Hitachi Data Systems takes on IT lifecycle management

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Hitachi Data Systems Corp. makes its foray in the IT lifecycle management market by offering Hitachi IT Operations Director, an integrated asset, security and software distribution management tool that’s already sold by its parent company, Hitachi Ltd., in Japan.


Hitachi isn’t entering a new market so much as it’s entering a new geography with IT lifecycle management software. But this does raise the question of what else the company is selling in Japan that it has yet to bring across to North American enterprise customers, said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst with Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group Inc.


HDS already sells blade servers and storage offerings, but this extension into IT lifecycle management paints the company as a more complete technology provider, especially given the product has already proven its worth in Japan, said Laliberte.

“I expect this isn’t the last announcement we will see about a ‘new’ software solution,” said Laliberte.

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Providing IT admins with asset, security and software distribution that is integrated onto a “single pane of glass” is the goal with this offering, explained Brett Hesterberg, technical product manager with Hitachi’s global IT software division.

Hesterberg said the integration of these three pain points is important for IT departments because one capability is often connected to another.

Security management features include blocking unregistered USB devices and detecting and automatically uninstalling prohibited software on client PCs. Asset management features include integration with Active Directory and asset contract cost aggregation. Software distribution features include deploying software to a PC or a subset of PCs efficiently and consistently to reduce security risks.

Integration proves useful when, for instance, a security alert is received about a prohibited software on a client PC and software distribution management allows for easy removal of the offending program.

“By offering an integrated solution, Director saves an administrator time and possibly a trip to the office in the middle of the night to remedy the situation,” said Hesterberg.

The user interface is built specifically with enterprises in mind, and is “not a watered-down enterprise interface,” said Hesterberg. “We’ve designed this interface for our target market.”

Laliberte said HDS’s approach to IT lifecycle management touches on some of the major IT department pain points, such as knowing what assets exist across the enterprise is “half the battle.” Automated software distribution is an important time-saver because it eliminates time-consuming manual processes. And, security management is important to ensure patches are completed and the latest anti-virus is pushed out to all client PCs, especially considering the cost of a data breach, said Laliberte.

This is HDS’s entry into a market of other IT lifecycle management vendors such as IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. While up against rival vendors, Laliberte said HDS has the advantage of being able to leverage its existing installed base for its other offerings in storage and blade servers.

“They need to get some quick reference customer wins in North America and highlight those,” said Laliberte.

IT departments can procure IT Operations Director through a single license and single install for all functionality, as opposed to individual modules.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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