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Hitachi UCP update includes NVMe cache, GPU server

Hitachi updates Unified Compute Platform (UCP) portfolio with new NVMe-based Intel Optane caching option and technology from partners VMware and Cisco.

Hitachi Vantara beefed up its Unified Compute Platform (UCP) portfolio with new hardware and NVMe-based caching support, automated management capabilities, and certified, pre-integrated application options.

The Hitachi UCP product family includes converged, hyper-converged and rack-scale systems. The UCP Advisor software adds management and orchestration capabilities across the compute, storage, and networking components through a single pane of glass.

Unlike many storage vendors, Hitachi declined to discuss its long-term roadmap for supporting ultra-fast, low latency nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) technology on an end-to-end basis. Chris Gugger, director of infrastructure solutions marketing at Hitachi Vantara, would say only that the company has a "full roadmap planned for the remainder of the year." In the meantime, Hitachi released its UCP hyper-converged (HC) V123F model enabling NVMe-based caching with Intel's Optane 3D XPoint technology on the DS120 servers.

"Caching really is the first step into a full-blown NVMe system. The impetus is that our customers are asking for lower latency machines that can handle higher IOPS capabilities for transactional types of use cases," Gugger said.

The Hitachi UCP HC product line that combines virtualization, storage and network resources is based on VMware's vSAN software-defined storage. The newly updated UCP HC line adds support for VMware's vSAN 6.7 version and includes a new higher capacity UCP HC V220 model. Hitachi also has a new precertified, pretested Horizon Fast Track virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) option.

Hitachi's UCP Rack-Scale (RS) Series is based on VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) software and designed to enable hybrid cloud deployments. The updated UCP RS product supports vSAN 6.7 and VCF 2.3 releases and uses Intel's Skylake processors in all-flash servers.

Caching really is the first step into a full-blown NVMe system.
Chris Guggerdirector of infrastructure solutions marketing, Hitachi Vantara

In August Hitachi plans to ship a DS225 server with Nvidia Tesla graphics processing unit (GPU) technology as part of the UCP lineup. The GPU-enabled Hitachi UCP product will be aimed at use cases such as VDI, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE), and test and development.

"When you move into advanced analytics solutions, [CAD and CAE] need to have visualization capabilities. Having a GPU for those visualization capabilities enhances the market reach of a hyper-converged solution," Gugger said.

Also due in August are new 2U, two-socket DS220 and 2U, four-socket DS240 servers for more storage capacity than the previous 1U, two-socket DS120. Hitachi also will add support for multiple external storage arrays to address large installations that require multi-tenancy, Gugger said.

Hitachi UCP converged infrastructure updates

The Hitachi UCP Converged Infrastructure (CI) product line combines the vendor's rebranded original design manufacturer servers, Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) arrays, and Cisco networking components, each of which can scale independently.

Hitachi added support for the latest VSP 350, 370, 700 and 900 array models that launched in May and released a new smaller footprint single-rack option at a lower entry price. Hitachi also added a new DS7000 server that can scale to 16 cores for SAP HANA and Oracle databases and a new management server in a standard 1U system.

UCP Advisor 2.7 upgrade

The incremental 2.7 update to the Hitachi UCP Advisor offers policy-based provisioning capabilities to ease deployment across the UCP portfolio through prebuilt or custom-designed templates. The new UCP Advisor also adds support for bare-metal provisioning to address container use cases.

The Hitachi UCP Advisor supports the company's new VSP storage systems. It adds the ability to inventory volumes of the global-active device feature of the Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System RF, which is designed to ensure continuous operations in distributed environments.

The UCP Advisor 2.7 also extends adapter support to OpenStack; containers; and VMware's vRealize Operations, vRealize Orchestrator, vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness, Storage Replication Adapters, and CPU Microcode Update Driver.

Hitachi also added new pre-integrated and certified infrastructure options designed for its UCP system family. The Hitachi Solution for the SAP HANA Platform aims to ease analysis of data from SAP's in-memory database and other data sources. The Hitachi Solution for Databases with Oracle Enterprise Data Warehouse optimization can offload warm and cold data to a certified MongoDB cluster running on UCP RS systems.

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