New Edge sync file services highlight broad Hitachi Content Platform upgrades

Hitachi Content Platform, which is fundamental to Hitachi Vantara’s second step in their Stairway to Value by enriching data and providing compliance safeguards, gets some important integration upgrades, but the showier part of this announcement is around the sync variant, HCP Anywhere, which now has an Edge capability that broadens its use case into both IoT and larger ROBO environments.

SAN DIEGO – Hitachi Vantara has announced upgrades to its venerable Hitachi Content Platform [HCP] object storage platform, which plays a key role in the key second step of the company’s Stairway to Value that is underlies the company’s messaging around their core value proposition for both customers and partners. The enhancements to the HCP itself are significant, if not flashy. The key integration with the Amazon S3 API has been strengthened, while support has been extended for VMware vSAN, allowing it to be run there in hyperconverged environment, and Hitachi Content Monitor’s performance monitoring has been enhanced. In addition, the Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere, a sync ‘n’ share variant of the HCP platform, gets some serious upgrading, with new capabilities to deliver sync-based file services at the edge, and improved file data protection. The announcements were made at the company’s NEXT customer event here.

HCP is an object storage platform that intelligently manages data as a key business asset and provides compliance governance. It thus provides a critical component of the second step in Hitachi’s Stairway to Value – branding developed earlier this year to show the different stages of value that Hitachi Vantara provides. The second stage, built on top of the company’s core storage business, is all about enriching the data through the application of metadata that is also used for compliance purposes, and is a prerequisite for the key third stage of actually analyzing the data to provide value to the business.

“Hitachi Content Platform is now in its eight generation of software, and has been in the data path of business applications for over ten years,” said Shawn Rosemarin, SVP and CTO, Global Field and Industry, Hitachi Vantara. “Originally, it sent data to an archive. Now we can put it in the public cloud, and can index it, encrypt it, and move it. It’s part of our strategy of providing the flexibility of ubiquitous cloud data centres.”

HCP now has stronger cloud-native compatibility with the Amazon S3 API, which allows it to support new application requirements and an expanding ISV application ecosystem. Support for VMware vSAN environments has also been enhanced. Now, in addition to software-only and appliance models, customers have an expanded range of deployment options by being able to run HCP there in hyperconverged environments like Hitachi Vantara’s Unified Compute Platform.

“These are obvious main targets of cloud adoption, and these enhancements make it easier to use the cloud tier fully, to take the data there and archive it,” said Paul Lewis, global vice president of industry and enterprise architecture at Hitachi Vantara. In addition, Hitachi Content Monitor’s performance monitoring capabilities have been enhanced to make it easier to aggregate and visualize system metrics from multiple HCP clusters into customizable dashboards. Tiering automation has also been enhanced to improve global data protection level across multiple sites.

These enhancements to the core HCP platform are the kind of fundamental improvements necessary to improve platform capabilities, although they tend to excite channel partners – who always looking for improved integration capabilities – more than customers. However, the upgrades to the Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere, a variant of the platform which has provided sync-based file services since 2013, have more head-turning elements, in particular the ability to open up new use cases by extending the data services from the data centre to the edge.

The new HCP Anywhere Edge is a cloud storage gateway option, that keeps only active data in local storage and allows easy access to large amounts of data from the private or hybrid HCP cloud in customers’ data centres.

“This new edge focus of HCP Anywhere is a very interesting addition,” Lewis said. “Traditionally, HCP Anywhere has been about sync and share in a corporate setting. Now it can be in a distributed setting as well. It also coincides with the different and expanded definition of the edge. Before, edge generally referred to remote offices. That’s still important, and this will allow us to reach customers like big retailers who we couldn’t reach before. Now, however, the edge can also mean a mine, or a desert. This lets us reach that whole edge of operational technology with this that Hitachi has always served. Hitachi builds machines!”

The enhancements now allow HCP Anywhere Edge file services to natively support Microsoft Windows SMB 2 and 3, and also provide improved data protection and management for multiple-user and edge devices.

“It’s now more obvious what is being protected,” Lewis said.

All these updates to the HCP portfolio are available now.