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NEXT 2018

20 posts

It’s been nearly a whole year since our first NEXT event (wow, a year already!), which means NEXT 2018 will be here faster than we know it. NEXT 2017 was an incredible success, but I promise this year will be even better! We’ve got some awesome surprises in store and we can’t wait to share them all with you.


This year, it’s all about your data. It’s about embracing a new data-driven economy to transform your business for today and tomorrow. At NEXT 2018, you’ll get valuable insights so that you can drive your own data to the outcomes that matter. Here’s what you can expect:


Our breakout sessions are back! We’ve got 50 different sessions with more than 50 speakers talking on areas such as Data Center Modernization, Data-Driven Insights, Cloud, IoT, and more solutions and innovations. You’ll hear from some of our customers about how they’ve innovated and transformed with data, learn best practices and even get exclusive sneak peeks of some of the exciting products and solutions coming in the near future.


You’ll also hear from some amazing speakers in our general sessions, including Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author and top global thinker. He’ll be there to challenge our assumptions about data and innovation and is sure to deliver some fresh insights. Innovation leader and futurethink CEO Lisa Bodell will stretch your thinking when she shares her knowledge on how to simplify innovation and accelerate change. I can’t wait to get inspired from these special guests!


The Solutions Showcase will return with the freshest innovations in the industry. You’ll get up-close with what’s new and next for data center modernization, compliance and governance, IoT, smart spaces, video management and so much more. This was a huge hit last year, so you won’t want to miss it!


New this year is our training and certification offerings on-site. You’ll be able to receive hands-on training for Pentaho, IoT analytics and more – free with your registration! While you’re at it, get certified with over 12 different certification exams to validate your skills and knowledge. The first one’s free with registration, so take advantage of these valuable learning opportunities.


You’ll also have the chance to meet with our top executives and industry experts when you schedule a 1:1. Talk all things data and transformation, and get unique insights that you can use to help your own company drive success. We’ve already got some sponsors who are eager to meet you, including Intel, DXC, VMware, Arrow and much, much more. This is a great opportunity to speak with and learn more about them. And don’t forget the announcements! Like I said, we’ve got lots of surprises to reveal at NEXT, and you’ll want to hear them first-hand.


And of course, we can’t forget about the location. Sunny San Diego will host NEXT 2018, so get ready for sun, sand and the most perfect weather you’ve ever seen. The city, especially its Gaslamp District, is a vibrant and exciting metropolis full of culture, entertainment and nightlife. You are definitely going to want to be there for all the fun we’ve got planned!


NEXT 2018 is going to be great, and we want you to be there with us. Make sure to visit often for the latest updates, and don’t forget to register while you’re there. I look forward to seeing you in San Diego!


Mary Ann Gallo

Chief Communications Officer

Hitachi Vantara

Imagine a future where industrial companies rarely face asset outages or where repair rework is a rarity because technicians get the repair accurately diagnosed and fixed the first time. Imagine a future where every symptom and complaint reported is automatically mapped to optimal repair instructions cutting diagnosis times to a fraction … imagine no more, as Hitachi brings this reality to you!


Equipment failures can happen anytime, many times without warning or only trace indicators that are difficult to detect.  Fixing failures routinely takes longer than expected either because parts are unavailable or technicians lack experience to conduct the repair effectively.  Recently, I experienced these challenges when I saw a technician maintaining a failed water heater, continuing to try new solutions after failed fix attempts. Why, I asked?


He came to inspect the heater on the day we found it didn’t supply the expected hot water. He spent one hour for the inspection and went back to order repair parts. A few days later, he struggled repairing the unit with the new parts, as further repair work determined additional parts were required. Eventually, we needed another few days to get hot water after he revisited us again with additional parts.


However, imagine such an equipment outage scenario for a manufacturing plant where equipment up-time is critical to plant operations and meeting production targets. Even if a manufacturing line has redundant machines, an operations manager must reschedule production orders, handle work-in-progress inventory, and communicate changes to production schedules.  This impact due to loss in operation is big and in the worst scenario where there is no spare equipment, the operation stops, impacting customer commitment, loss in revenue, and loss of trust/reputation built over years.


Conventional solutions to optimize maintenance and repair operations have been built for years but with limited success.  Lack of machine sensor data and limited connectivity between operations and maintenance processes have been major hurdles. Today’s start of the art, with big data technologies coupled with powerful machine learning models that infer from historical references, can predict and draw deep insights for the future, driving new solutions with advanced analytics and Internet-of-Things (IoT).  The combination of the vast amounts of sensor data provided by connected machines, maintenance operational data both structured and unstructured, and advanced analytic technologies provide the perfect blend of technologies transforming data to insights to actions through end to end maintenance solutions.


