This week I’ve been catching up with the folks at Hitachi in Japan, including a visit with the Storage Division. Unfortunately that part of the week was under NDA and so can’t be discussed. What I can say is what was discussed was extremely interesting and I look forward to what we get to see in the future. However, back to things we can talk about. On Thursday myself and the other attendees paid a visit to the annual Hitachi uValue conference, this year celebrating 100 years of Hitachi as a company.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this event, as the website (which is Japanese only) isn’t too helpful. Google Translate does a reasonable job on most of the content but it doesn’t really give you a clue about the event itself and the benefits from attending.
The event started with a keynote speech from Hiroaki Nakanishi, Hitachi President and Representative Executive Officer in a huge auditorium holding thousands of people. I suspect there were few western delegates there, however we were provided with translation equipment as the presentation was in Japanese. The historical and forward looking speech detailed Hitachi’s history, highlighting some interesting products and clearly demonstrating how Hitachi technology is pervasive in Japanese life. What was most surprising (and probably more surprising for those people who don’t believe Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) forms an integral part of the company) is that the Hitachi products (including Hitachi Content Platform) received a significant amount of airtime.
The convention also showcases the technology products produced by Hitachi and along with the other attendees we were taken on a tour of the showfloor. Products demonstrated included healthcare (see the attached pictures), transportation (rail rollingstock and automotive components), robotics (again the picture), power generation and a wide range of Information Technology products.
Within the Japanese domestic market, Hitachi already sells blade servers and networking equipment. I was able to spend time and look at the blade systems available, including a high-density 40-server blade system (pictured). These devices (and potentially the networking equipment) will form part of the Hitachi Unified Computing Platform, soon to be released globally.
The uValue convention was a pleasant surprise; I hadn’t understood the scale and diversity of the products Hitachi produced. I await with interest the release of UCP as there is already a maturity in the Hitachi offering. As usual the devil will be in the detail.
In the meantime, enjoy this short video of me, other attendees and Hitachi/HDS staff, enjoying our food over the 4 days, plus a Flickr link to pictures I took.