Open Letter To Jack Domme, CEO, Hitachi Data Systems - InformationWeek
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6/29/2010
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Elias Khnaser
Elias Khnaser
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Open Letter To Jack Domme, CEO, Hitachi Data Systems

A few weeks ago, HDS put together its first-ever blogger day, hopefully the first of many. Titled "HDS Blogger Day 0.9," I and other bloggers had access to an impressive lineup of executives and technical leaders. The company's CEO, Jack Domme, attended the dinner after the event, a great show of support for the community in general. But I do have some remaining questions.

A few weeks ago, HDS put together its first-ever blogger day, hopefully the first of many. Titled "HDS Blogger Day 0.9," I and other bloggers had access to an impressive lineup of executives and technical leaders. The company's CEO, Jack Domme, attended the dinner after the event, a great show of support for the community in general.

But I do have some remaining questions.During my visit it became clear how much of a focus HDS is placing on virtualization and cloud computing. The Unified Computing Platform (UCP) is a promising technology (I will be blogging about this in coming weeks) but how do you intend on countering or competing with EMC, Cisco and VMware's VCE? I understand that the UCP is an open platform that may at some point even include and support EMC storage, Cisco servers and VMware hypervisors. However, you still have a competing product.

EMC is building an army (I'm referring to "Chad's army" of vSpecialists -- industry experts, bloggers and influencers -- assembled by Chad Sakac, VP, VMware Technology alliance at EMC.) This group's sole purpose is to evangelize VCE. That is brilliant knowledge marketing. Sakac says he intends to double his army this year. So where is "Miki's army" -- run by Miki Sandorfi, chief strategist, file and content services at HDS? Here is EMC building an army while it has one component of the VCE solution, storage. HDS has storage, servers and software that brings it all together, but no army. It takes an army to fight an army. Skirmishes and guerrilla warfare doesn't work in a technology world.

An example of how Hitachi is not discussing how it uses technology within HDS or Hitachi LTD itself is the 40,000-user VDI deployment that you have. I never knew that Hitachi LTD strictly enforces the use of VDI as the only method of computing, and I follow tihs space closely. Would you not agree that VDI is one of the hottest topics in virtualization today? Considering you have one of the largest VDI deployments up and running on your own storage, servers and platform, can you share details? How was it built to scale? How many iops per VM, how many servers are being used, what connection broker are you using? And the list goes on.

On a related note, why is it that other big tech manufacturers have yearly U.S. conferences in which they announce their products, reveal their visions, and interact with their customers and the community, but HDS does not? I did learn during my visit that Hitachi LTD has a yearly conference in Japan, but that is a world away, and until the conference I had never heard of it. Would you not agree that an HDS conference in the U.S. in which customers hear from you about current and future plans would be valuable?

The fact that you invited us demonstrates that HDS is shifting its marketing focus to a more community-oriented "knowledge marketing" approach, and that is a very welcome step. I hope it succeeds. You could start with my suggestions.

Elias Khnaser is the practice manager for virtualization and cloud computing at Artemis Technology, a vendor-neutral integrator focused on aligning business and IT.

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