Hitachi Data Systems

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Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is a company that provides modular mid-range and high-end storage systems, software and services. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. and part of the Hitachi Information Systems & Telecommunications Division.[1]

In 2010 Hitachi Data Systems sold through direct and indirect channels in more than 170 countries and regions. Its customers included over half of the Fortune 100 companies at the time.[2]

Hitachi Data Systems
A wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd (NYSEHIT)
Industry Computer data storage systems
Data storage software
Computer systems
Computer hardware
Computer software
IT consulting
IT services
Founded 1989[2]
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, U.S.
Key people
Jack Domme (Chief Executive Officer)
Number of employees
6,300 employees in more than 100 countries and regions


Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) was founded in 1989 when Hitachi and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) acquired National Advanced Systems (NAS) from National Semiconductor and renamed it Hitachi Data Systems. But before that, the company's history stretches back to Itel, an early mainframe computer manufacturer.

Origins as Itel

Itel was an equipment leasing company founded in 1967 by Peter Redfield and Gary Friedman, initially focusing on leasing IBM mainframes. Through creative financial arrangements and investments, Itel was able to lease IBM mainframes to customers at costs below what customers would have paid IBM, making them second to IBM itself in revenues.

A joint venture between National Semiconductor and Hitachi formed in 1977 was contracted by Itel to manufacture IBM-compatible mainframes branded as Advanced Systems.[3] In the face of initial success of having shipped 200 such systems and netting profits of $73 million, Itel had increased their investments and personnel to market their Advanced Systems brand and hence committed themselves to long term contracts with National Semiconductor and Hitachi. While Itel had not expected quick change in semiconductor technologies, Charlie Sporck, CEO of National Semiconductor, saw opportunities by tempting Itel to longer term commitments in response to request by Itel for lower prices in order to compete with IBM. Itel agreed.

National Semiconductor takes over Advanced Systems

Thereafter, news was abound that IBM was releasing a new technologically superior line of computers, to which customers responded by holding back purchases causing Itel's inventory to build up drastically. Even though Hitachi had agreed to Itel's request to cut back on shipment, National Semiconductor was adamant in implementing what the industry had termed as National's blackmailing of Itel. In 1979, Redfield was forced to resign as CEO, and National Semiconductor took over Itel Advanced Systems, including its sales and marketing team.

National renamed the division to National Advanced Systems (NAS), assembling and selling IBM-compatibles where the CPU was imported from Hitachi. National and Hitachi quite often depended on IBM's gradual and restrained roll-out of newer models to feed on IBM's technology and market share and hence NAS enjoyed occasional successes.

However, IBM had invested and obtained significant success in semiconductor technologies which enabled them to build more powerful computers at lower costs.[4] Meanwhile, the mainframe market itself was in decline as mini- and microcomputers, and the UNIX operating system gained popularity. Mainframe makers such as Sperry, Honeywell, Burroughs, NCR and Control Data were gradually being forced out of the mainframe market. NAS, as well as Amdahl (the other IBM-compatible mainframe maker), was no exception to facing the technological and sales pressure from IBM.

In fact, National Semiconductor and its subsidiary NAS were sued in 1983 by IBM for $2.5 billion on charges of using computer technology secrets stolen from IBM,[5][6] as result of an investigation by the United States Government into National's collaboration with Hitachi in engaging in industrial espionage to obtain technology secrets from IBM. Hitachi settled with IBM and licensed the mainframe operating system software from IBM. In 1983, NAS ceased the manufacture of its own line of mainframes (which had Hitachi processors) and became a reseller of Hitachi's mainframe and data storage products.

