The new Virtual Storage Platform E990 offers high performance at lower prices by dropping unneeded features.
Hitachi Vantara enterprise storage is now available in a new version designed for midsize business customers. The Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) E990 is the latest in the company’s growing family of VSP storage products.
The VSP E990 uses all flash NVMe storage in a unit offering high performance and low latency for midsize businesses. The E990 uses the same architecture on which all other Hitachi Vantara enterprise storage models are built. The E990 deletes some features from the high-end models built for large enterprises, which helps drops its price.
Colin Gallagher, the company’s vice president of infrastructure solutions product marketing, told Channel Futures that the new VSP E990 Vantara enterprise storage model brings enterprise-grade capabilities to the midmarket.
“This is in addition sitting at the upper end of our midrange portfolio,” he said. “We refreshed the high end of the market in 2019 with our VSP5000 model. The new E990 brings many features from that model to this midrange market.”
“This is a fantastic product. It delivers industry-leading performance at an affordable cost. Our partners can go in and engage with customers on this. It offers productivity for businesses who need such a device without all the options of the higher-priced model.”
Filling this niche in the company’s product lineup has been important to partners, he said.
“This was perceived as a gap in our portfolio,” said Gallagher. “They were asking for all NVMe storage at a lower price point. The perceptions of partners on the high end last year were that we were not focusing on midrange customers. We certainly took that to heart.”
For Hitachi Vantara, that was a lesson learned and the advice was quickly taken, he said.
“I’m a product guy, day in and day out,” said Gallagher. “Particularly in the midrange space, we cannot be successful even when we have a great product without the participation of our partners.”
Hitachi Vantara is also helping partners with the new product by making partner program changes to build greater success.
“We want to be frictionless and help them sell,” he said. That includes partner program changes to help focus on midmarket sales.
Included are a revised digital platform, revised marketing plans and revised marketing development funds to help channel partners boost sales. The Vantara enterprise storage partner program improvements are all based on feedback from partners, he said.
New artificial intelligence (AI) features have also been added to the partner program to accelerate the price quote process for customers, said Gallagher. Using AI, previous price quotes and historical data are analyzed to provide partners with the best pricing for customers.
“It rapidly shrinks the time it can take to get a quote back to the customer,” he said.
Also announced by the company is a revamped EverFlex from Hitachi Vantara program, which allows customers to choose options for buying Hitachi Vantara enterprise storage devices, paying as they go or paying for them on an as-a-service basis.
Eric Burgener, an IDC analyst, said the latest Vantara enterprise storage announcements renew a commitment to go attack midrange storage.
“They’ve taken some key technology from their high-end VSP 5000 and moved it onto this midrange platform,” said Burgener. “It’s all NVMe, leverages the latest Hitachi controllers —although supports just two whereas the high end VSPs can add more — and includes hardware-assisted encryption.”
In addition, the NVMe capability means it will be ready to support other NVMe technologies such as storage class memory and persistent memory in the future without upgrades, he said. “This delivers strong price/performance given its midrange price point, although it is in the upper midrange price band. It should give existing Hitachi customers a reason to look at the vendor for the midrange and entice new customers looking at midrange platforms and comparing it against the usual suspect competitors of Dell EMC, HPE and IBM.”
The revamped EverFlex consumption program is also notable, said Burgener. By putting the existing consumption model options under one name, Hitachi is making it easier for partners and customers. “They basically let the customer buy Hitachi products either outright, through leases or through true subscription licensing pay-per-use models that move those assets off balance sheets. They’ve had these options in the past, but they were all separate and it was harder for channel partners and customers to get to know about them.”
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