On October 31st, Gartner published its 2017 version of the Magic Quadrant for General Purpose Disk Arrays. Gartner defines general-purpose disk arrays as those designed to satisfy the storage needs of applications running on physical or virtual servers. This Magic Quadrant excludes all-flash systems, also called solid state arrays (SSAs), because they have their own Magic Quadrant.
We have been positioned in the “Leaders” quadrant for five years in a row. For this report, Gartner’s analysis is centered on the hybrid VSP G series line, not our fast growing, all-flash VSP F Series or UCP converged and hyper-converged offering.
Gartner is never completely positive on any vendor and lists both strengths and cautions for each vendor. Gartner’s commentary about our storage capabilities remained strong, recognizing the VSP’s common architecture, administrative tools, interoperability, ecosystem and scalability which simplifies the sales cycle and aligns well with channel capabilities. The Hitachi VSP is the only storage system that shares a common architecture and management tools from the smallest VSP G200 to the flagship VSP G1500. GAD, Hitachi Automation Director, Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor, and tiering to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) improve usable availability and staff productivity. This also includes the ability to virtualize other vendor storage arrays, enhance them with VSP functions, and facilitate the migration for technology refreshes. This preserves customer investments in policies and procedures, and leverages ecosystem-related investments.
I would argue that the VSP is the only General Purpose Disk Array, among the leader quadrant vendors, since the other vendors have to offer a number of different arrays to be able to come close to the capabilities of the VSP. Dell/EMC has four different arrays, HPE has 6 different arrays, IBM has three, and NetApp has two.
Gartner cautioned users about our ability to influence the storage market as we go through our corporate transformation effort. We strongly disagree with this since, the transformation has already been underway for several years and in the past year we have made over 14 major product introductions and enhancement to our VSP all flash and hybrid storage lines. While other vendors are focused on storage we are focused on data with a coordinated family of hybrid, all flash, converged, hyper-converged, and erasure coded storage nodes (HCP S3 and S4), We were one of the first to deliver NVMe in our hyper-converged infrastructure system.
One of the capabilities of Hitachi Vantara storage that was added after the cut off for Gartner’s evaluation is our use of containers and micro-services. Our Hitachi Storage Advisor, formerly known as Hitachi Infrastructure Director, uses containers in the form of installation support using Docker. The Hitachi Storage Plug-in for Containers(HSPC) provides connectivity between container runtimes such as Docker and Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) G & VSP F series storage platform (requires Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System [SVOS] 7.1 or later). HSPC will enable stateful applications, such as databases, to persist and maintain data after the life cycle of the container has ended. Built-in high availability enables orchestrators such as Docker Swarm and Kubernetes to automate and orchestrate storage tasks between hosts in a cluster. These storage capabilities are essential for enabling DevOps and agile IT workflows. In addition, the storage plug-in supports the advanced capabilities of Hitachi VSP G and F series arrays which provide features such as automation, high availability, seamless replication, remote management and analytics.
Containers and micro-services are the base technologies that enable agility and scalability for public and private clouds, and IoT platforms. These innovations will influence the storage market going forward. The category for General Purpose Storage Arrays will need to be expanded beyond physical and virtual servers to containers.
So, we believe in our ability to continue to influence the storage market and remain in a leadership position during our ongoing corporate transformation.
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