Software // Information Management
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12/9/2009
07:30 AM
Elias Khnaser
Elias Khnaser
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Where's Hitachi Data Systems In All These Alliances?

2009 has definitely been the year of acquisitions and mergers and strong alliances, as far as the technology industry is concerned.

2009 has definitely been the year of acquisitions and mergers and strong alliances, as far as the technology industry is concerned.The Oracle/Sun drama, the HP/3Com phenomenon, the Dell/Perot marriage... the list goes on. On the other hand, we saw the Cisco, EMC and VMware alliance and most recently the Microsoft/NetApp alliance. Seems to me that some form of "loneliness" flu has swept through our industry. Everyone wants a partner.

The Cisco, EMC and VMware alliance gave birth to VBlock, and the Microsoft/NetApp alliance will mark the beginning of a new era of collaboration between these large companies. The hot topic for 2010 will remain virtualization. with a different flavor and focus on cloud computing and desktop virtualization. The synergy between these allying companies is a "storage company/application company" approach, and the only two without any serious collaborative partners would seem to be Citrix and HDS.

I am sure someone will reply that Citrix has many partners it works with, like Intel on desktop virtualization. What I mean is a joint product, a solution along the lines of the partners mentioned earlier. I am also certain someone will say HDS has allied with Microsoft. If so, what are the details of this alliance because it seems to me Microsoft is pretty set on NetApp.

This brings us to Hitachi Data Systems, a company with fantastic and solid products that you rarely hear about. If you don't go knocking on its door for some storage, you would not know it was there. The funny part is, HDS has so much more than just enterprise storage to offer. Its solution sets range from SMBto enterprise. Did you know that the HDS modular array was the first active-active array in its class?

Have you ever heard of the HDS blade servers? I hadn't. A blade system that performs virtualization at the hardware level, something no one else in the industry is doing. That is some cool technology that will be the topic of another blog entry. What about its HCAP, a content archiving system that is truly open, and doesn't alter the data the way some competitors do?

The problem with HDS is it doesn't market its products. As a consultant, I have walked into many IT shops where I have had to mention HDS because it was not on the list of vendors my clients were considering. Even more ironically, when I mentioned HDS, they were convinced HDS only played at the enterprise level.

Bottom Line In the virtualization and cloud computing world, storage and virtualization go hand in hand, and all these companies are aligning their resources and introducing joint products to gain more market share. It would seem to me that HDS and Citrix would be a good combination. They could go to market with a solution around desktop virtualization, for example. They could both benefit from one another's technology. HDS has blade servers that it cannot seem to market properly even though the technology is fantastic, Citrix has the software suite from the server hypervisor all the way to desktop virtualization. It would seem like a marriage made in heaven.

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When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
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