Hitachi Vantara, Cisco extend partnership around converged infrastructure

The new Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure will go to market through a select number of channel partners, building on the channel focus of the recent VSP Pro solutions.

Peter Kriparos, Regional Manager, Canadian Strategic Partners and Commercial Sales at Hitachi Vantara

Hitachi Vantara and Cisco have extended their partnership with a new Cisco Validated Design, the Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure. While Cisco and Hitachi have been long-time partners, and Cisco worked with Hitachi Vantara’s predecessor, Hitachi Data Systems their relationship around Cisco UCS has been more limited, until now. Hitachi Vantara used the new news as a wrapper to highlight multiple elements of its channel business over the current fiscal year, which completes at the end of this month. They also highlighted the VSP PRO solutions, which they launched in September, and drew attention to the rebooted Hitachi Vantara Partner Program, which was announced last April.

“We are ending our fiscal year with a very important announcement for the channel,” said Peter Kriparos, Regional Manager, Canadian Strategic Partners and Commercial Sales at Hitachi Vantara. “We have in the past had a joint converged infrastructure relationship with Cisco, but it has never been this extensive.” The Cisco relationship has been in place for 20 years, and includes Hitachi offering Cisco’s switching product on their price list as an OEM product.

“The Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure covers our entire VSP G series line, and the feature set across it,” Kriparos said. “In the past, we have had a mid-range CI product with them only. This one is meant to touch all the areas across the enterprise, so it fills a gap for a pure enterprise converged offering with Cisco.”

Cisco, of course, has other strategic partnerships in the CI space, including a long-standing one with NetApp around FlexPod, but Kriparos said that the Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure is in a league of its own as an enterprise offering.

“As a pure play, it is by far the most elite of the enterprise storage offerings around UCS,” he said. “It uses our enterprise 100 per cent uptime storage box. It’s also a part of our Stairway to Value story [the incremental value in the different stages of data in Hitachi Vantara’s portfolio], to get to the next phase from storage to classifying and monetizing data. We also bring to the partnership with Cisco what we also do on the OT and industrial side.”

This solution will be optimized for channel partners

“There is no other way that we will make this available,” Kriparos said. “These will be integrated by our preferred channel partners in Canada at their location, or end users’ locations. We will work with them in a co-created solution. The preferred partners will be a very select number of partners in specific verticals and districts.”

The partnership itself is a meet-in-the-channel one, with the joint solution not on Cisco’s price list.

“We are however training them and updating them on it,” Kriparos indicated. “We are also using this to re-introduce to them who Vantara is, what we are doing in the marketplace, what is new with us, and what is not new.”

Hitachi Vantara also used this announcement to restate that inn September, they began delivery of VSP PRO solutions, which are simplified, partner-optimized configurations of the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP).

“VSP PRO basically took our VSP and made it easy for partners to get a price that will provide the muscle of an enterprise organization even for midrange storage requirements,” Kriparos said. “VSP PRO takes all those complexities away and creates bundles with the entire stack, where the partner gets quotes within minutes. These are not customizable, but the price points baked in will get customers and partners a second look from customers who considered HDS to be too expensive. We couldn’t get to an SMB price point before, but these will compete head-to-head against SMB and midrange players with enterprise technology.”

Hitachi Vantara also drew attention to the reworking of their partner program last year.

“Last April, coming out of our kickoff, we revamped and renamed the old True North partner program, and broadened the partner types from resellers to include cloud service providers and services delivery partners,” Kriparos said. “It reflects that our ecosystem has changed drastically in the last 10 years.”