Is HDS Set to Take On EMC?

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is taking a page from archrival EMC (NYSE: EMC) and trying some viral marketing.

HDS has been sending out invitations to a Webcast on Wednesday titled, “The Future of Storage Is Virtually Here,” with new CEO Jack Domme, CTO Claus Mikkelsen and IDC analyst Rick Villars.

In a blog posting earlier this week, Mikkelsen wouldn’t say what the “big announcement” is, instead challenging readers to solve the anagram “Regrades our classy treat.”

Another blogger, Chris Evans, thinks he’s unscrambled the anagram, and says it could stand for “Clustered storage arrays.”

Evans said he hopes HDS is planning a high-end USP storage platform refresh to keep up with the scalability, tiering, performance and replication of EMC’s new Symmetrix V-Max — an announcement that also generated interest through viral marketing.

HDS has been busy on the virtualization front in recent months, offering new data protection solutions for VMware (NYSE: VMW) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Hyper-V environments, free storage virtualization software for USP users, and an end-to-end server-to-storage virtualization strategy.

HDS logged $673 million in sales in its most recent quarter, with a “low teens” decline in hardware sales — better than the roughly 20 percent declines posted by EMC, HP (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM (NYSE: IBM). Software and services sales were up, as customers have focused on boosting utilization of existing storage capacity, Mikkelsen told ESF in a recent interview.

As for what’s next, tune in on Wednesday after the invitation-only event, which takes place at noon Eastern Time.

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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 Time.com, 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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