Come join us at NEXT 2018, where Hitachi Vantara will unveil key new solutions that will transform and streamline maintenance and repair activities leveraging IoT and analytics.  Remove your concerns and operational risk of unexpected machine failures. Several demonstrations at NEXT will show you what the future of maintenance and repair will look like, as they are driven by data insights.  Our solutions are comprehensive and transformative; enabling a) transforming from time-based maintenance to predictive maintenance b) generating optimal repair actions through artificial intelligence c) making every technician an expert by leveraging sr. technician knowledge d) leveraging augmented reality (AR) technology to guide technician through complex repairs and much more.


Why Hitachi? Hitachi has built a wealth of experience in both OT and IT capabilities, a key differentiator from competitors.  Hitachi has been a leader in OT for industries like finance, government, manufacturing, power/energy and transportation for over 100 years, providing solutions that have positively impacted cities, industrial operations and businesses at large. Hitachi also has been a leader in IT for over 50 years - bringing IT applications, analytics, content, cloud, and infrastructure solutions to market that have transformed the way enterprises do business. Hitachi has also employed a unique approach to building IoT solutions, one that takes advantage of co-creation with the customer.  Co-creating solutions from design phase to real operation is the only way to realize benefit of data driven solutions.


IoT is the key differentiator for your business and will help you leapfrog your competition just as Industry 3.0 revolution was the game changer decades ago. Visit our exhibition in NEXT 2018, enjoy demonstrations, and envision future of maintenance and repair together!

Companies of all sizes face increased challenges as the world continues to embrace the new digital economy.  

Massive amounts of data are being generated by new digital devices and applications which are taxing every organization, and the value of that data has skyrocketed as companies find new ways to leverage it to create better insights, adjust quicker to market trends, and drive better overall business outcomes. 

IT infrastructure is being stretched and challenged to support this massive data growth and legacy hardware architectures simply weren’t designed to support these emerging technologies and workloads. These changes are driving the development of new modern agile data centers – and many of these technologies will be on display at Hitachi NEXT 2018.


One critical aspect of this challenge that is sometimes overlooked in the excitement of new hardware and applications is simply how the next generation data center will be managed. In a digital business, with mission critical value placed on data, there’s no room for error, and the complexity, and number of interconnected elements is an order of magnitude greater compared to traditional legacy data centers. On top of this, the modern data center must be more agile than ever before. There’s no more “set and forget” – change is constant, and the risks rise accordingly.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one emerging technology which is being applied to solve some of these problems. As an industry we have just taken our first steps down the road to AI automation and Hitachi is leading the way.

Today, however, there are still more questions than answers.  What is the best approach to solving the problems of scale and  precision in a dynamic environment? What tools are available now? How to I accelerate innovation? What will the datacenter of the future look like, and will I be ready?  

Get Ready for The Future


To help you learn what you need to know about this new technology and what to do now to be ready for it, a panel of Hitachi Vantara experts and industry analysts will discuss the power of AI, its impact on data center operations and how it could shape our future, at Hitachi NEXT 2018.

The session is titled “Automate the Future: What’s Next for AI Operations” and will take place on Thursday September 27 at 1:00pm.

Bob Madaio – VP Infrastructure Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Vantara (Moderator)
Renee McKaskle - CIO, Hitachi Vantara
Paul Lewis – CTO Americas, Hitachi Vantara
Dragan Rakovich - CTO Analytics, DXC Technology
Chris Drake - Principal Analyst, Data Center Technology, Global Data plc
Customer (TBD)

Hope to see you there!

Be sure to stop by the Agile Data Infrastructure area at Hitachi NEXT 2018 to check out our product demos and talk to the experts.

We’re Forecasting Clouds – Public and Private… Even if it’s Sunny in San Diego



Join us for the informative panel discussion “How to Build Effective Cloud Architectures” Wednesday September 26th at 1pm. Why? Because this is your chance to participate in what promises to be one of the hottest and most informative discussions at the NEXT 2018 conference.  Learn from our panel of experts and openly discuss any questions you might have about any type of cloud deployment.  The mantra of the panel is how a solid “Multi Cloud” strategy can drive your business to new heights.  Learn how Hitachi Vantara can custom craft a cloud solution for your business using a suite of products and services.


Reason 1 – Ask the Experts and Learn: We will have a panel of experts available to help you conquer any cloud challenge be it public or private


Reason 2 – Hear from Your Peers: This panel discussion will include customer examples of data center modernization in action.  Find out how others are delivering business outcomes leverage different cloud solutions.


Reason 3 – Lots of discussion and exchange, no PowerPoint: Well maybe a slide or two but the focus will be on audience participation and answering your questions.


The topics being discussed will include:

  • On-premise vs. Off-premise
  • What about compliance?
  • Migration and data mobility in a multi-cloud environment
  • CAPEX vs. OPEX?
  • Cloud security
  • Cloud consumption models
  • Managing multi-cloud environments
  • Delivering self-service for your lines of business


Hope to see you there!  If you haven’t signed up, be sure to do so and find out what it’s all about at NEXT 2018.

In a recent survey by Enterprise Strategy Group on converged infrastructure trends, 83% of customers surveyed said that converged infrastructure technology has made their IT organization more agile.




At Hitachi NEXT 2018, we’re talking to three customers first-hand about their journey toward IT agility with converged infrastructure solutions from Hitachi Vantara. You won’t want to miss this panel session: Modernize Your Data Center and Go Beyond the Hype with Real World Transformation Results from SFS Group, Aldo and Cognizant.


The SFS Group,one of the world’s leading suppliers of mechanical fastening systems and precision formed parts with around $1.38 billion in sales and 8,300 full-time employees, needed to modernize their data center with a fully automated and integrated solution that would enable IT to focus on innovation. SFS turned to Hitachi Vantara for their UCP converged infrastructure solution with automated management and orchestration via a single pane of glass.




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Learn how Hitachi solutions helped SFS:

  • Tackle the challenge of creating an IT infrastructure to support 100% of business-critical applications
  • Lower total cost of ownership by 20%
  • Achieve more efficient business process support with Hitachi Vantara



Session Speakers

Patrick Bichler, Head of Infrastructure and Corporate IT at SFS Group

Dominic D'Amata, Vice President, Architecture at Aldo

Reinier van Hoeijen, AVP Cognizant Infrastructure Transformation Services -– Europe & Middle East


Be sure to stop by the Agile Data Infrastructure area at HitachiNEXT 2018 to check out our product demos and talk to the experts.

Everyone is talking about multi-cloud today, meaning the ability to move, copy and manage files between on-premises cloud infrastructures and public cloud services.   A flexible multi-cloud strategy makes sense when trying to achieve optimal data storage economics, data redundancy, or perhaps to make the best use of a particular infrastructure or service offering.  Multi-cloud strategies can also be an important element with respect to satisfying governance and compliance rules and regulations.


However, there are many ways to achieve multi-cloud, and to manage a multi-cloud environment. Defining the right strategy for your organization begins with mapping your needs against the available options.  For instance, your high performance workloads may benefit most from a flash or hyperconverged infrastructure.  Your security and compliance requirements may lead to carefully considering the benefits of on-premises as well as off-premises storage options.  Surprisingly,  while public cloud services offer attractive pricing, certain data access and security requirements might make an on-premises object storage solution as much as 60% less expensive.


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As a trusted advisor to our customers, we want to help you understand your multi-cloud options and some of the related challenges that you might not have considered yet.  At the “How To Build Effective Cloud Architectures” panel discussion session at the Hitachi Next conference, I’ll represent object storage and pursue an engaging discussion with the other panel experts about topics such as when and why you should consider a multi-cloud strategy, whether or not governance and compliance requirements rule out public cloud options, surprising things we’ve learned about calculating cost of ownership, and more.  Do you have other related topics on your mind?  Please share them with me!


See you soon at Next!

Douglas Howatt

The Next Day of NEXT

Posted by Douglas Howatt Employee Sep 20, 2017

Award winners, robots, entertainment – Oh my! And I thought the first day was exciting! Today was the second and final day of NEXT 2017 and it certainly ended with several high notes.


Today was all about the future with insights aplenty and opportunities in data and the internet of things. The General Session was where the charismatic Dr. Kaku filled the hall with matter-of-fact predictions that can help all of us navigate the future. We agree with his vision of artificial intelligence, and Hitachi Vantara is already going in that direction. Though it seems that we have to brief him on Hitachi’s robot, EMIEW, to raise his expectations of what’s possible today! I hope he saw EMIEW’s demonstration this afternoon.


But before that we had the Women’s Leadership Forum that included Vernice Armour, the first African-American female combat pilot. Her advice on fearless and decisive leadership was valuable insight for anyone to hear.


Did you see the announcement of the winner of the Hitachi Transformation Award? It’s Meat & Livestock Australia! Nobody expects the cattle industry to be on technology’s leading edge, but MLA has shown that digital technologies can help even the most remote cattle stations. What assumptions does your organization have for what could “never” benefit from digitization?


Breakout Sessions were just as informative and just as packed as yesterday. I could see that you were all enjoying learning with and from your peers today. I hope you swapped many business cards to continue your collaborations.


After the announcement of Hitachi Vantara during yesterday’s opening session, there was an exciting buzz that carried on through the day and definitely into last night’s Gala Dinner. With everyone dressed in their best, it was a celebration perfect for kicking off a new chapter and toasting to the future. But for me, that light show was a bit overwhelming and I wished I’d kept my sunglasses with me.


It’s been an incredible two days here in Las Vegas. This first NEXT event has been memorable but don’t hesitate to relive the presentations that were most meaningful to you on our Resources page. Send the link to your coworkers who couldn’t attend this year.


I’m definitely looking forward to the next NEXT in San Diego, September 2018. But before this NEXT closes its doors on a successful inaugural event, we’re going to party with a Grammy-winning, international superstar tonight – Pitbull! See you there. Dale!


We’ve all heard the old adage, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Similarly, hyperconverged is the new shinny object in IT infrastructure and some vendors would lead you to believe it can address all your IT modernization needs.  The fact of the matters is, building a modern data center requires a complete toolbox. Yes, hyperconverged systems play an important role but so too can converged and rack scales systems help meet your business demands.  To complete your modern infrastructure build-out, you need to wrap these systems with end-to-end management automation software, providing agility, flexibility, simplicity and intelligence to drive digital transformation. The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) family provides a complete toolbox to quickly and easily build your modern data center.



Data is an organizations most strategic asset. Data is the only organizational asset that technically lives forever and whose value continues to grow over time. For this reasons we believe a modern data strategy is the foundation of any Digital Transformation journey. A data strategy blends disparate sets of data together – structured, unstructured and machine data into logical insights.  It enables  you to derive value and gain competitive advantage from a modern data strategy with ubiquitous data services – using any data source -  from any application - on any cloud.    You will also find in the UCP toolbox a complete set of  data management capabilities that allow our customers to efficiently manage, govern, move and analyze their key data sets across data centers and clouds, reducing the complexity and cost of disparate applications and services.  UCP systems solve today’s data problems with mature, marketing leading solutions to easily ingest, aggregate and blend data from the core data center – to the edge – to the cloud.

Increased business agility drives innovation, Hitachi is committed to accelerating our customers Digital Transformation journey by bringing IT agility to life. (check out  Paul Lewis' blog). I see three key IT and data focus areas that you need to invest in in order to enable successful digital transformation:

  • Modern Infrastructure – Automated, software-defined, flash accelerated, with consistent data management capabilities.
  • Digital Workplace - enabling new ways of working to empower the digital workforce.
  • Business Insight - the digital enterprise needs to add new value to their existing customer data and get better end to end visibility over their business to discover new opportunities.


HDS has answered these challenges by creating the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) family of converged and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions. The UCP family that can betailored for all workloads and business apps to gain more complete data insights and drive better business outcomes.



Our UCP family of converged, hyperconverged and rack-scale systems provides enterprise, departmental and managed service provider (MSP) environments with a simple path to IT modernization enabling our customers to deploy any application, at any scale, in any location, be it a private, public or hybrid cloud.  The systems provide a flexible, low-risk, modular architecture to create a framework on which to build a robust cloud infrastructure that includes automation, analytics, advanced data services and management capabilities.



The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform family provides you with a toolbox to drive IT modernization and develop your data strategy to ensure a successful digital transformation.  To learn more about how Hitachi can help you solve your business challenges, please contact your Hitachi Data Systems representative or visit  Hitachi Vantara.

Douglas Howatt

The First Day of NEXT

Posted by Douglas Howatt Employee Sep 19, 2017

Wow! What an incredible first day of NEXT. So much happened today, it’s hard to know where to start. Oh yeah – the big announcement that kicked off the first-ever NEXT.


We sure made an entrance to NEXT when we introduced Hitachi Vantara, a new company that combines Hitachi Data Systems, Pentaho, and Hitachi Insight Group to bring customers and partners the best of Hitachi. Hitachi Vantara is a new generation of Hitachi that combines our legacy of expertise with our innovative current and future solutions for data management. Brian Householder, president of Hitachi Vantara, described the company’s focus on customer success through better outcomes, better business and better society. He cautioned against silos in data, organizations and mindsets, all of which hamper competitiveness and outcomes.


