What to expect from Hitachi Vantara Next 2019

Electric vehicle monitoring with IoT, 'DataOps' and bundles of hardware are set for centre stage in Las Vegas

Hitachi branding at a conference or exposition

While the cold weather may have settled in for the long haul here in the UK, it's still conference season in Las Vegas, with the MGM Grand set to play host to Hitachi Vantara's annual Next conference next week.

If you, like me, are interested in Big Data, edge computing, digital transformation, data centres and the cloud, then Hitachi Vantara may have some treats in store.

On the Big Data side of things, the company is pushing the idea of data operations or "DataOps", as it likes to call it very hard. This consists, seemingly, of a new take on Big Data analytics and data governance, and I look forward to finding out a bit more about this particular arm of the company's strategy.

No enterprise hardware company worth its salt would host a global conference and not talk about edge nowadays, and Vantara is no different. Its "edge-to-core" strategy is designed to take advantage of this latest trend and combine it with another core competence, data centres. The company is hardly unique in this we've seen two of the behemoths of the enterprise hardware scene, Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), trying to wrangle edge and data centres into one unified package for a while but I'll be interested to see what its take is nonetheless.

For data centres and cloud, which I feel with a company like this we can somewhat bundle together, we can probably expect a slew of product announcements. Whether there will be quite as many announcements as last year over 10 is rather a lot for a company that doesn't also do consumer hardware remains to be seen, but we may get more information on how AI is being used

There will also be some Internet of Things (IoT) breakout sessions during the event, and we may get to hear some updates about the company's Optimise Prime initiative both there and in one of the keynote sessions on Wednesday or Thursday. In case you're unfamiliar with the initiative for which I wouldn't blame you it's a collaboration beween Vantara and a number of partners such as Uber, Royal Mail and UK Power Networks to analyse the usage patterns of several thousand commercial electric vehicles. The purpose of this plan, which was only announced this spring, is to see how the use of these vehicles affects the electricity grids that power them.

Not much has been said about Optimise Prime since its launch so I expect an update on that, although the comprehensiveness remains to be seen.

The conference kicks off with a partner summit on Tuesday afternoon, with the full show getting underway on Wednesday and Thursday. Your intrepid reporter will be on the ground for the full event and you can catch up with all the goings-on here, or follow us on Twitter.

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