Hitachi launches Vantara, aims to target IoT, data center, cloud, analytics

The entity, called Hitachi Vantara, unifies a series of enterprise units including: Hitachi Data Systems; Hitachi Insight Group; and Pentaho.

Hitachi is creating a separate company to focus on big data and technology infrastructure in a bid to grab digital transformation business.

The entity, called Hitachi Vantara, unifies a series of enterprise units including:

  • Hitachi Data Systems;
  • Hitachi Insight Group;
  • And Pentaho.

"We're going to bring together companies that were otherwise siloed and working on similar tracks but not fully working together to power this new entity," Bob Madaio, VP of infrastructure solutions marketing for Hitachi Data Systems, said to ZDNet. The new company, he added, will immediately boast $4 billion in revenue, as well as a large install base and a headcount of around 7,000.

The goal for Hitachi Vantara is to be a player in information and operational technology as well as digital transformation deals. Hitachi has traditionally played in a bevy of verticals such as finance, government, manufacturing, transportation and utilities. All of those verticals are areas for analytics and the Internet of Things as well as public and private cloud infrastructure.

"The biggest opportunity for change for Hitachi and our customers is understanding the data in all these machines and environments to really drive change," Madaio said. "There's going to be a lot of data generated and potential solutions that don't necessarily deliver results that matter. We want to use our industry expertise to pick and choose which of those we focus on."

The launch of Hitachi Vantara will put it more in direct competition with the likes of Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Lenovo. But Hitachi says it has an advantage over those companies, given its depth of understanding about the operational needs of various vertical markets.

"We can bring to bear an edge to outcome solution, which none of the IT guys can do without expensively partnering with a third party in a new market they're not familiar with," Ravi Chalaki, VP of global IoT marketing at Hitachi Insight Group, said to ZDNet.

Hitachi unveils new Unified Compute Platform product for hybrid cloud

Hitachi said the big push for Hitachi Vantara will be to provide "superior infrastructure and analytics technologies" for emerging markets such as the Internet of things where "there is no clear winner yet."

Hitachi Vantara CEO Ryuichi Otsuki said the company has more than a century of operational technology expertise. For the launch, Hitachi Vantara outlined its product lineup. Those moving parts include:

  • The Lumada IoT platform and its v2.0 release, which can run on-premises or in the cloud. The 2.0 version of Lumada includes asset avatars, or digital twins, analytics from machine and human data and design tools. Lumada initially launched in May 2016 and features ingestion tools for data, identity and access management, machine learning, alerts and dashboards.

Asset avatars are effectively what's known as a "digital twin" -- a digital blueprint of a physical asset. Chalaki said Hitachi's avatars are "significantly better than many average digital twins on the marketplace" because different avatars of the same type (such as an automotive avatar) can learn from each other.

  • An IoT appliance run by the company's Lumada software. Hitachi's IoT Appliance is designed to be in production quickly to absorb data from various industrial settings. Lumada is Hitachi's IoT platform.
  • Smart Data Center, a suite to manage data centers and infrastructure via sensors and analytics. Smart Data Center includes a variety of dashboards for risk management and planning as well as optimization.
  • Converged data center systems as well as the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform to better automate infrastructure ranging from storage to compute to networking.
  • Managed services revolving around the Hitachi Enterprise Cloud to support DevOps and containers. Hitachi Enterprise Cloud will partner with VMware and Mesosphere to provide hybrid cloud management tools.

"Not only in vertical markets but in the IT space, increasingly our customers are saying, 'I want you to run this for me, I'd rather deal with you as a service provider than just a technology provider,'" Madaio said. "This is something we've been doing and that we expect to scale somewhat dramatically as we move forward."


Turning Big Data into Insights:

Cloud vs. Data Center:

Harnessing IoT in the Enterprise: