Hitachi yesterday announced that it would add Intel’s 9100 series Itanium chips to its high-end BladeSymphony 1000 systems, as well as its lower-end BladeSymphony 320 servers. Additionally, Hitachi will begin offering the latest dual-core Intel Xeon 5200 series processors along with Intel’s quad-core Xeon 5400 chips with both sets of BladeSymphony systems.
Hitachi is looking to leverage its legacy mainframe technology, especially virtualization, to offer an alternative in a crowded field that is full of systems aimed at data center consolidation projects.
What Hitachi is offering is called Virtage, an embedded hardware virtualization technology that provides an abstraction layer that decouples the physical system from the operating system to provide utilization and additional flexibility. Since the virtualization is built into the hardware itself, it is more reliable and secure than virtualization based on a hypervisor, according to Hitachi.
Hitachi doesn’t have a lot of market share though. In the latest survey by IDC (confirmed by Gartner as well), HP was first in overall server revenue with more than $3.7 billion in global sales, and the company also controlled 46.9 percent of the worldwide $1.2 billion blade market during the first quarter of 2008.
Meanwhile, Hitachi did not finish in either the top five in the United States or in the worldwide market, where HP, IBM, Dell, Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens all dominate.