The rest of the General Session was full of insights on digital transformation and what it takes to disrupt and lead the industry, thanks to some of the biggest names in the industry, such as noted author Geoffrey Moore and Penske President Bud Denker. The finalists for the Hitachi Transformation Award were also announced. I can’t wait to see who wins tomorrow!


The Solutions Showcase was like taking a walk through the future. It featured the latest products and solutions for almost every industry. Energy, manufacturing, transportation and IoT are just a few areas in the Showcase that had innovative demonstrations on display. There is still so much to see.


And those Breakout Sessions. There were so many to choose from and most of them were packed with attendees as well as information. With five different tracks, there was an informative session for everyone throughout the afternoon.


Next up tonight is the Gala Dinner. With a new company and renewed dedication to customer success, there will be many things to toast. It will be a suitable close to an eventful day at NEXT.


I’ve got to rest up. Tomorrow’s going to be another big day. Before the General Session are the Women’s Leadership Forum and an interview by The Wall Street Journal. At 10 a.m. you can look into the future with four different presentations by people who are driving their industries there or who are predicting what we can expect. You’ll be fascinated and inspired by futurist, Dr. Michio Kaku. The morning sessions will easily be worth the price of admission just by themselves. And watch for the Breakout Sessions in the afternoon with still more information and insights about how the world is changing your business.


The last thing I’ll say is that you must not miss the evening entertainment on Wednesday. It will be a night you’ll long remember.


See you tomorrow in the hallways.

Just moments ago at the inaugural Hitachi NEXT 2017, we introduced Hitachi Vantara, a new company that brings together Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Pentaho and Hitachi Insight Group to combine data management, analytics, industrial expertise, technology and outcomes into one great solution provider.


As Hitachi Vantara, we stand for data-driven innovation. This new brand was created with you, our customers, in mind. As the world changes how we all work, driving companies to evolve, we want to transform for and with the enterprises that are data-driven, too. With you, we want to innovate to reach meaningful outcomes for business and society, leaving the world a better place than we found it.


So what’s behind our new name? Hitachi Vantara is a nod to our storied history in data management and infrastructure in VIRTUALIZATION. It is also a name that represents our strategy for future growth – giving customers a VANTAGE POINT to uncover new insights in data for a competitive ADVANTAGE. We look forward to building this brand with all of you in the years to come. 


While we’ve got an awesome company name, it’s so much more than that. It’s about what new value this company will bring to our customers through the combination of our 100+ years of operational technology expertise and 58 years in IT. We’ve gathered the best of Hitachi to combine the digital and industrial worlds into something new that will last, grow and deliver outcomes that really matter. It’s also about creating a new culture for our employees—a culture that represents our drive to create something extraordinary while we enjoy the journey along the way.


It’s a rare opportunity to help a company that’s over 100 years old create something so big and new. This introduction of a new company has created a tangible moment in Hitachi’s transformation, one that shows the strength of our history, our ambition to take risks for a greater purpose and our noble commitment to our customers.


As the Chief Communications Officer at Hitachi Vantara, I had a unique insight on the creation of the company. Creating a new brand isn’t easy. Most companies take over a year to go through the process—we did it in 180 days. This was made possible by a nimble approach, a clear direction with strategic milestones and small sprints led by a small-but-mighty team. A feat this huge is impossible without dedication and collaboration, and all Hitachi organizations played a big part in the journey. Becoming Hitachi Vantara was nothing short of amazing, and I cannot talk about it without a huge “thank you” to all the teams across all functions to make it happen.  We also couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of our senior executive teams at Hitachi Vantara and Hitachi, Ltd. This display of participation and teamwork is truly inspiring and emphasizes Hitachi’s commitment to innovation and our customers.


Along with the announcement of Hitachi Vantara came the kickoff of NEXT, Hitachi’s new conference. This global platform gave us a chance to introduce ourselves to our customers and partners and provide a personal experience in getting to know the future of Hitachi. We couldn’t have thought of a better way to show you who Hitachi Vantara is and what our path leads to.


As the new generation of a renowned legacy, Hitachi Vantara was created with the intention to grow, evolve and expand along with our customers and partners. We’re well on our way to intelligent innovation and a better tomorrow, and this is just the beginning of the journey. We can’t wait to change the world with you.

With our first annual user conference NEXT 2017 happening this week, it's is a great opportunity to pay it forward and share your event experience on social media. Here are five simple ways that attendees (onsite and online) can create a virtual experience for the entire Hitachi community:


1. Follow the #HitachiNEXT hashtag and contribute: Whether you are attending live in Las Vegas or following along via our Livestream, be sure to use the #HitachiNEXT hashtag.


