HDS freezes high-end storage hardware investment

But challengers to its high-end dominance should BRING IT, says Hitachi bloke

According to IT Pro Nikkei, Hitachi is freezing further investment in its VSP high-end storage because it is a low-profit business and Hitachi wants to increase its operating margin.

The report quotes Keiichi Shiotsuka of Hitachi, Ltd, the Executive Officer Senior Managing Systems & Services Business Vice President. He said Hitachi is "freezing the investment in the high-end model of the storage business" and "... [is proceeding] with structural reforms of hardware development business of low-income, in the year ended March 31, 2019 [to] increase the operating margin of the "Systems & Services business," up to 10 per cent.”

This is translated from Japanese text, so bear with the wording of the rough translation.

The idea seems to be that high-end storage is a low-profit platform business and a problem area. Hitachi wants to achieve a 10 per cent operating margin, and the high-end storage part of the business will be reduced. Hitachi will focus more on its Lumada Internet of Things activities, which includes Pentaho analytics.

That means the VSP (Virtual Storage Platform), which it upgraded in April. This competes with EMC’s VMAX and IBM's DS8000, and is moving to all-flash.


Keiichi Shiotsuka's presentation at Hitachi on June 1 (Investor Relations Day). Click image to play the video and jump to 10.37.

HDS will concentrate its storage developments on flash and Big Data IoT storage management, according to slide 13 in Shiotsuka’s June 1 presentation at the Hitachi Investor Relations Day on June 1:


Slide 13 from Shiotsuka’s deck.

In January, Hitachi/HDS introduced an all-flash array HFS A series separate from its existing storage platforms.

It will concentrate servers and storage on products that support services. The focus is on the Internet of Things and the focus for storage and software is to provide functions for the IOT platform, meaning Data Management with data lifecycle and data lake management, and data analytics and visualisation. Hitachi is shifting towards having a more services business focus.

Chris Drago, director of Global Corporate Communications at Hitachi Data Systems, told us: "Hitachi is absolutely committed to shifting investments from disk based hardware to flash storage, our Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) and increasing automation and management options for our customers."

He enlarged on this, saying:

Any “freeze” of investments does NOT mean SVOS functionality investments stop (works from entry to mainframe), flash improvements stop (leadership FMD capabilities span G200 to G1000) or innovation is done. It means the investments in stand-alone high-end hardware are no longer a priority – especially since (and not included in that analysis) there are new hardware and system capabilities already developed that have yet to launch which will carry our platform forward for the next few years, and once again push the industry with our innovations.

In his view: "Since most users don’t push a G1000 to near its performance potential, making that our driving priority for the next few years would be silly. There are other innovations that will advance our customers digital transformation journeys faster and that’s where we are prioritizing our investments."

Drago maintained: "We believe we out-invest and outperform all others in the high-end enterprise space already. Gartner rates high-end storage systems in a Critical Capabilities document, and we’ve been the highest rated platform for every single version of the analysis. We have also won more Storage Magazine Quality Awards (as voted on by users) than anyone else in the industry and by a wide margin. Our high-end credibility is very difficult to question."

Our understanding here is that Hitachi is beginning to retreat from high-end monolithic array hardware, but not from SVOS, turning instead to fast flash storage products and massive, petabyte-scale content storage for IoT data, and its subsequent search and analysis. This re-directed set of storage hardware and software will provide the IoT storage and analytics needs for Hitachi’s various business units.

In effect, Hitachi sees the dawning of the end-period for monolithic array hardware. It’s not the end of them but it sure seems like it may be the beginning of the end. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022