The most important component of the cloud based technologies is the cloud storage. The cloud storage market is a bit more mature than the cloud compute market and it is also highly fragmented. From enterprise level providers like IBM and EMC to public cloud storage providers like Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, with the low cost enterprise grade cloud storage solution provider like Parascale, they offer a wide variety of solutions with different types of access models like API based access (Amazon S3 is a good example) and file based storage systems (Amazon EBS is a good example).
Enterprises are not very widely enamored by public cloud storage vendors like S3 at this point of time. Sensing an opportunity, big players from the enterprise side are jumping in to gain marketshare. EMC already has their own cloud offering with a possibility of a public cloud looming large. Last week I talked about IBM’s cloud storage plans in this space and mentioned that they have plans to offer public cloud storage service in the future. Now, Hitachi has announced that they are jumping into the Cloud game with their Agile Cloud offering. Unlike EMC and IBM, Hitachi wants to be a provider of cloud storage infrastructure for public cloud providers and private cloud storage for enterprises.
Hitachi’s Agile Cloud enables a secure, multitenant environment that ensures privacy among various constituents within a shared infrastructure that can be managed easily. The standout feature in Hitachi’s offering is the possibility for enterprises to integrate their existing legacy storage systems into the cloud storage architecture due to the availability of support for various protocols and third party technologies. This will definitely please the enterprise customers. With this solution, enterprises can enable their existing storage infrastructure to
- Provide efficient IT management and increase productivity through automation
- Meet changing performance, availability and storage needs
- Ensure security in a shared environment
- Cost effectively improve data protection
- Make information easy to locate and use, anywhere, at any time
They also released Hitachi Content Platform that provides integrated, scalable, and open storage resources for virtualized and content intensive applications. This platform offers the following advantages for the customers of their Cloud Storage plans
- Enabling Customers to Evolve Cloud at Their Own Pace
- Segregating Data Securely
- Intelligently Tiering Data
In this era where every single vendor wants to use the cloud term in their product/service/platform, Hitachi’s foray into Cloud Computing is not surprising. It was an expected move. The emphasis put on the security of their offering will help enterprise customers to be compliant. It will be interesting to see where the cloud storage market will go ultimately.