For onsite attendees, a Social Media Wall will be displayed in front of the Solutions Showcase so attendees can view tweets, photos and videos in real time. By keeping an eye on the social stream, you can join the conversation by replying, retweeting, or sharing your own insights.

NEXT infographic.PNG


2. Tweet your favorite sound bites: This is a simple but valuable way to share out information. You will hear a lot of great sound bites from numerous speakers – from General Session keynotes, to evening events, to any of the 50 breakout sessions throughout the week. You can help surface key insights by highlighting great quotes or visuals from our customers, thought leaders, partners, Hitachi executives, and other attendees.


3. Participate in our social media contests: To help encourage conversation and have a little fun, we're introducing three social media contests during NEXT. Read the details here, but here are the categories:

  • Favorite Quote From Tuesday's General Sessionmini-drone.jpg
  • Favorite Quote From a Hitachi Customer
  • Favorite Quote From Wednesday's General Session

Specifics on each contest can be found here. Whether you're attending onsite or following the livestream, you can enter for a chance to win a Mini-Drone!


4. Capture the fun moments! Silly, fun or cool moments are often some of the most memorable aspects of any event. And there will be plenty of opportunities to capture the vibe of NEXT 2017, including unique evening events, surprises in the Solutions Showcase, and an evening with a Grammy Award-winning artist. Our event mobile app also has a Click! Game which includes photo challenges that could be shared on social media. Be sure to check it out!


5. Maintain your connections after the event: If you have a great conversation with a fellow attendee during the week, keep the communication going after the event via social media. Just connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter or our Community. It's much more effective than sticking all of those business cards in a drawer ;-)


I hope you found these tips useful. Remember that paying it forward has great benefit to your fellow colleagues who may not be able to attend in person or online. Let's do our best to include them this week.


I look forward to seeing you in person or virtually at #HitachiNEXT!

Share your excitement about #HitachiNEXT and be entered to win prizes!


Are you excited about NEXT 2017 and want a chance to win a cool Mini-Drone? Share your event experience on Twitter and you could win!




NEXT 2017 kicks off on Tuesday morning with a General Session featuring big announcements, amazing speakers, and a few surprises along the way.


Whether you're watching in person or via the live stream, just tweet a great quote with the hashtags #HitachiNEXT and #GeneralSession and you'll be entered to win. After the session we'll pick one participant at random to win a Hitachi-branded Mini-Drone (pictured right). And if you hear a lot of great quotes from our many speakers? Share them all since posting multiple tweets will only increase your odds. Best of luck!





NEXT 2017 will feature over 20 customer stories told in Breakout Sessions and the General Sessions. Share these valuable insights by tweeting your favorite quote(s) with the hashtags #HitachiNEXT and #Customers for another chance to win. Once again we'll pick one winner at random and each participant may submit multiple tweets.




Similar to Tuesday's General Session, Wednesday will bring more great presenters, futurists, customers, and Hitachi executives together to discuss technologies of today and into the future. Live or virtual attendees can tweet their favorite quote(s) with the same hashtags from Tuesday (#HitachiNEXT and #GeneralSession). We'll pick our third random winner of the event to take home our last Mini-Drone!


Best of luck to everyone, and thank you for sharing your NEXT 2017 experiences with larger community!


*Official Rules Attached

Not attending Hitachi NEXT 2017 in Las Vegas next week? Not to worry. We’ve setup livestreaming of our Tuesday and Wednesday general sessions so that you can participate and hear all the exciting news in real time. Find out how and when you can livestream below.


How To Livestream


It’s easy. Simply follow the link on the home page of on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 8:30 a.m. PST, and again on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. PST. That’s it. Of course, livestreaming is not the same as attending the live event, but we don’t want you to miss the opportunity to get informed, inspired, and energized by our stellar speakers.


When to Livestream


Speakers on Tuesday, September 19th starting at 8:30 a.m. PST include:

  • Transformation Today – Toshiaki Higashihara, Hitachi, Ltd.
  • Unleashing the True Value of Data – Brian Householder, Hitachi Data Systems
  • Transformation in Action – Bud Denker, Penske and Hicham Abdessamad, Hitachi Consulting
  • Competing To Win in the Age of Disruption – Geoffrey Moore, Author




Speakers on Wednesday, September 20th starting at 10:00 AM PST include:

  • The World Is the Domain of IT – Hitachi Technologists
  • The Power of Analytics and IoT To Drive Real-World Outcomes – Sean Starling, Meat & Livestock Australia
  • What Does the Future Hold? “The Next 20 Years” – Dr. Michio Kaku, Futurist
  • Future Technologies: AI and Robotics – Senior Hitachi R&D Executives and Dr. Michio Kaku




Hitachi NEXT 2017 is going to be exciting. You won't want to miss it!

