TCO enhancements highlight upgrades to Hitachi Content Platform portfolio

The big improvements are to software and hardware capabilities on the core Hitachi Content Platform and to the Hitachi Data Ingestor Platform.

Paul Lewis, HDS’ Chief Technology Officer, Americas, HDS

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has announced a series of enhancements to their object storage-focused Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. They involve both hardware and software upgrades.

“The focus throughout this omnibus enhancement announcement is on improving TCO [Total Cost of Ownership],” said Paul Lewis, HDS’ Chief Technology Officer, Americas, Hitachi Data Systems. “Sometimes a release is more about moving the needle on innovation, or new vertical solutions, or just keeping up with competitors. With object storage, however, it’s more about moving the needle on the total cost. Making it economically more attractive is important to increase its adoption.”

The HCP portfolio has four separate elements. The foundational Hitachi Content Platform provides software-defined object storage. HCP Anywhere, originally developed for file synchronization and sharing, has expanded into broader digital workplace capabilities. Hitachi Data Ingestor is an elastic-scale cloud file gateway, while the Hitachi Content Intelligence platform, announced last November, provides advanced analytics capabilities.

The core Hitachi Content platform now has a 400 per cent increase in usable storage per cluster, 67 per cent more storage node capacity through new 10TB drives, and a 55 per cent increase in objects per node. Simplified software licensing also lets customers achieve over 5x lower storage costs than the public cloud alone.

“The enhancements come from both hardware and software upgrades,” Lewis said. “Some of it is the 10 TB drives, and some is from the new ability to do erasure coding across multiple data centres.”

HDS has also enhanced API visibility to make integration easier, added KVM Hypervisor support, and introduced a dedicated management port that isolates user and administrator network traffic, to improve security.

“Our focus has been on the APIs to deliver content in,” Lewis said. “Extending support to KVM is designed to make sure that the operating systems also have native operating ability. We think that the KVM support, as well as the ability to lower the TCO for that market space, is what will interest the channel the most here.”

Among the other platforms, the most significant technology upgrade is to Hitachi Data Ingestor.

“The big one here is new multipart file transfers to HCP,” Lewis said. “This is critical for faster uploads of large files. With 3D GSI images, and full images from radiology equipment, the larger they get, the less likely you can copy them from source to destination. By doing it multipart, which are then reassembled automatically, it gets there faster and more efficiently.”

Hitachi Data Ingestor also adds universal file migration improvements to boost performance, and updated cryptographic hash algorithms for security, Changes have also been made to allow for easier resolution of content sharing conflicts.

“For example, conflicts between multiple branches are addressed by removing file locking so that more than one person can edit, instead of full file locks, as before,” Lewis said.

The enhancements to the HCP Anywhere platform, which are significant, were announced a month ago and are being re-emphasized now as part of the broader platform announcement. They include new API customization capabilities, which improve the platform’s utility for developers in end-to-end digital workplace solutions, as well as additional collaboration, usability and data protection abilities.

The news around the Hitachi Content Intelligence platform is that it has now reached General Availability. The platform supplements the analytics capability HCP had originally, which was more about data refinement, with new analytics specifically designed to find objects in a Data Lake.