Hitachi starts all-in-one data center service, covers construction to IT support

The massive Japanese conglomerate looks to leverage its myriad businesses with the end-to-end service

Japanese conglomerate Hitachi on Monday launched a new data center business that includes everything from planning to construction to IT support.

Hitachi said its new "GNEXT Facility & IT Management Service" will cover consulting on environmental and security issues, procurement and installation of power, cooling and security systems, and ongoing hardware maintenance. It will expand to include outsourcing services for software engineers and support for clearing regulatory hurdles and certifications.

The company targets ¥100 billion (US$1.25 billion) in orders from the new business by the fiscal year that ends in March 2016, or about 10 percent of total revenue, based on its forecast for the recently ended fiscal year.

As Japanese companies gear up to build and support the growing trend for cloud-based services that require large data centers, Hitachi has opted to leverage its broad collection of subsidiaries. The company produces everything from nuclear power plants to bulldozers to mobile phones.

The company will offer standardized rack layouts for existing facilities, as well as all-in-one container data centers. It said the goal is to offer an all-in-one outsourcing service for clients that want to host their own data centers on site.

Hitachi said it will initially focus on Japan, China and the ASEAN countries, which include Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, looking to grow the business with local regional partners.

Japanese hardware and consulting firms are increasingly focusing on server farms and "big data," which refers to the huge sets of information generated by websites, social networks, and physical networks of sensors in the field. Last month Fujitsu, which also offers servers for data centers, announced a new suite of software for the sector, saying it will eventually target over $1 billion in annual sales.

Cloudera, a U.S. provider of open-source software based on the Hadoop platform, has announced that it opened a subsidiary in the country, partnering with local IT giant and data center operator NTT Data.

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