Last week I was at the German VMUG and at the show I bumped in to a couple of former VMware colleagues (Patrick Pannekoek and Valentin Hamburger) at the Hitachi / HDS booth. I made a joke about how they are now pushing boxes around and one of them said they could give me a cool demo of their Unified Compute Platform. We setup a Webex for this week and Valentin was kind enough to give me a demo of what Unified Compute Platform (UCP from now on) is capable off. I was very impressed to be honest and it does a lot more than I expected.
I am not going to spend a lot of time discussing the physical aspects, all those details are on their website and I feel they are “less relevant” than the integration aspect of a converged offering.
Hitachi UCP for vSphere is a converged solution and takes “converged” to a next level. I cannot call it hyper-converged as it uses traditional storage, but in terms of how they integrate it is more then just a “converged” I would say. First and foremost, there is complete integration with vCenter Server. And when I say integration, I mean that you don’t just get a plugin with some extra screens, but you have additional menu options which are also object/context sensitive. With that meaning that the options you have on a host object will be different from the options you have on a cluster level. UCP comes pre-configured and pre-installed using Auto-Deploy (stateless boots) and several management components installed on a two node cluster (about 10-12 VMs). This includes vCenter Server, Active Directory (when needed), SQL Server, MS WDS for bare metal deployments, Windows Server Update Manager (WSUS). Note that if you have a local AD you can also easily tap in to that, there is no need for a second Active Directory! [Read more…]