Hitachi and the Great Hardware Conundrum

Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (a subsidiary of Hitachi) has announced new services that will allow enterprises to more readily adopt cloud computing, starting with an integrated, on-premises application for securely storing data on-premises rather than uploading it to a hosting service such as Dropbox.

The application, Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere, relies on HTTPS and SSL, giving workers the ability to securely store and transfer files without a VPN. However, it also requires the business to purchase Hitachi Content Platform hardware, which could raise serious concerns about vendor lock-in. (Dropbox and other cloud-based storage services also use SSL, but Hitachi Data Systems Corporation is betting that businesses’ residual paranoia about cloud security will drive them to see a solution that’s on-premises and built for enterprise use.)

Hitachi Content Platform is an unstructured database that, as mentioned, runs on proprietary hardware. As an object storage system, it can handle a wide variety of data, including metadata used in data analytics. The platform, currently in version 6.0, is also capable of backend-infrastructure duties such as backup and compression, and features Amazon S3 application support.

HCP uses virtualization to create tenants within the HCP storage system. Each tenant can be set to compliance or enterprise, with separate policies. Compliance data, for instance, can’t be deleted or altered; a business can also keep multiple versions, set retention periods, and more.

Products such as the Hitachi Content Platform demonstrate the issues confronting many IT vendors that made their name in proprietary hardware. Unwilling to give up the product segment that built the business in the first place, many of these vendors offer “stacks” integrating all that hardware with newfangled “cloud” features. At the same time, however, these companies end up facing a new generation of firms that traffic in “cloud only” products, and which often market themselves as the easier and cheaper alternative to hardware-plus-software vendors.

 

Image: Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock.com

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