Joint venture of Hitachi and EDS

On February 28, 1989, National Semiconductor and Hitachi announced their agreement that Hitachi and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) would jointly acquire NAS for $398 million in cash ,[7] of which Hitachi would own 80%. Memorex Telex and National had earlier, on January 10, 1989, announced plans on a joint venture "under which each company would own half of the unit and National would get $250 million plus four million shares of Memorex Telex". However, National proceeded to negotiate with Hitachi after Memorex's offer expired as National had felt that the Hitachi-EDS offer was a better deal as it entailed no further financial obligation or commitment on the part of National after the sale besides reaping a pre-tax profit of $200 million from the sale. By that time, Memorex Telex was able to arrange financing for the deal, but National had already accepted the Hitachi-EDS deal.

The acquisition was envisaged to provide Hitachi a better presence in the United States to compete with IBM. The entity was renamed Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).

EDS stake

On January 29, 1999, Hitachi announced it would take over EDS' stake in HDS, appointing Jun Naruse as CEO of its new subsidiary.[8] Naruse had been an engineer with the RAID Systems Division involved in storage systems development. Having total control of the company, Hitachi was able to infuse Hitachi Data Systems with its corporate culture, ethics and practices.


On April 6, 2000 Hitachi Data Systems announced a re-organization to focus on storage systems rather than mainframes.[9] Shortly thereafter (June 26, 2000), the first HDS storage product was unveiled, the Freedom Storage Lightning 9900, featuring the Hi-Star crossbar switched architecture to interconnect memory, disks, servers and other external devices instead of the traditional bus architecture.[10] In addition to HDS sales, HP OEM’d[11] and Sun resold[12] the Lightning 9900 and succeeding generations, which featured additional advanced capabilities such as virtualization of external Hitachi and third-party storage systems to form storage pools.[13] In January 2001 HDS announced the Thunder 9200, a mid-range modular storage system aimed at the small and medium business market, sold mainly through resellers.[14] Hitachi Data Systems high-end and mid-range modular storage systems were complemented by software for storage management, content management, business continuity, replication, data protection, and IT operations.[15] In 2002 Hitachi acquired Comstock Systems Corp, and analysts estimated 35% market share.[9]


Using technology from its acquisitions HDS, moved to marketing using the term cloud computing, culminating with an announcement on October 25, 2011.[16]

In August 2014, in partnership with Avnet Technology Solutions, HDS announced the launch of their new cloud partner ecosystem.[17]


  • On February 6, 2007 Hitachi Data Systems acquired Archivas, provider digital archiving and content management products.[18]
  • On August 20, 2010 Hitachi Data Systems acquired the intellectual property and core engineering team of ParaScale, developer of storage software which uses a clustered file system on multiple Linux servers to present a single file-storage appliance.[19][20]
  • On September 7, 2011 Hitachi Data Systems acquired BlueArc which developed a clustered network attached storage product.[21]

It was estimated HDS had been responsible for about half of BlueArc's sales in 2010.[22]

  • On February 13, 2012 Hitachi Data Systems acquired Shoden Data Systems, a provider of data center technology in South Africa and across the sub-Saharan African continent.[23]
  • On September 26, 2012 Hitachi Data Systems acquired Cofio Software a provider of unified data protection and orchestration workflow software in San Diego, CA, with engineering in Broadstone, England.[24]
  • On August 14, 2014 Hitachi Data Systems acquired Sepaton, a provider of Purpose Built Backup Appliances and using data deduplication.[25]
  • On May 31, 2015 Hitachi Data Systems acquired OxyA, a leading provider of services for cloud and SAP HANA solutions from SAP SE.[26]
  • On June 4, 2015 Hitachi Data Systems completed the acquisition of Pentaho, a recognized market leader in big data and data analytics. Pentaho is part of a company wide movement of HDS towards responsible Social Innovation utilizing emerging technologies, including the Internet of Things[27]
  • On August 25, 2015 Hitachi Data Systems acquired Above Security, a Managed Security Services company. Above Security, is one of the world’s leading global managed security service providers with security operations centers in Canada, Mexico and Switzerland, providing managed security services to customers in over 40 countries.[28]

Corporate affairs

The company has its corporate headquarters in Santa Clara, California and has business offices in the United States, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.[29]

