Yesterday, Hitachi took the wraps off their Unified Computing Platform by introducing its open data center platform. It is aimed at consolidating the enterprise functions of networking, storage, and compute into an orchestration layer.

Virtualization is still guiding the evolution of the data center, in this case all the way to the physical form. If you like consolidating your systems into big iron with lots blinking lights, Hitachi has you covered. And if you like open systems that connect to your existing infrastructure, Hitachi believes that playing nice with others is in the domain of unified computing.

If you’re interested in this idea, check out the video summary of the platform.

The company shares us a deeper view of this product line and the problems it is intending to solve. Many of the opportunities targeted address budgets, for example, how to remove operating expense through the orchestration of resources.

Orchestration is the Huddle on Third Down

Orchestration merges network, system, and storage resources as a single unit to be managed and reported in.

An analogy might be found in football. In the huddle, the quarterback might call “the slant 6” and all eleven members of the team interpret that play and perform their respective jobs.

Orchestration, as Hitachi describes it behaves in a similar way. It will respond to plays like “scale up for product launch”. All the members of the team (disk, server, and network) go to their respective places and do the jobs needed. And, if needed, adjust appropriately to the conditions on the field.

Hitachi leverages a partnership with Microsoft’s System Management tools to closely align the plan and reality to bring more intelligence into the equation.

The Computing Stack is the Team

This product is also about abstracting systems through software. The company is betting that the coordination of the tasks of operating systems, storage and networking within a single framework provides a lot of value to the business. Hitachi takes the point of view that it is best to harmonize existing assets though open standards and looks at computing as a utility to be shared in the organization.

Some of the features the product contains make it easier for organizations to achieve scale across functions and environments. It is designed to support this modern data center principles:

  • Multi-tenancy
  • Charge back for resources
  • Distributed physical data centers
  • Public cloud resources through open APIs

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform looks like an impressive physical device. It brings together resources normally held in separate racks and hosts them in a single location and reduces a lot of the work of wiring up data centers.

As we unfold another chapter in computing, Hitachi is leveraging its strength in consolidation to meet the trend of massive growth of data.

At a glance, there are a lot of reasons why IT managers might choose unified computing products: cost, ease, agility. Looking out a few years, it is easy to imagine growth in this category overall.

Is Hitachi well positioned for aggregation of data center resources with its Unified Computing products? How will EMC, Cisco, IBM, and HP fare in the movement towards unified computing?

Photo credit: idovermani

mike kirkwood