Last week IDC released their worldwide quarterly server tracker report for Q4 2013 containing market share information for x86 blade server sales worldwide. The data revealed that, based on revenue, Hitachi is now one of the global TOP 5 x86 blade vendors, having jumped from the #8 spot in the league table. Impressive performance in just a few short years for a company relatively unknown in the server market and not even one promoting itself as a stand-alone server vendor.
To understand how Hitachi did this, just take a look at the new CB520X server blade which is being released for general availability today. It brings together Intel’s recently-announced enterprise-class processor, the Xeon E7v2, with a proven Hitachi design and Hitachi’s legendary reputation for quality and reliability.
This design, similar to one which has been available on the CB2000 family of servers for many years, enables multiple dual-socket CB520X blades to be combined together to create 4, or even 8 socket systems which work as a single powerful blade. A front panel connector allows users to simply and incrementally add blades and scale up capacity as needed.
As each CB520X blade is added, processor, memory and IO all scale together – maintaining a perfectly balanced system as you grow.
When a full 8 socket configuration is reached, it can accommodate 192 DIMM slots (that’s over 6TB of RAM when 32GB DIMMs are used!) as well as 16 mezzanine IO cards which connect to four shared IO switch modules (typically configured in pairs for redundancy).
Such a powerful 8 socket system with huge memory capacity and massive IO is uniquely suited to meet the growing demand for applications such as large in-memory databases and big-data analytics.
For other users, this capacity can be efficiently utilized by dividing it into Logical Partitions – Hitachi LPAR is a low overhead (and low cost) virtualization technology familiar to users of mainframes and high-end UNIX systems, but one which Hitachi alone has developed and maintained on its x86 servers for many years.
These new blades certainly add amazing new capabilities to the CB500 blade server family, and as much as I’d love to claim all the credit for our new “Top5” position, the real reason for Hitachi’s server success lies in the tested and qualified solutions that make our servers easy to configure, install and manage. Hitachi’s Unified Compute Platforms (UCP) come as close to “plug and play” as it’s possible for a large enterprise system to be, and include solutions for SAP, Oracle, VMware Microsoft and others.
Of course I still maintain that our customers buy Hitachi servers because of the leading edge technology and legendary reliability…;)