Hitachi Converged Cloud Adds Microsoft Exchange

Hitachi Data Systems features its own compute blade infrastructures with a dedicated Microsoft Exchange blade

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) jumped into the increasingly crowded “converged” data centre systems pool with the launch of several items that include two new blade servers, an appliance for Microsoft Exchange 2010, and new automated cloud system hardware/software packages.

Converged data centre system components – often simply another term for “pre-configured” components – feature more functionality (computing, networking and storage) and automation squeezed into smaller rack units, which in turn require less power from the wall. They are designed to be both agile and power-efficient.

Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Cisco Systems and several other systems makers are already in this market.

Repeatable, Converged Architecture

HDS’ interpretation of “converged” features its own compute blades to go with standard network infrastructure components to handle multiple applications and operating systems.

“Because we are integrating our storage with new compute blades and network infrastructure components, we are now providing repeatable, converged architectures for the data centre, as customers move down the path toward cloud,” Miki Sandorfi, Chief Strategist for File and Content Services at HDS, told eWEEK.

The new Hitachi packages provide a cloud system foundation of tightly integrated, shared components, Sandorfi said. Thus, predictability becomes one of the prime management benefits, he said.

Many enterprises want to start up private clouds but are not sure how to begin because there are currently few standards, integrations and certifications for such deployments that bring predictable and reliable results, Sandorfi said.

The “predictability” HDS claims to bring to the table is based on pre-validated reference architectures, pre-packaged hardware/software units with enterprise-class components in the stack, and targeted pre-configuration. Templates and built-in automation help replicate processes and results, Sandorfi said.

The new HDS/Microsoft data centre products – which also can run on VMware ESX, as needed – are:

  • Two new cloud-enabling compute engines: Hitachi Compute Blade 2000 and Hitachi Compute Blade 320, with logical partitions (LPAR), are x86 enterprise-class blade servers that offer mainframe-like functionality, Sandorfi said. LPAR is an embedded virtualisation feature that builds virtualisation right into a blade server’s hardware. Because it is hardware-based, LPAR provides a greater level of security through physical partitioning. Hitachi Compute Blades enable users to have selected blades running LPARs next to other blades, Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware, all in the same chassis.
  • Converged Platform for Microsoft Exchange 2010: This is the first in a new series of pre-tested, application-specific converged packages, Sandorfi said. This is engineered for rapid deployment with Exchange 2010’s new features for predictable performance and scalability.
  • Cloud systems built on Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track: This is a combination of Hitachi storage and computing with networking and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V and System Centre for high-performance private cloud infrastructures.

The new products will be rolling out later this summer.