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HDS UCP node adds scale, hyper-converged node gets smaller

Hitachi converged UCP 2000 clusters now scale to 128 nodes; UCP HC V240 VSAN Ready Node adds a one-node option. Hitachi Enterprise Cloud was rolled out for hybrid VMware cloud storage.

Hitachi Data Systems Corp. has expanded its Unified Compute Platform storage for VMware shops; UCP now includes a smaller hyper-converged system and a cloud bundle, and the entry-level version has more options.

The vendor Oct. 11 boosted the scaling capacity of its UCP 2000 entry-level converged system from four nodes to 128 nodes per cluster. In addition, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) rolled out a smaller version of its UCP HC V240 hyper-converged appliance, which it sells as a VMware-certified VSAN Ready Node.

In addition, the vendor unveiled Hitachi Enterprise Cloud (HEC), which shops can use to build private and hybrid cloud storage with Amazon Web Services and VMware vCloud Air. HEC deployments package vRealize management and Hitachi UCP Director software on Hitachi UCP 4000 and 4000E server hardware.

Hitachi converged node clusters add UCP Advisor software

The HDS UCP 2000 combines compute, storage and networking in a 2U x86 rack server. The system is built on Intel-based server hardware, Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) storage arrays and top-of-rack Brocade Ethernet networking gear.

Early HDS UCP 2000 platforms were built on Hitachi blade servers, but HDS switched to commodity storage servers in June. HDS sells UCP 2000 as a modular building block that connects four storage nodes in a cluster.

With the update, customers can scale an HDS UCP cluster to 128 UCP 2000 nodes, or 32 servers, using Hitachi's UCP Advisor automated orchestration software. Customers can choose from VSP G Series hybrid arrays or VSP F all-flash storage with Fibre Channel, iSCSI and NFS protocol support.

Hitachi's target use cases for UCP 2000 include supporting application development, databases and virtual desktop infrastructure. Its massive scale is due to UCP Advisor software, which detects and automatically configures servers as they get added to the cluster.

"We take UCP Advisor and join your existing four-node configuration and use our software to scale across the cluster. You can start with four nodes and add four nodes at a time, up to 128 nodes" of Hitachi converged compute and storage, said Paula Phipps, Hitachi's senior manager of infrastructure and software marketing.

Smaller VSAN Ready Node, new Hitachi cloud services available

The new release includes a 2U one-node HDS UCP HC V240 hyper-converged platform that is targeted at VMware shops. It previously was available only as four nodes in 2U.

Hitachi UCP HC V240 hyper-converged infrastructure combines compute, network and storage, and it scales from one to 64 nodes, or 16 servers. Management software includes VMware vCenter and Hitachi Compute Advisor. Administrators can configure HDS UCP HC V240 and V210 as hybrid or all-flash storage, with up to 24 TB per node.

The smaller deployment is aimed at enterprises just getting started with hyper-converged infrastructure, Phipps said.

"We've introduced more granular scaling. You can grow the [V240 cluster] in increments of 1U, which is important to midtier customers," Phipps said.

Hitachi HEC gives 'turnkey' cloud storage

Hitachi Enterprise Cloud with VMware vRealize software is based on Hitachi converged UCP 400 and UCP 400E hardware targets. The product is oriented to environments with at least 500 virtual machines. Using self-service catalogs, development teams can select the compute and storage resources they need to build internal private clouds.

"We've turned our UCP platform into a complete turnkey system for developers to order the software and hardware stack and reduce provisioning time from months to minutes," said Devangi Patel, vice president of cloud go-to-market at Hitachi, based in Santa Clara, Calif.

Hitachi charges a one-time commissioning and installation fee of $125,000 to set up HEC deployments. Monthly consumption pricing ranges from $4,608 per physical blade server to $24 per virtual CPU. Three storage capacity licensing tiers also are available: Ultra, which costs 21 cents per gigabyte; Capacity, which costs 40 cents per gigabyte; and Performance, which costs 72 cents per gigabyte.

Enterprises increasingly want to offload management of physical data center infrastructure, "but that's easier said than done," said Eric Hanselman, chief analyst at 451 Research.

"You've got to have enterprise-class capabilities that make that transition straightforward, and that's one of the things Hitachi wants to address," Hanselman said.

"Hitachi has been operating in managed storage for a while. They're now taking the next step to provide the computational side for [the] cloud infrastructure side as well. It's a natural match."

Hitachi's target use cases for UCP 2000 include supporting application development, databases and 

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