Data Center Modernization - Transforming Data Center Focus from Infrastructure to Information

By Hubert Yoshida posted 05-09-2018 00:00


While the acronym IT stands for Information Technology and is synonymous with the data center, in reality the focus of IT has often been more on infrastructure since infrastructure represented the bulk of a data center’s capital and operational costs. Digital transformation and the need for more agile business outcomes requires the transformation of IT from an infrastructure focus to an information and application focus.


Digital transformation is not just about being more efficient in what we normally do. Digital transformation means turning everything upside down and changing our focus. Digital transformation for the data center means focusing on business outcomes through Information and applications that support your customer. The customer doesn’t care what vendor’s infrastructure you have or what you have to do to manage the infrastructure as long as he gets the service that he expects.

The figure above is not meant to suggest that Infrastructure is not important. On the contrary Infrastructure becomes more important since it needs to support a host of new and changing development platforms and applications and must be more agile and flexible, leveraging the latest technologies to meet changing business requirements. Data is the fuel that drives digital transformation and since data is persistent, (it will outlive the applications that created it and the technologies that store it) the choice of storage Infrastructure becomes even more important. In the figure above, I would place storage infrastructure at the tip of the spear when it comes to digital transformation. However, the question is how do you change your focus away from storage infrastructure when it is so important? The answer lies in a smart approach to data center modernization.

Data center modernization requires an agile data infrastructure, modern data protection, and intelligent operations.


An Agile Data Infrastructureleverages the latest advances in technologies like flash, compression and dedupe, to scale performance to millions of IOPs and GB/S of bandwidth and scale capacities to petabytes with multiple millions of volumes and snapshots. An agile data infrastructure includes software that scales from small rack scale storage to multi-frame enterprise systems, consolidate block, file, and object storage, with support for virtualization, cloud and persistent storage for containers.  Virtualization is a key differentiator for consolidation of heterogeneous vendor storage systems and non-disruptive migration to future storage systems.

Modern Data Protectionprovides 100% data protection which is backed up by a written guarantee. It provides dual active storage systems for zero recovery time and zero recovery point availability and synchronous and asynchronous replication. Modern data protection eliminates the need for traditional backup and simplifies the management of copies. Modern data protection also includes security and privacy features that are designed in to protect the data whether it resides on edge devices, mobile devices, in the core or in the cloud. While Hitachi will do everything to protect your data, we want you to own your data – not us. Where encryption is required, we give you control of the encryption keys.

Intelligent Operations, will enable you to harness the power of data to improve and automate operational efficiency, anticipate customer demand, and generate new revenue streams. As the demands on the data center increase, operational efficiencies can deteriorate and exposure to down time and data loss increases. An AI powered brain is needed to provide deeper data center insights, by looking across the entire data path from virtual machines, servers, networks and storage, using machine learning to optimize, trouble shoot, and predict data center needs. AI can be integrated with an automation engine that can orchestrate the delivery and management of IT resources to free up data center operations staff to work on information and applications that support business requirements. The automation tool should also integrate with other infrastructure services: IT service management tools like ServiceNow®for tracking and control of IT resource delivery, REST API for provisioning of third party resources including storage, and data protection tools like Hitachi Data Instance Director to protect against data loss and downtime.

New Enhancements to Hitachi Vantara Data Modernization Offerings

Hitachi Vantara recently announced enhancements to its Agile Data Infrastructure and Intelligent Operations portfolio.

The Agile Data Infrastructureportfolio includes new enterprise-class Hitachi VSP models include the all-flash VSP F700 and VSP F900 and the hybrid flash VSP G700 and G900 systems. To reach a broader range of customers, Hitachi is introducing new midrange models. They include the VSP F350, F370, G350 and G370 systems. The systems are powered by the next generation of Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System, SVOS RF, which has been re-architected f to deliver the following improvements:

  • Up to 3x IOPS improvement
  • 25% lower latency
  • 3.4x faster performance with data reduction enabled
  • Up to 2.5x greater capacity scalability, 8x more volumes and 1 million snapshots
  • Modern workload support including plug-ins for Dockers and Kubernetes containers
  • Backed by 4:1 data efficiency guarantee

For Intelligent Operations, Hitachi Vantara has integrated and enhanced its AI operations software portfolio to ensure the highest return on data center investments and to accelerate strategic outcomes. The new integration of Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor(HIAA), Hitachi Automation Director(HAD) and Hitachi Data Instance Director(HDID) simplifies data center management and sets the foundation for autonomous operations across the data center.

  • HIAAimprovements:
    • Predictive analytics for better forecasting future resource needs
    • AI driven heuristic engine for recommending fixes and repairs up to 4x faster
    • HIAA integration with HAD to automate implementation of HIAA recommendations
  • HADimprovements:
    • Automated configuration of Hitachi Data Instance Director (HDID)
    • Automated configuration of VSP QoS
    • Integration with IT Service Management (ITSM) tools, including ServiceNow, for improved tracking

To see how this new generation of all flash and hybrid flash Hitachi Virtual Storage Platforms with its next generation Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System and the integration of Hitachi Infrastructure Analytics Advisor with Hitachi Automation Director and Hitachi Data Instance Director will enhance our modern data center portfolio and accelerate the transformation of the data center; see the following announcement letter and video:

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