Hitachi DS sees aggressive adoption of flash by enterprises

Sharath Kumar
New Update

 BANGALORE, INDIA:Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (HDS) recently unveiled enhancements to its three key infrastructure solutions that the company claims will help enterprises reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) by up to 30 percent compared to alternative solutions and up to double the performance benefits of previous generations.


In an interview with CIOL, Vivekananda Venugopal, VP and MD of HDS India talks about the technology enhancements and business needs that dictates ones infrastructure up gradation plans. Excerpts:

CIOL: Do you think it is time for enterprises to move to flash storage and dump SSDs?

Vivekananda Venugopal: One needs to look at business before deciding to go for flash storage investment. Your applications dictates your infrastructure selection. If your business needs faster in sight, then one needs a suitable infrastructure. With an all-flash array now, customers can have 2X performance at 60 pc lower cost. With flash customers can also implement a new capability called auto tearing. Our platform understands how you are using your resources and manage.


The other aspect is that it has got visualization built into it, which helps in getting better return on assets. You can now connect existing storage assets to this platform and create an integrated storage platform. The benefits are multiple: you can dynamically provision resources, migrate applications and centrally manage storage assets without any downtime.

That's why we tell customers to re-purpose assets for strategic areas and let our intelligent platform address business velocity requirements.

CIOL: Will flash drives replace SSDs in high-end enterprise segment any time soon? Which segment has the best perspectives for that?


Venugopal: No, as I said applications dictates the infrastructure selection. Let's look where this SSD is used in the market place.

SSD is mostly used in mobile devices, so, its a consumer play. The next big use of SSD is in desktop or commodity computer markets. The enterprise requirement for SSDs is very small and that's why its expensive. We don't have the volumes that is there in the mobile market. Now how do you bring economics to market place?

What our competitors are doing is put the SSDs in a controller and giving it away. However, they are creating a bigger problem. SSDs can only take a minimum number of racks and one has to do house keeping (allocating racks). Hitachi has designed the Hitachi Intelligent Controller, which takes care of house keeping at the back end, we increase the reliability of SSDs, increase performance and bring automation. That's the difference between Hitachi all flash compared with the completion.


 Our competition has designed all-flash arrays, but that will be as infrastructure A as it doesn't utilize the existing resources and requires different software. On Hitachi Universal Platform, customers can attach any storage and have one common software.

CIOL: How do you see the adoption of flash storage in the coming months?

Venugopal: With this announcement, we expect aggressive adoption of flash by enterprise. Earlier, enterprises were not able to afford flash due to high cost factor. Now, we have taken low cost SSDs and given it the reliability that is required for enterprise at 60 percent lower cost. Companies in banking, IT services and insurance are some of the early adopters of flash storage because they measure money in terms of how many transactions they do and how many they can service.


CIOL : What about Hitachi Data Systems collaboration with Intel?

Venugopal: The collaboration with Intel has enhanced. Primarily, the collaboration was on storage, but today, the Hitachi Unified Compute platform is based on Intel architecture. The future road-maps will also be around this partnership.

CIOL: Do you seen any changes in the storage market trends 2013?


Venugopal: First, IT costs are spiraling and budgets are shrinking or declining, and that hasn't changed. There is also bigger scrutiny of utilization of IT budgets.

IT has now transformed as not only a provider of IT services but now, IT needs to have direct linkages with businesses. The business is dictating faster response from IT. Businesses need faster access to data to make decisions.

Give this situation, we are telling our customers that by partnering with Hitachi Data Systems one can help bring down the costs by improving efficiency, helping companies to simplify their management, and most importantly, re-purpose those key resources for more strategic aspects of your business.


As you invest on technology to address your business requirements, costs should not go up. That's where we come in, with the economics of our information solutions. For example, we announced the Hitach Flash platform to address the customers' requirement of having faster access data and information so they have quick insight.

CIOL: HDS recently announced several technology enhancements for storage products. Can you tell us about the advantages they bring?

Venugopal: Investing in new Hitachi Flash platform gives our partners the advantage of reduced Total Cost of Ownership (ToC) by 60 percent that gives then twice the performance improvement.

The unified storage platform have released addresses customers' growing problems by bringing in a capability called single-click de-duplication. That means, as data is growing, they don't need to buy extra storage by utilizing Hitachi's unified storage, which can result in reduction of storage cost by 90 per cent.

Customers are looking at accelerating business velocity. They need to deploy applications faster so that they can get better insights to the business.

We have announced a series of unified compute platform consisting of Hitachi converged infrastructure platform, storage and orchestration layer. For example, there are VMWare vSphere, Microsoft private cloud and Oracle real-time application server. By doing this, customers can rapidly deploy applications and reduce their TCO by 30 per cent.