This week, Hitachi Data Systems greatly expanded its support for SAP HANA with 25 new appliance configurations, as a part of the company’s social Innovation business strategy designed to further leverage analytics and Big Data.
“For the last two years, we have had both scale-out and scale-up HANA solutions,” said Peter Kriparos, Regional Manager, Canadian Alliances and Channels at HDS. The scale-out solutions were on the data warehousing side, and the scale-up on SAP Business Suite. “We have extended the compute with more options around the Intel technology, and expanded the storage offerings.”
Now the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform for SAP HANA is available in more than 25 different memory configurations, covering the smallest to the largest single-node implementations of SAP HANA. They utilize the new Hitachi Compute Blade 520X B2 server blade, based on the new Intel Haswell Xeon Processor E7-8800 v3 product family, which Intel announced last week. They also use the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP), whose expansion and updating was announced last week by Hitachi at their Connect 2015 event.
The new HDS offerings are about far more than simply rolling out new product, however.
“SAP HANA is a strategic play for us around predictive analytics, and a key part of the investments HDS is making around social analytics and Big Data,” Kriparos said.
Those investments are part of the Social Innovation business strategy now being implemented by all Hitachi companies, which in the case of HDS is designed to propel it beyond storage by expanding and leveraging data analytics as well as data infrastructure, to help data-driven organizations use their data more effectively, and to make Hitachi a major player in cutting edge technologies like Big Data, Machine-to-Machine analytics, and the Internet of Things.
Strategic acquisitions have been a key part of the Social Innovation strategy, and two of them play a significant role in the new SAP HANA approach.
“We have made two critical investments here, first with the acquisition of oXya, a pure play SAP service provider and hosting provider, which gives us a large increase in capacity in the SAP space and allows us to provide services there as well as infrastructure,” said Gregory Smith, Vice President SAP Field Alliance Americas at Hitachi Data Systems. “That’s a big investment and a significant acquisition.”
The second key acquisition is Pentaho, which has not closed, but is scheduled to do so this summer.
“Pentaho will bring data ingestion to the broader HDS strategy, and is a significant part of the Hitachi social innovation initiative,” Smith said. “What Pentaho brings is a key component to delivering on that data analytics vision, building a strong in-house capability for data analytics, for big vertically-specific solutions.”
Smith said that Pentaho’s technology is an adjacent component to HANA, but is highly relevant and a strong complementary move.
“From a HANA standpoint it’s important,” he said. “Bringing real time access to the business data is important, and this technology is a component that helps Hitachi do that.”
To this end, in addition to Hitachi’s own new UCP offerings for SAP HANA, Hitachi and Pentaho together are releasing a Hitachi UCP solution for SAP HANA that lets developers process and refine big data from any source at scale.
“We have been showcasing that solution on the floor this week at SAP SAPPHIRE NOW!, demonstrating the power of Pentaho with elastic data lakes,” Kriparos said.
Kriparos said that HDS will be utilizing its ecosystem of partners to bring the SAP solutions to market.
“We will be leveraging our VAR channel, our global system integrator community, our emerging cloud service providers, and our Social Innovation organizations, including other Hitachi companies,” he said. “Many of these partners have a strong HANA expertise as well as strong vertical focuses, and our channel strategy includes all these routes to market.”
Kriparos said that while HDS’s strength has been in larger enterprise accounts, some of the SAP solutions will play more broadly than this.
“We are also targeting entry level enterprise and the mid-market with these,” he said. “Those customers are looking for OPEX offering as well as CAPEX ones, which we can offer through service provider partners at a smaller and more predictable price point.”
“The largest route to market for the midmarket and SME through the channel will be through the Service Provider Program and systems integrators,” Smith said.
The UCP scale-up appliances for SAP HANA and the UCP with Pentaho solution for SAP HANA are scheduled to be generally available worldwide this quarter. Another scale-out offering will follow shortly thereafter. Pricing will vary based on configuration.