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October 31, 2011

HDS Makes Big Data Triple Play

Datanami Staff

Last week, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), released a statement discussing the intersection of their cloud and big data strategies. They put this news in the context of their plans to pull in value from recent acquisitions, including software vendor ParaScale and storage purchase, BlueArc.

From this point forward, HDS plans on taking a three-pronged approach in their strategy around their existing portfolio that hinges on their infrastructure cloud, content cloud and the information cloud. They claim that by leverage these three elements they will be able to “build on existing IT investments to provide a single virtualization platform for all data.”

These three strategic wells mesh together quite logically. The infrastructure cloud, which is the platform for wider data management and “data center convergence” forms the base, the content cloud takes advantage of virtualization and data discovery, and the information cloud takes virtualized information and feeds into business intelligence platforms .

HDS CEO, Jack Domme described this mesh in a recent interview, stating “HDS has the solutions to analyze data independent of native applications—a massive data warehouse in the cloud where our customers can search all of that data and bring it together in what we call a virtual container. A virtual portal of your information at a scale beyond what has been architected in the past. Previous architectures could not even dream about handling data of this scale.

Domme says that key acquisitions, including the company’s purchase of BlueArc will allow HDS to address growth in unstructured data by providing a platform that can scale in response to the unending stream of data that doesn’t fit into neat boxes. He says that their content platform can take those files from BlueArc as well as from the other “content depos” to be indexed all together. As he puts it, HDS is “ingesting files from different native applications and allowing searches independent of the application in which it was created.” He says that this approach, which is handled by XML, allows for deep data mining.

The company is targeting key verticals with this approach According to the company’s COO, Minoru Kosuge, “Our intention is to leverage Hitachi Data Systems technology to create social infrastructure solutions that involve cloud services, big data management, machine-to-machine networks, equipment management and control systems.” Kosuge says this should appeal to the needs of utility companies, transportation business, urban development and others.

HDS points to a use case for this three-tiered approach via a 35,000 employee hospital system in Australia. They claim that they were able to build on previous investments to make “complex and siloed processes more automated and efficient.” To do this, HDS merged lab patient data, radiology and unstructured content systems to create a “consolidated view to its National eHealth application and the hospital’s own clinician portal.”

IDC’s storage guru Ben Woo claims that IT departments are no longer able “to simply function as data custodians.” He says that “HDS’ big data vision shows customers a direct understanding that data is multidimensional and that their solutions need to be as well.” Woo believes that the three-pronged strategy the company announced this week will provide an effective platform for gleaning maximum insight out of large structured and unstructured data.