Corporate culture, social responsibility and work environment

The culture of Hitachi Data Systems is influenced by the founding values[30] of the parent company, Hitachi Ltd., those being Wa (harmony, trust, and respect), Makoto (integrity, sincerity, honesty), and Kaitakusha-seishin (pioneering spirit and challenge). Hitachi Data Systems was recognized by Ethisphere Magazine in 2011 as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. The company has active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs[31] including a means for employees to recommend and request a grant for a non-profit organization. Hitachi Data Systems works with the Hitachi Foundation and other Hitachi entities to support philanthropic enterprises around the world.

Hitachi Data Systems participates in "Best Places to Work" lists globally, achieving a position on FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for 3 consecutive years running, 2012, 2013 and 2014i[32] and was ranked No. 8 in FORTUNE's list of top-paying companies.[33] Chief Executive Magazine gave HDS a ranking of No. 16 in its “40 Best Companies for Leaders” list for 2012.[34] Hitachi Data Systems has been named to the top 10 best places to work in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past three consecutive years,[35] and was recognized among the "Best Companies to Work For" in France[36] and Poland[37] in 2011. In 2010 Hitachi Data Systems was accredited by the Best Companies organization in the United Kingdom.[38]

Products and services


  • Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform. HDS’ high-end storage platform focused on consolidation for enterprise storage needs, including virtualization of internal and external heterogeneous storage into one pool and managing all data types.[39]
  • Hitachi Unified Storage VM. Unified system with enterprise storage virtualization for small and medium companies which can centrally consolidate and manage file, block and object data.[40]
  • Hitachi Unified Storage 100 Family. Modular storage which enables central consolidation of file, block and object data with up to 3PB capacity.[41]
  • Hitachi NAS Platform, powered by BlueArc. The Hitachi NAS Platform provides integrated network attached storage (NAS) for file sharing and file server consolidation with models for large enterprises and medium companies.[42]
  • Hitachi Content Platform. A distributed object storage system that enables IT organizations and cloud service providers to store, protect, preserve and retrieve unstructured content with a single storage platform. The Content Platform is the foundational component of the HDS cloud architecture.[43]


  • Storage Management. Storage management software allows the configuration, day-to-day operation, performance tuning, and monitoring of Hitachi storage environments. Many management processes can be automated based on policies set by the storage administrator.[44]
  • Cloud Storage. Hitachi Content Platform is the foundation of the Hitachi Data Systems cloud architecture. It can be deployed in public, private, or hybrid cloud storage models.[45]
  • Replication. Hitachi software supports in-system as well as remote data replication for data migration or to meet companies’ business continuity and disaster recovery objectives.[46]
  • Data Protection. Hitachi data protection software is used to manage backups and snapshots.
  • IT Operations. Hitachi IT operations software monitors the IT infrastructure and simplifies IT administration, including security and asset management, and software distribution.[47]


  • Assess and Consult. These services evaluate and assess customers’ IT environments for adoption of new technologies and can also prepare an economic justification for investments in new storage infrastructures.[48]
  • Plan and Design. Based on the customer’s requirements and current IT environment, these services design and generate a plan to meet service level objectives.[49]
  • Install and Implement. These services use proven methodologies and best practices to customize, transition and operationalize the customer’s purchased storage systems and software for rapid, accurate deployment.[50]
  • Integrate and Transition. These services leverage multiple techniques to transparently migrate data to new Hitachi technologies while applications keep running.[51]
  • Manage and Optimize. These services use Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) principles and Hitachi Data Systems best practices to manage a customer’s storage infrastructure.[52]
  • Education. Hitachi Data Systems Academy provides product and technology training courses in a variety of formats which can lead to HDS Certification in several tracks.[53]


Hitachi Data Systems has four types of partners: Technology, Global Systems Integrators, Hitachi TrueNorth Partners, and Hitachi TrueNorth Advisor Partners.[54]

See also


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External links