At their NEXT 2017 conference this past month, Hitachi announced the formation of Hitachi Vantara, which combines Hitachi Data Systems, Pentaho, and Hitachi Insight Group into one company.
The new company is focused on bringing digital transformation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to life. As you may recall, Pentaho was a Hitachi acquisition that supplied business intelligence (BI) and big data analytics solutions to the enterprise, which until now, has continued to operate independently. Hitachi Insight Group was formed last year to combine Hitachi’s digital and IoT assets into one GTM organization focused on IoT solutions. HDS has historically provided data center offerings known for their rock solid, high performance storage, servers and software solutions.
Combining all these organizations into one doesn’t change any of the current product lines one bit. Hitachi Vantara will continue to supply servers, storage and software solutions for the data center and will continue to invest in enhancing these products. And it will continue to supply standalone BI and analytics solutions under the Pentaho product brand, as well as doubling down its focus on the development of Lumada, Hitachi’s IoT platform and related solutions and services.
However, the new organization will most likely start to change their research direction and GTM activities to focus on the digital transformation of the enterprise and IIoT. This should mean we will start to see more development activities that bring together all these solution domains under one umbrella and first up is the Hitachi IoT Appliance, Powered by Lumada.
Last year Lumada was introduced as a co-creation platform. Now in its 2.0 release, Lumada has also been introduced as a commercial software product with a flexible, composable framework that consists of Studio, Edge, Core, Analytics and Foundry components.
- Lumada Studio provides the external, user interface layer on top of Lumada’s other functionality. With Studio customers can design and view dashboards, alerts/notifications and enable other applications outside the Lumada framework. Lumada Studio can also provide Augmented Reality (AR), real time, status views of assets like servers, storage and other datacenter systems just by scanning a QR code and running the AR display app on your iPad.
- Lumada Edge provides the interface from external devices into the Lumada Framework. With Edge, customers can integrate industrial assets and have them stream data into Lumada for further processing. Edge also provides data transformation/filtering as well as edge analytics to reduce and compress the information coming off of edge components before sending it to Lumada Core.
- Lumada Core provides the data collection and asset management via Asset Avatars which personalize asset status, provisioning, monitoring, etc. Avatars relate asset data streams, and REST and other APIs provided by the asset to provision, monitor and manage the asset.
- Lumada Analytics provides artificial intelligence, batch/stream analytics and data fusion/blending with orchestration services to help understand what’s happening, predict what’s going wrong and help manage the business.
- Lumada Foundry provides a container development, orchestration and management layer to help customers and Vantara advance and customize the Lumada environment.
Hitachi also introduced a turnkey converged infrastructure system, the Hitachi IoT Appliance, which unites HDS storage and servers with Lumada 2.0 software into a fully plug and play system.
Last year’s Lumada reference architecture release was mostly paper, but this year they have the framework in place and are starting to roll out various solutions around IIoT. One on display at the NEXT conference was smart data center management. I saw an iPad AR app which overlayed on top of a camera view of a server its fans, power and other status information in real time, which changed when power was disconnected.
Some of Lumada’s parts are still being developed. For example, Foundry is not yet available. Moreover, as it’s composable architecture, pricing/licensing depends on component choice. Lumada is a prime example of the products that Hitachi Vantara intends to develop.
Hitachi Vantara takes advantage of Hitachi’s inherent strengths in data center and industrial solutions and services to go after IIoT. And the view in the analyst community is that IoT will be the next wave of digitization of the world we live in.
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Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community