Winding up the week – it is Friday here – in Japan as a guest of Hitachi Data Systems. Fine hospitality from my American and Japanese hosts in steamy mid-summer Tokyo. Looking forward to Arizona.

The practitioners in the group – one who loves XIV, others with EMC and NetApp kit – were surprised by what the HDS stuff does. Such as virtualizing and managing your current storage platforms, regardless of vendor.

Seems like the big guys have been promising that for years. HDS delivered? Whoa.

A couple of things impressed me:

  • The senior Japanese execs weren’t the starchy, face-saving guys I’d expected. The Chairman of Hitachi made a speech to about 10,000 people without a tie, and all the other execs I spoke to followed suit. Even giving careful non-answers they came across as relaxed and realistic. Are they also decisive? We’ll see.
  • HDS has a clustered object store. I hope to get briefed on it next month.
  • The parent company has a vision for using massive amounts of data to improve our quality of life. Since they also produce power systems and high-speed trains they have a direct line into some critical issues.

The StorageMojo take
HDS is a multi-billion dollar company with some leading edge products and technologies. They’re about the size of NetApp – and I know you’ve heard of them.

As their OEM relationship with Sun winds down – or at least I expect it to – they’ll have more direct contact with a new group of customers. Now is the time for HDS to sharpen their messaging and turn up the volume.

Sadly that isn’t likely. The internal dynamics of the company seem to lead to generic messaging that fails to plant a hook. Maybe it is a consensus thing. But they aren’t doing customers any favors.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. Any recent experience with HDS?