Hitachi aims to redefine unified storage

Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: HIT) has taken the bold step to trying to redefine unified storage with the release of Hitachi Unified Storage, or HUS.

HUS is attempting to address the three different types of storage (file, object and block) in a single management framework targeted at small to mid-size businesses.

With the new product announcement comes several new channel initiatives, such as an updated Opportunity Registration Program, a new Competitive Take-out Program, marketing tool kits, an event in a box program, new incentive programs and an educational program on HDS services.

Chris Willis, director of cloud and converged solutions for HDS Americas, said HUS is the first product from combined Hitachi and BlueArc intellectual property. HDS acquired BlueArc Corp., a network attached storage vendor, last September for a reported $500 million-plus.

“This is a testament for HDS. We’re not just purchasing companies, but integrating them. BlueArc is the first to go into HUS to manage critical apps and costs. The key feature we’re drawing out here is that it’s a modular product for all three types of data that supports business critical apps that, in the past, was just for the enterprise,” Willis said.

Willis added that HUS is well-suited for the Canadian market. He said compared to the U.S., Canadian customers want the same functionality requirements but not necessarily the same capacity. “Some of the time solutions Canadians got were just overkill, except for some banks. We have something in HUS that is geared towards the Canadian market,” he said.

HUS comes in three units: the 110 is for entry-level, followed by the 130 and the 150, which is for maximum capacity solutions.

HUS addresses scale capacity with 3 Petabytes within a frame, a single namespace for management of multiple nodes, file capacity for virtual machines, automated archiving and backup, provisioning virtual LUN and dynamic tiering. It can also provide an image snapshot in case of service interruption.

Channel partners will be able to stack margin opportunities inside HDS Canada’s TrueNorth Partner Programs. Subsidiary channel chief Peter Kriparos told CDN that in addition to transactional margins (between six and 10 per cent), solution providers will be able to draw upon the additional benefits from the Opportunity Registration Program and TrueNorth Partner Program rebates. In the new Hitachi Technology Upgrade Program, solution providers can combine the benefits from either the Competitive Replacement and or Install Base Upgrade program. For example, upfront rebates can be stacked onto registration margins and competitive discounts up to $12,000 depending on the size of the opportunity presented to HDS Canada.

“All these programs are stackable. There is no ceiling when it comes to HDS channel programs from the front or the back end,” Kriparos said.

In addition to the new channel programs, Kriparos is encouraging solution providers to sell professional services with HUS through a Service Specialization Program. In this program, a partner can resell HDS services and for those who have high touch services they will be offered an educational program where they can embedded HDS services under their own brand.

The starting list price for the block version of HUS is $22,745. The starting list price with the file version of HUS is $52,830. This includes the base hardware, software and installation charges with 36 months of software maintenance.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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