Project managers use reference architectures to outline technical discussions and define best practices. It’s a template we fit our ideas and debates into. Reference architectures run from high level to detailed  abstractions. It starts with a management point of view of the concepts. [All hail Jerry Woolf, inventor of the dry erase whiteboard marker.]  Next, IT architects craft a more technical view.  This becomes “the plan”.  Next comes, the gut wrenching discussion “You want how much money?” Later, detailed workflows of data movement are defined.  These are pages full of complex details that only a programmer could love. Finally,  programmers turn  workflows and components into code. 


Recently, Hitachi Data Systems and Teradata formed a partnership focused on the Internet of Things. A management level reference architecture for the alliance is found here: Three Links in a Chain. It describes edge computing, the IoT Platform, and the analytic ecosystem. Let’s drill down one level into the Hitachi-Teradata reference architecture.


Figure 1:  Reference Architecture for Hitachi Lumada and Teradata Analytics

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Intro to Hitachi Lumada Architecture Components

Lumada is Hitachi’s IoT platform.  It supports business solutions such as smart industry or smart energy applications. It begins with an edge SDK that is callable by Python or Java programs. MQTT and other protocols provide continuous streams of real-time sensor data.  Hitachi’s data integration provides vital data preparation but you can add to this easily.  Data preparation is done in batch and real time processing.  It also blends in external data.


Identity services provide the three A’s of security: Authentication, Authorization, and Audit. Studio enables creation of high-quality custom applications from pre-built components. Asset and user management are subsystems to administrate edge devices and people. Orchestration includes all the policies and controls placed on things, people, and processes.  Not shown is a module library of reusable components. This includes dashboards, workflows, reports, metadata models, and analytics.


I am enamored with the sensor data storage, cluster services, and asset registry. Sensor data is stored in  Apache Cassandra. Cassandra provides a scalable, high-performance cluster database for time series data. Underneath Lumada are scale-out  cluster services. Lumada architects wisely built upon a scalable foundation for fast response time. Thus, Lumada can cope with small or huge amounts of sensor data. Why the excitement? Because for many IoT platforms, scalability is a problem all by itself.  Unforseen scalability complexity has defeated many implementations. Fortunately, Lumada rests on a scalable clustered foundation whether it’s on premises or in a cloud.


The part I am most excited by are the ‘Avatars’ inside the asset registry. An avatar is a digital model of a physical machine or device. It contains the device specifications, properties, and metadata. It provides KPIs, current and historical state, and events for 'things'.  Lumada also lets you design avatars, make inquiries, and invoke visualizations. Tools such as Qlik, Tableau, and MicroStrategy can provide reports, dashboards, and visualizations. Avatars can include rules and algorithms. When the avatar model is robust, simulations can predict device behavior. Poke an avatar with too much digital heat and watch how it behaves without catching fire. Industrial designers do this to rethink end-to-end design, manufacturing processes, and device usage. Machine owners can better predict maintenance cycles, yield quality, and costs reliably. Sweet!


Intro to Teradata Architecture Components

Teradata broke away from traditional data warehouses back in 2010. The result is the Teradata Unified Data Architecture (UDA). The UDA combines data lakes, data warehouses, data integration, analytics, and discovery zones into an analytic ecosystem. Where did this lead us?


The data warehouse is still an indispensable point of data gravity.  It contains the corporate data model in thousands of tables. Feeding into the data warehouse is ERP, CRM, supply chain, risk, and other data. Pentaho and other components participate in the scalable ingest framework. Teradata Listener is a self-service ingest tool for real-time data streams. Listener works well with sensor data arriving in MQTT format. Kylo is open source for clients that generate thousands of flat files daily all over the world. Manufacturers and transportation companies tend to need Kylo. Thus, the Teradata ingest framework connects to Lumada’s ingest brokers. 


Originally, all data was well behaved rows and columns stored in relational tables. For example, all the financial data a CFO needs is tabular like Excel spreadsheets. How can a CFO exist without spreadsheets? But then came data structures that didn’t fit into rows and columns. The first was XML, then JSON, then Avro.  Next came IoT sensor data which is a continuous time-series.  Sensor data often looks like a saw tooth pattern. Thus, Teradata added data types and functions to accommodate unstructured data. This enables parallel processing of any type of data. It’s not that hard, really. I mean creating new data types. Parallel processing is incredibly difficult to do right.


