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Converging data centre infrastructure

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It is exciting where Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is going with its solutions. This is the word from Rui de Oliveira, solutions consultant at HDS, who says the traditional storage company is making a big shift to the compute environment.

“It’s great that our customers are seeing the benefits of converged solutions,” he says.

The strategy is to move from storage services to integrated information solutions, says De Oliveira, and 82% of global Fortune 100 companies already trust HDS for their enterprise storage.

“That’s important because it is the catalyst for moving up the application stack.”

It’s key that HDS accounts for 16% of Hitachi’s revenue, but Hitachi dedicates 21% of its R&D to HDS, underlining the importance of social technology going forward.

Importantly, HDS allows customers to run converged systems on a single platform, and South African customers are already seeing the benefit from this converged strategy.

And the integrated portfolio allows HDS to enable the cloud. The company is already a leader in storage virtualisation and management. It is also now offering the Hitachi file and content portfolio; all tied together with the unified compute (UCP) solutions from HDS.

Services are offered by HDS as well as via partners, depending on customers’ needs, says De Oliveira.

This forms the foundation of everything that HDS offers: from traditional IT delivery to private or public cloud deployments. It can also enable organisations through a transitional period, where they move from traditional IT to hybrid or full cloud solutions.

“That foundation stays the same regardless,” says De Oliveira.

Organisations are starting to invest in the cloud, usually via reference architectures, and are looking to vendors like HDS to assist them. This is at the expense of traditional acquisitions. In fact, the spend on converged systems is growing at a 54% annual rate.

Convergence is being driven by a need to have continual focus in operation cost improvements. In terms of solutions strategies, companies are opting for virtual data centre/private cloud or specific applications.

For the virtual strategy, they want to consolidate all applications efficiently onto a shared infrastructure, maximising ROI from shared resources. Application-specific solutions will look to integrate workloads.

HDS plays across all of these markets, De Oliveira says, and now boasts 14% of the integrated infrastructure market. This is because it has a single platform, and it believes this is where its growth will come from in the future.

“We’ve seen great adoption,” says De Oliveira.

The two virtualisation environments that are leading the market are VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V. HDS helps to make the hardware invisible with the UCP Director. In the meantime, on the traditional side, it is enabling end-user computing and analytics through new tools.

The key end-game for a unified compute platform is secure multi-tenancy, resource pooling and optimisation, and application acceleration. HDS offers solutions that enable all of these outcomes on a single platform, De Oliveira says.

A real example from a customer proof of concept demonstrates how HDS brings down an Oracle query from 26 hours to 47 minutes, using fewer cores – and at hugely reduced costs to a close competitor.

HDS offers orchestration and integration, and the ability to be flexible in terms of consumption models, while getting flexibility and choice.

UCP (Unified Compute Platform) enables an open and scalable converged platform that is vendor-agnostic regarding the technologies that need to be integrated into the system.

Importantly, UCP gives administrators a single view of the entire infrastructure, and allows all configuration and management from one console.

“Its key that we provide one platform for all applications,” says De Oliveira.