ll be able to do that across file and object. And then we’ll then pull together a common data fabric, allowing us to look at data discovery, classification, integration, and things like that.”

VSP One will also offer native storage as code so all of those applications can directly consume the infrastructure, Clatworthy said.

“Today, about 30 percent of our customers never use our UI or GUIs, or interfaces,” he said. “They just do it natively in code. And we’re seeing that growing. With VSP One, we may have a head start with that on the block side. How do we bring that parity across into the object and file sides. This pushes us to have parity across the data types on the one platform.”

Hitachi Vantara also has not had real native cloud capability, Clatworthy said.

“As part of our first release in February, you will now be able to natively run VSP One block in the public cloud,” he said. “And there will be a cadence of go-to-market around that too as we build more capability around file and then object.”

While the majority of data exists in file form, Hitachi Vantara is starting VSP One on the block data side, Clatworthy said.

“Being completely transparent, there are limitations in our file capability today,” he said. “What I need is a true distributed scale-out file architecture that we don’t necessarily have with our legacy BlueArc [NAS platform] acquisition. That is currently being developed.”

Hitachi Vantara VSP One was developed entirely using the company’s own intellectual property, Clatworthy said. However, he said, the company will be bringing together a community of vendor partners to build on its platform, he said. It will include technologies certified to work with VSP One including technologies from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Epic, Cisco, Broadcom, Commvault, Oracle, VMware, Veeam, and Veritas, he said.

VSP One is software-designed storage, meaning that it will work with physical or a virtual appliance or natively in a cloud, Clatworthy said.

A key part of VSP One is Hitachi Ops Center infrastructure software, Clatworthy said. For VSP One, it includes Ops Center Clear Sight to manage block, file, software-defined storage, and object data. It also includes Ops Center Advanced for analytics, automation, data protection, and data intelligence, he said.

“You want to see what your entire Hitachi estate is doing, and your virtualized estate as well,” he said. “You want to take your Dell stuff and have a look what that’s doing. We can do that with Clear Sight.”

Clear Sight is really a starting point for VSP One, Clatworthy said.

“What we found is, even with our biggest customers, they love this, because it’s just a quick dashboard overview,” he said. “Tell me what’s happening. I love the fact that I can do live telemetry on-prem for analytics. But actually, I still want that nice, easy to view dashboard of what’s happening.”

Ops Center Advanced is really focused on automation, Clatworthy said.

“This is the true, fully-featured full automation with live analytics and data protection, and we’re also going to be bringing data intelligence,” he said. “So now you can go and find out what data you’re storing. Is it dark data? Is it being used as part of Ops Center? And you can manage your server estate as part of Ops Center.”

Cloud-native capabilities will be provided by Virtual Storage Platform 360, which offers infrastructure as code, Clatworthy said. VSP 360 will manage the entire platform itself, extrapolated into the public cloud or on premises depending on customer need, he said.

“Your applications specifically go and talk to 360, and 360 will go and deploy and consume the infrastructure that is needed for that application,” he said.

“It will literally be, ‘I need to deploy something for Oracle,’” he said. ‘Okay. Is this mission critical?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Okay, what’s the capacity you need?’ ‘I need this done.’ And it will go and deploy it. It’s that simple. And it will do that based upon calling up AIOps and saying, ‘Well, what’s the right solution? Where do we have hotspots? Where do we have space? Do we need more capacity? We might need to order that on the back end? Can I put that in the public cloud?’

It’s an exciting time to be a Hitachi Vantara channel partner, said Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Irvine, Calif.-based Consiliant Technologies.

“VSP One looks to provide a tremendous amount of flexibility, and make it easy to manage the entire storage infrastructure,“ Kadlec told CRN. “If you don’t want file data on one infrastructure and block on another, bring them together on one data infrastructure with one data management. That could be a deadly combination.”

Hitachi Vantara has been a leader in enterprise storage, but with VSP One, instead of customers needing to manage multiple bricks, they will be able to overcome a lot of the performance limitations of the competition, Kadlec said.

Hitachi Vantara VSP One will initially be generally available early next year with block data capabilities, Clatworthy said. He expects the full roll-out to take about 36 months as Hitachi Vantara builds on the technology over time.