Back in 2007, Teradata entered a partnership with SAS®. We started embedding SAS algorithms "in-database."  This means SAS procs now run in the parallel database engine. In 2006, data scientists had to extract 50GB of data to a server and run SAS procs for hours.  In 2007, the SAS proc could run in parallel. Elapsed times of days became hours, hours became minutes. In-database parallel performance also applies to Fuzzy Logix, R, MicroStrategy, and Python scripts. Analytic tools went from automobile speed to rocket speed.


Geospatial data is also not a simple data structure. You can’t just add up longitude and latitude.  (Hint: geospatial data comes from complex sensors.) Thus, Teradata implemented 2.5D geospatial storage and processing. This is vital for ‘things’ that move around. Do you know where your $150,000 tool is today? When and where was the airplane when it malfunctioned? Geospatial ANSI SQL makes it really easy for users to do location-aware analysis. Similarly, time-series data is easier to analyze with ANSI SQL temporal functions. Temporal functions can provide 80X data compression and faster analytics for sensor data.  Add to this special time-series tables that deal with data gaps and sliding windows of time. This is perfect for analyzing sensor data at scale.


Teradata App Center is a framework for encapsulating processes. Anything the developer or business user codes can be encapsulated into a module. That module then appears in App Center somewhat like your mobile phone apps. Imagine a sensor data scrubber and conditioner built from Python. Turn it into a reusable app.  Apps can run scripts, software modules, submit SQL, or fire up a visualization. Both the programmer and business users use the apps. Bonus: shadow IT code is captured in one place.


Data Labs are storage pools and tools for ad hoc experimentation. Teradata ended up with multiple solutions in this category. The first was Teradata Data Lab where business users upload and process data in the data warehouse. That’s pure ad hoc experiments joined to production data.  Then came Aster Database which is an amazing data scientist parallel workbench. Aster contains hundreds of built-in algorithms including machine learning. The UDA also includes Hadoop data lakes. Our Think Big experts often build data discovery zones there.


Teradata QueryGrid is the glue that pulls together the entire UDA. It is a federated SQL query service connecting two parallel systems together. That’s a huge differentiator for Teradata. QueryGrid can run a parallel query in Teradata Database doing a parallel join to Hadoop data. Or we can run a parallel query using Presto to access data in Cassandra in parallel. This provides superior performance plus data placement options.


Rivers of Data

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Figure 2:  IoT Data Work Flows


Let’s follow the sensor data through the Lumada-UDA infrastructure.

  1. Sensors at the edge emit time-series data in a wide variety of formats and frequencies.
  2. Lumada core uses message brokers to capture sensor data into Cassandra. Lumada administrates the IoT devices and people worldwide. Lumada also supplies the data to business  applications.
  3. Pentaho Data Integration and Teradata Listener distribute the sensor data to subscribers. 
  4. Teradata QueryGrid peers access the Asset Registry and Sensor Data Storage in parallel. 
  5. Sensor data is prepared and stored in the data warehouse or data lake as needed. Data transformations are done here and throughout the ingest architecture.
  6. Corporate data is continuously added to the UDA. This is ERP, CRM, supply chain, financial, and external data.
  7. Sensor data can be joined together with corporate data at parallel speed.
  8. Teradata App Center and Business Analytics Applications access the UDA data.  This provides deep analytics, machine learning, and visualizations.


Final Observations on Hitachi Lumada/Teradata UDA

Dr. Michael Porter is a Harvard professor and author of 18 books on competitive strategy. He sums up the purpose of the Hitachi Lumada/Teradata Unified Architecture better than I can.  In “How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Companies” he explains to everyone the value of sensor data.  He explains

     “This new product data is valuable by itself, yet its value increases exponentially when it is integrated

     with other data, such as service histories, inventory locations, commodity prices, and traffic patterns...”.


    • This new product data is valuable by itself.  Lumada is needed to collect and extract value from sensor data.
    • yet its value increases exponentially when it is integrated with other data. Joining sensor data to corporate data is the other half of the ROI.


So a control tower for sensors, devices, people, and avatars is vital. Don’t try this at home.  Get a solid IoT platform like Hitachi Lumada. Then add the corporate data and deep machine learning.   



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Dan Graham

With over 30 years in IT, Dan Graham has been a DBA, Product Manager for the IBM RS/6000 SP2, Strategy Director in IBM’s Global BI Solutions division, and General Manager of Teradata’s high end 6700 servers.  He is currently Technical Marketing Director for the Internet of Things at Teradata. Dan lives in Silly Con Valley, except when he doesn't. 


Twitter:  @DanGraham_ 

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