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-- New BladeSymphony Server Powered by Breakthrough “Virtage” Embedded Virtualization and Blade SMP Interconnect Technologies Offers Unprecedented Scalability and Flexibility --

BRISBANE, Calif., November 28, 2006 – Nearly a decade after the enterprise computing industry promised data center consolidation via blade servers, Hitachi has delivered the industry’s first enterprise-class blade server – one that can service mission-critical, enterprise-level computing needs while lowering the total cost of ownership and increasing scalability and flexibility.

Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT / TSE 6501), today announced BladeSymphony with Virtage, the first blade server to provide users with enterprise-class data center functionality. The new product, the latest member of Hitachi BladeSymphony series, includes Virtage, a breakthrough embedded virtualization feature. The feature, which builds virtualization right into a blade server’s hardware for the first time, provides customers an alternative to third-party software solutions and thus can enable them to decrease overhead costs while increasing manageability and performance.

BladeSymphony with Virtage also includes unique blade symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) interconnect technology that improves scalability by enabling users to configure multiple blades, so that they work as a single system. BladeSymphony with Virtage will be generally available in North America in January and has been selected by several customers, including Stanford University’s Cardiovascular Biomechanics Research Laboratory (CBRL).

The product will officially be launched during a Webcast today at 11 a.m PT/2 p.m. ET. To register, go to

"BladeSymphony with Virtage is a leap ahead in the virtualization game," said Vernon Turner, group vice president and general manager of Enterprise Computing at IDC. "This technology will further fuel the significant growth of the blade market, as IDC has projected. Embedded virtualization, coupled with BladeSymphony’s mix-and-match capabilities that allow users to work with Intel Xeon processor- and Itanium processor-powered blades in the same chassis, will give end users an expanded variety of options as they design their enterprise-class environment."

Dr. Charles Taylor, associate professor of bioengineering and surgery at Stanford University, said: "As CBRL’s procedures require such intensive computing needs, we have not typically looked at blade servers. Our work involves providing cardiologists and surgeons with the ability to simulate blood flow in patient-specific arterial models and predict outcomes of candidate interventions. However, Hitachi's BladeSymphony with Virtage provides us with all the enterprise-class capabilities we need - performance, scalability, and built-in virtualization - in a cost-effective, easier-to-use blade server. It was an easy decision that meets all of our high-performance computing needs."

Introduced in Japan in August 2006 and first demonstrated in North America last September at the Intel Developer’s Forum, BladeSymphony with Virtage is a 10U chassis, supporting hot-swappable blades capable of running both Windows and Linux. Built on standards-based multi-core Intel processors with Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel VT), the product allows users to combine, scale, and virtualize BladeSymphony blades based on Dual-Core Intel® Itanium® 2 9000 Series processors.

BladeSymphony with Virtage is also designed with flexibility and integration in mind. BladeSymphony with Virtage can also support BladeSymphony blades based on Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® processors within the same chassis. Additionally, BladeSymphony with Virtage is available in more eight-processor (16-way) SMP configurations than any other blade server on the market. This powerful mix of flexibility, integration and scalability makes BladeSymphony with Virtage effective for any enterprise, and particularly for customers running large custom applications and companies actively acquiring other organizations or running other high-growth applications.

“BladeSymphony with Virtage is the first blade server that is truly on the cutting edge,” said Elizabeth King, vice president and general manager of Hitachi America, Server Systems Group. “Thanks to our unique backplane and scalable chassis, the new BladeSymphony is built to last with modular upgradeability and ease of manageability in mind. So it reduces risk in a way that previous servers simply cannot. Additionally, with the Virtage feature, we’re offering a breakthrough technology – virtualization baked right into a blade server’s hardware for the first time.”

Aside from its breakthrough virtualization technology, BladeSymphony with Virtage also solves scalability issues on an enterprise scale. The product’s unique backplane utilizes an SMP architecture to enable multiple blades to interconnect and act as a single system in one chassis. Offered in two-processor (four-way) Itanium processor blades, BladeSymphony can be scaled up and out to offer up to two eight-processor (16-way) servers in a single chassis, thus reducing footprint and power consumption while increasing utilization.

“Powered by dual-core Intel Itanium 2 processors, the Hitachi Blade Symphony with Virtage provides unprecedented IT freedom and excels in virtualization, flexibility and performance,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice president, Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group. “This innovative blade platform with virtualization support enables CIOs to move away from aging and expensive legacy systems and instead direct those funds toward standard-based computing and business innovation.”

In October 2005, Hitachi Ltd. established the server systems business unit in Hitachi America, Ltd., to provide server-based solutions in North America. Hitachi’s highly scalable and performance-oriented blade server platform, “BladeSymphony,” is part of Hitachi’s global IT platform business operation in North America. The business unit is responsible for sales and marketing, business development, and operating a comprehensive services and support infrastructure that will serve customers on a 24x7 basis.