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Hitachi Vantara plans refresh of mid-range and top-end storage in 2018

It's mostly an IoT-centric system integrator now, but may sprout new scale-out arrays

Hitachi Vantara, the mash-up of Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Pentaho and the Lumada IoT assets from the Hitachi Insight Group, is working on new scale-out storage products to support its ambition to become a system integrator for analytical workloads and the myriad data sources that feed them.

Vantara launched in September 2017, formalising HDS' long-stated ambition to shed its reputation as a storage vendor. The company had long expressed its intention to work on smart cities by allying with other parts of Hitachi group. As Hitachi makes all manner of heavy industrial kit, the loose alliance helped the old HDS chase what the company's chief solutions and services officer Bobby Soni described to The Register as “infrastructure for edge to outcomes” solutions.

Soni said that acquiring big-data-wrangler Pentaho in 2015 helped HDS gain more credibility in its desired market, and added that HDS kept the company independent and at arms length in order to let it breathe. Two years later it was deemed safe to fully integrate Pentaho. Lumada was also allowed to operate independently as HDS waited for architectures to emerge that made it easier to integrate.

This year the company felt the advent of containers meant Lumada could now be widely deployed, while Pentaho had sufficient credibility and momentum to allow formal integration and justify the creation of the new Vantara brand to signal the change of direction. That the internet of things had moved beyond proof of concept implementations to real projects also helped the Hitachi hierarchy's decision to create a new company.

The result is effectively a systems integrator. “There are no unifying solution architectures” for enterprise IoT, Soni told The Register. Vantara therefore works with application vendors, middleware vendors and other experts to extract data from industrial equipment or other sources, stores and processes it on its own kit or with whatever cloud or hardware customers desire.

“There are platform players, and edge players, and domain use case players,” Soni said. Vantara wants to straddle it all.

Senior veep for market development and product management Iri Transhanki said Vantara will keep working on storage products.

“We will do a refresh to our core storage products, mid-range and high-end, in the next year” Transhanki told The Register. Transhanki said the company is also aware of, and addressing, its weakness in scale out storage. “It takes four to five years to develop a good product,” he said, and two or three to develop a poor one. Vantara plans on taking its time and can afford to because customers are willing to wait for it to deliver products with the qualities that brought them HDS in the first place. ®

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