Hitachi, HP Plan for Converged Storage, Data Networks

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Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is joining the growing ranks of IT vendors offering a unified data center stack combining servers, storage and networking, joining the likes of Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), EMC (NYSE: EMC) and HP (NYSE: HPQ).

The high-end storage networking vendor won’t have a product until next year, but the Hitachi unified compute platform includes an orchestration layer based on Hitachi IP and Microsoft System Center management software that Miki Sandorfi, chief strategist of file and content services at HDS, said is unique among unified data center offerings.

“We really went big with this solution and changed the game,” Sandorfi wrote in a blog posting. “The Hitachi unified compute platform goes beyond current solutions by offering a more comprehensive feature set, deeper integration, open and flexible, and end-to-end orchestration.”

Hitachi’s OEM deal with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) also includes Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 products, and Microsoft’s Hyper-V server virtualization technology will also feature prominently in the appliances, and VMware’s (NYSE: VMW) virtualization technology will also be supported.

The hardware is based on Hitachi’s Universal Storage Platform (USP) V, Hitachi blade servers, and Fibre Channel and Ethernet components.

The extensible orchestration software layer developed by Hitachi “delivers automated, end-to-end management of all processes for server, storage, network and applications through a simplified, role-based management portal,” according to the company. The systems will also integrate Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Hitachi will demonstrate the platform and orchestration software this week at Microsoft Management Summit 2010 in Las Vegas.

Is HP Developing FCoE Switches?

HP, meanwhile, hosted a webcast today to discuss its networking strategy now that its acquisition of 3Com is complete, and one analyst came away from the presentation wondering if HP is developing its own Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) switches.

“While HP did not succinctly answer questions regarding FCoE products, the company did state that it currently has FCoE solutions under development/beta testing in its labs and that FCoE would be part of its going forward strategy; product said to announced ‘shortly,'” wrote Aaron Rakers of Stifel Nicolaus.

HP said it won’t introduce products that compete directly against SAN switches from Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) and Cisco, but Rakers noted that HP “followed this by stating that it sees the markets converging.”

“We believe HP’s commentary suggests that it will have its own FCoE solutions versus just reselling Brocade and Cisco solutions; especially when considering that HP had begun shipping Brocade’s top-of-rack FCoE switch (8000 series) solutions in mid-2009,” Rakers wrote.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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