Hu Yoshida

Hitachi Data Systems Commitment to Mainframe Storage Systems

Blog Post created by Hu Yoshida Employee on Aug 13, 2015

In my recent trips to the different geos, I still find many mainframe systems running core applications. Mainframes are still seen as the most reliable systems for non-stop, bulletproof, computing. While new applications are being developed on RISC and x86 systems, many applications, especially in the financial sector, will continue to run on mainframes for the foreseeable future.


As some of you may recall, Hitachi Data Systems began in 1989 as a mainframe company, selling Hitachi developed mainframes that were compatible with IBM mainframes. We had an innovative hybrid CMOS technology that had more processing power and less environmental requirements than IBM at less cost. We quickly gained market share and were second only to IBM in the mainframe market. However, as IBM technology caught up, the mainframe market declined, and every mainframe we sold required us to also sell the IBM operating system. We decided to exit the mainframe market in 1999 and transform HDS into a storage company. That transformation was very successful, due to the unique internal switch architecture of our enterprise storage systems that was ideal, not only for the high performance, availability, requirements of mainframes, but also for the scale up requirements of storage area networks. Today, Gartner ranks our G1000 storage array, number 1 in all five major application areas, and we have extended that winning switch architecture into our midrange storage systems with a common Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS).


Today, Hitachi Data Systems is transitioning to the Third Platform, where Social, mobility, analytics and cloud are the information drivers of business value. Our portfolio has grown to include, file and object stores, converged and hyper-converged systems, analytics platforms, and Big Data solutions in a number of key verticals. We are also more tightly integrated with our parent company, Hitachi limited, with joint development, research, and services. Just as open systems and storage area networks drove our transformation in 1999, the third platform is driving our transformation today, and we are uniquely positioned for success with our broad portfolio of technology and services, and deep industry expertise within Hitachi.


Although we are a much different company than we were in the 1990’s, we have not forgotten our mainframe roots and we continue to develop mainframe support in our enterprise storage systems. This week we are at SHARE in Orlando introducing our new solutions and capabilities for mainframe customers.


Continuing our longstanding commitment to mainframe customers and understanding their requirements, Hitachi Data Systems announced new solutions and capabilities for VSP G1000 mainframe users for availability in August 2015. While other storage vendors seem to be abandoning the mainframe storage market, we understand that mainframes are still critical to many customers and they need the latest technologies around flash accelerated performance, faster Ficon (16 Gbps) connectivity, improvements to IBM® FlashCopy® and FlashCopy SE with thin image technology, and native SMF reporting of G1000 performance information for easy “whole System” reporting.


We also understand that many mainframe systems are now dwarfed by their open systems counterpart, and are looking for smaller configurations. While our G1000 can be partitioned to run bother mainframe and open systems without any interference, Many of our customers still prefer to run their mainframes as a separate system. For that reason we are offering small-system, preconfigured VSP G1000 mainframe storage packages: Starting at 2TB. These packages are available both direct and also through select Hitachi TrueNorth Partners.


Many of the concepts that we learned in the early mainframe days, like virtualization, LPARs, disaster recovery, multi-tenancy, are still relevant as we go through our current transformation.