UPDATED 14:46 EDT / FEBRUARY 01 2024


Hitachi Vantara and Cisco expand hybrid cloud partnership to reduce complexity and costs

The partnership between Hitachi Ltd. and Cisco Systems Inc. goes back a couple of decades. Last year, the two firms announced a strategic partnership agreement. Yesterday they deepened the deal to include a new hybrid cloud services suite focusing on enterprise data management.

The services, dubbed Hitachi EverFlex with Cisco Powered Hybrid Cloud, combine automation solutions and predictive analytics to help improve infrastructure management, cost efficiency and operational effectiveness.

I attended a pre-announcement briefing with Alex Foster, senior director of strategy and partner innovation at Cisco, and, from Hitachi Vantara, Jeb Horton, senior vice president for global services, and Kimberly King, senior vice president of strategic partners and alliances. In the briefing, the three delved into the details of the expanded partnership and the new offering.

King said Hitachi had been focusing on how to best partner with Cisco to bring solutions to customers and partners. “Our goal is to provide the best outcomes for our customers and partners — helping them make decisions on what’s most important and never to have that compromised on security, scalability or go-to-market,” she said.

A natural partnership

Horton added that Cisco was a natural candidate for a partner to work with on compute and networking as an additional element in the firm’s managed service stack. “What we looked to do is build out what we’re calling our next-gen cloud managed service, which is both cloud hybrid cloud and on-prem deployment,” he said. “And our focus is to be able to offer that to Cisco partners and customers, as well as Hitachi partners and customers.”

The new offering includes three capabilities:

  • Hitachi Infrastructure Orchestration as a Service, or HIOaaS, and Cisco Intersight: The combination offers observability and provides cloud-like management for on-premises and cloud environments. This provides performance analytics, hybrid cloud observability and efficient automation.
  • Managed services operating model: With numerous implementations under their collective belts, the two companies should be able to ease the information technology staffing shortage with seamless operational transitions, informed decision-making and expedited provisioning. Hitachi Managed Services says it can reduce TCO by 30% to 50%. Although this is a big number, given the complexity surrounding hybrid clouds, when costs can spiral out of control, this seems reasonable.
  • Hitachi EverFlex consumption model: Hitachi Vantara says its elastic consumption model provides flexible, pay-per-use solutions for hybrid cloud and on-premises environments. Consumption-based pricing has significantly driven interest in shifting to managed services. The high cost of infrastructure required to build a private cloud can prevent companies from deploying the technology. Pay-as-you-go enables companies to start with a modest investment.

Part of a longstanding strategy

Foster said the partnership matches the management-as-a-service strategy Cisco laid out some time ago. “We viewed the way the market would transition inherently would require a partner,” he said. “We’re very excited about the partnership with Hitachi and some of the unique capabilities they deliver, such as AIOps capabilities for hyperops, the storage performance capabilities of their underlying platform, and, of course, the detailed product integration between the two.”

In the press release, Alexandra Zagury, vice president of partner managed and as-a-service sales at Cisco, said the joint efforts with Hitachi are part of a holistic approach to achieving outcomes. “Our combined portfolio, including Hitachi Infrastructure Orchestration as-a-Service, deliver the reliability, flexibility and insights that allow the customer to be more agile in today’s dynamic business environment,” she said. “And the Partner-to-Partner model taps into one of the biggest growth drivers in the industry right now by providing customers with more choice and partners with the opportunity to build offers around their competencies.”

My takeaways

Everyone charged into the cloud at the height of the pandemic because it seemed the only way to keep the lights on. Now, there are cloud management and cost headaches everywhere you look. The combination of Hitachi and Cisco is beneficial to customers. Cisco certainly brings infrastructure to the table, and Hitachi has the managed services chops that will be critical for companies looking to expand or simply maintain their cloud presence.

Zeus Kerravala is a principal analyst at ZK Research, a division of Kerravala Consulting. He wrote this article for SiliconANGLE.

Image: geralt/Pixabay

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