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Add Hitachi Vantara to the list of vendors pitching AWS-style cloud storage services on premises.
The vendor enhanced its managed storage services with object storage and agent-based data protection as a billable service. The services run on the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP).
Hitachi Vantara storage as a service adds Hitachi Content Platform object storage to VSP hybrid arrays for block and file storage. Customers can vary the mix of unified Hitachi storage hardware and services.
As part of the program, the vendor wheels racks of Hitachi Vantara storage gear into a customer's data center or colocation facility. The minimum commitment is 250 TB, and it scales to 4 PB. Hitachi doubles the chosen capacity for scalability, but the customer is billed only on metered usage.
Up to now, Hitachi Vantara sold managed storage in fixed bundles through partners, but some customers need greater scalability, said Diane Clay, a Hitachi senior product marketing manager for cloud services.
"We took common attributes to predesign the service catalog to enable customers to select what they need. It's like 'Do you want to buy off the menu or have the chef custom-prepare something?' We let you do both," Clay said.
Storage as a service enables customers to pay only for the capacity they use. Companies use the model to install private clouds that mirror attributes of the public cloud.
Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo are rolling out on-premises cloud infrastructure as a billable service for data center customers. Hitachi Vantara storage appears to be doing the same, except its licensing model doesn't integrate compute or networking.
Protecting data in the cloud
Hitachi Vantara storage resellers provide the underlying storage for cloud providers and commercial and industrial customers. Scalable data protection has been a weak spot, IDC analyst Ashish Nadkarni said.
"People would rather spend on Opex than Capex. They want something like an Amazon Web Services consumption model. Hitachi is feeling the push from OEMs to adopt this model" or risk losing the business to other providers, Nadkarni said.
Unlike its storage as a service, Hitachi's data protection as a service (DPaaS) doesn't require additional gear to be placed in the data center. DPaaS uses software agents to remotely manage backup data behind the company's firewall. Customers choose four service levels, Clay said, and Hitachi contractually guarantees restore and recovery times.
Hitachi Vantara storage is part of the company formerly known as Hitachi Data Systems. Hitachi changed the name of the subsidiary in 2017 as part of a corporate revamp by Hitachi Ltd. Hitachi Insight IoT technology and Hitachi Pentaho big data analytics round out the Vantara product set.