HDS expands VMware partnership with rack-scale platform powered by VMware Cloud Foundation

HDS also announced that their hyper-converged Hitachi UCP HC platform has been upgraded with the new Intel processors and NVMe memory support.

Paul Lewis, HDS’ Chief Technology Officer, Americas.

Hitachi Data Systems [HDS] has announced a new variant of its Hitachi Unified Compute Platform, the Hitachi UCP RS series. The new offering is a fully integrated, software-defined data center rack-scale platform, powered by VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware’s next-gen hyper-converged infrastructure for building private clouds, and integrating them easily with public clouds. HDS also announced the first of its upgrades to the new sixth-generation Intel Xeon processors, with Hitachi UCP HC, their hyper-converged platform. Hitachi UCP is also enabled for the new NVMe memory.

HDS and VMware are long-time partners, and this spring HDS won VMWare’s OEM award.

“We’ve had a long relationship with them,” said Paul Lewis, HDS’ Chief Technology Officer, Americas. “Our virtualized offerings are focused around VMware’s suite of products.” The UCP platform is strongly integrated with VMware’s vSphere, vSAN, vRealize and NSX solutions.

The integration with VMware Cloud Foundation through the Hitachi UCP RS series makes it much easier to mainstream the hybrid cloud.

“Today, virtualization within the data centre is table stakes,” Lewis said. “That’s VMware’s heritage. VMware Cloud Foundation allows you to expand that out into the hybrid cloud, and execute virtual management across the hybrid cloud. This was something that we did before by having clouds talk to each other. But in that format, the hybrid cloud was more of a secondary environment, used for replication and disaster recovery. This extends your data centre so that it operates as a single unit.”

The turnkey Hitachi UCP RS system also automates, provisions, manages and monitors software-defined data centres, aided by the rack scale architecture’s pooling of resources.

“The scale-out architecture means that our smallest client to our largest client can all benefit from this.” Lewis said. “Our partners should also be excited about any hybrid implementation of cloud on a scale-out model, and its ability to utilize pay-as-you-go economics. The ability to extend traditional virtualized environments is an asset for both customers and partners.”

While the second half of the announcement, the enhancement of the hyper-converged Hitachi UCP HC platform, is less splashy, it is aimed at the same goal of accelerating customers hybrid cloud deployments and expanding their use. The UCP HC has received a hardware upgrade, with new sixth-generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, and support for the upcoming NVMe releases. The result will be higher performance, lower latency and improved workload speed.

“While this is a hardware upgrade, our contribution to it is to bring it all together and provide for its effective management,” Lewis said.

While NVMe is still pricey, and some customers will choose to forego it, Lewis said that it was still important to build in the support.

“We always create infrastructure with the most current technology stacks,” he said. “We want to be sure the architecture is ready to deploy. Over time, the cost of NVMe will decrease significantly, and will become broadly adopted.”

The UCP HC are the company’s first product to get the new Xeons. Lewis indicated that they will be rolled into the rest of the product line.

“When we have a processor upgrade, we pull them out the older models before their regular market life, once we know they will be highly deployable, and can be managed and virtualized across entire datacentres.” He said that this would unfold over the coming quarters.

Both the new Hitachi UCP RS and the upgraded UCP HC are generally available now.