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Hitachi Vantara, WekaIO Partner To Increase Object Storage Performance, Flexibility

‘We want to help clients better manage unstructured data and make it easier for them to leverage that data for decision making and business analytics,’ says Colin Gallagher, vice president Hitachi Vantara‘s Digital Infrastructure business unit.

Hitachi Vantara is making a big object storage play with the help of object storage software developer WekaIO.

The company also made several enhancements to increase performance, capacity, and flexibility of the Hitachi Content Platform, or HCP, object storage technology.

Hitachi Vantara on Tuesday unveiled an OEM relationship under which it will integrate WekaIO‘s scalable file storage for data-intensive applications on its Hitachi Content Platform, said Colin Gallagher, vice president of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company’s Digital Infrastructure business unit.

[Related: Hitachi Vantara To Use Waterline Acquisition For Intelligent Data Management]

“This is an OEM relationship to build a joint relationship to deliver unstructured data to clients,” Gallagher told CRN. ”We want to help clients better manage unstructured data and make it easier for them to leverage that data for decision making and business analytics.”

While WekaIO has deals with other storage vendors including Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell Technologies under which those companies resell WekaIO‘s object storage software, Hitachi Vantara is actually integrating the software on its hardware to offer as a fully-integrated, end-to-end solution to clients and channel partners, Gallagher said.

“We had several significant customers ask us to work with WekaIO,” he said. ”They asked us to marry the technologies on their sites. We were surprised at how well this solution worked. We are able to make a certain amount of super-hot data sit on WekaIO with the remainder on the HCP, with all of it treated like a single pool of capacity. But both can scale independently. So customers get both high performance and high capacity in a single solution which also scales to the cloud.”

When it comes to object storage, Hitachi Vantara is on the right track with its new WekaIO relationship, said Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and Hitachi Vantara channel partner.

“Our seasoned Hitachi account managers are excited,” Kadlec told CRN. ”This makes their jobs a lot easier. One of our guys, who spent time at Hitachi and worked with WekaIO in the past, absolutely loves it.”

Hitachi Vantara takes the time to make sure new solutions work well, which is why it is doing the WekaIO integration before sending to clients, Kadlec said.

“Instead of doing something quick, Hitachi is saying it made the investment, and will continue to do so,” he said. ”They‘re saying they want to help our customers grow and to focus beyond what a simple reseller agreement might offer.”

The new OEM relationship comes as object storage is transitioning from “cheap and deep” to mission-critical operations, Gallagher said.

“While object storage has been around since the 1990, or 1980s, depending on how you see it, it is Amazon Web Services that is driving the business by standardizing the technology around its S3 service,” he said. ”Other vendors can use the S3 service and add increased performance, while applications are adding S3 directly for their storage component.”

To further increase object storage performance, Hitachi Vantara also introduced new all-flash storage nodes to the HCP, Gallagher said.

The company also improved the HCP‘s ability to balance performance and capacity, resulting in up to triple the performance for data reads and writes, he said. Capacity was also increased to 15 petabytes per rack or about 1 exabyte in the full scale-out version.

HCP also now works with more storage devices for capacity, including the company‘s VSP E990 and VSP 5000 families. The VSP 5000, introduced last October, is the fastest NVMe array on the planet, according to the company, and offers a full range of storage services. The VSP E990, introduced in April, is similar, but was scaled down for midrange workloads.

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