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Object Storage Platform

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Deciding on a cloud strategy that is right for your business can often be as nebulous as the clouds currently hovering over my office. What we do know for sure is the initial rush to the cloud seems to have corrected itself, in fact, according to ESG research, 41% of organizations currently using IaaS have moved at least one application/workload from a public cloud infrastructure service back to on-premises resources. This isn’t because public cloud is bad, it’s just complicated – but that’s where we can help. If your primary driver in considering a public cloud is cost – then it may surprise you that building your cloud with Hitachi Content Platform can actually deliver a lower TCO than leading public cloud vendors.

In a recently published third-party economic audit, ESG explored the total cost of purchasing and owning the industry leading, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) on-premises storage versus the costs associated with renting object storage from a leading public cloud vendor. The result? An HCP on-premise solution delivers a 62% total cost of ownership savings over public cloud storage.

 

ESG considered upfront investments (or lack thereof), the amount of storage, maintenance and support, network fees, power, and cooling, and space. ESG leveraged the publicly available pricing of industry-leading public cloud vendors, and Hitachi pricing tools to compare the cost of renting public storage vs. purchasing and managing HCP on premises over time. The initial analysis began with the costs associated with 5,000 TB of usable storage capacity over a five-year period of ownership

 

If you’re interested in seeing the complete evaluation and results you can access the full third-party economic audit here: https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/pdf/analyst-content/economic-audit-value-of-hcp-storage.pdf

 

As you consider which cloud strategy is best for your business, we know it is not a one size fits all. No longer is this a cost driven choice – or a matter of just public or private, the answer for many, is a little of both.

 

So now that we’ve taken costs out of the equation when it comes to an on-premise vs an off-premise solution – let’s take a deeper look into why Hitachi Content Platform is the ideal object storage solution for whatever solution you decide to deploy. The benefits of Hitachi Content Platform go well beyond storage and cost. HCP can help manage data more holistically in order to meet regulatory requirements, reduce legal risk or risk of exposure, automate data management and workflow, increase productivity and support deeper search and analytics to uncover new insights. The HCP portfolio works together to consolidate, archive, automate, mobilize, protect, search and analyze data according to business needs. Built upon proven object storage architecture, you can reduce risk, accelerate productivity and increase profitability. HCP is unique in that it can be extended to enable a highly productive mobile and remote workforce without sacrificing visibility or control.

 

When configured to work with the public cloud of your choice, HCP turns into a powerful multi-cloud data management layer which allows you to choose where your data is stored based on value, activity rates, sensitivity, access speed and cost. Recently, HCP has a number of enhancements that further extend the benefits of an on premises service compared with industry-leading public cloud solutions:

  • HCP Anywhere edge for sync-based cloud file services at remote and branch offices.
  • Hitachi Content Monitor for enhanced storage, system, and performance monitoring across multiple HCP clusters.
  • To further optimize costs, HCP S supports geo-distributed erasure coding, which reduces protection capacity overhead in multi-site configurations and speeds rebuild times after media failures.

For more information on the economic value of Hitachi Content Platform as the foundation for your multi-cloud strategy , access the ESG report here: https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/pdf/analyst-content/economic-audit-value-of-hcp-storage.pdf

 

Hybrid Cloud Success Stories

How Hitachi Content Platform was able to help University of Utah’s Health’s hybrid cloud

Their story here: https://t.co/yDobxV4x9U

 

“With HCP, what we found is that we’re getting much better performance out of the infrastructure than what we expected or planned for. This has given us a lot more flexibility than we originally anticipated with respect to supporting customer- owned assets as well as our own infrastructure.” – CEO ThinkOn

Their story here: https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/pdfd/case-study/thinkon-case-study.pdf 

 

University of Utah Health Partners with Hitachi Vantara to Drive Innovation Through A Hybrid Cloud Environment

 

Cloud has evolved into more than a singular use case, it’s a way of doing business and in order to look ahead, many must first must look up. Cloud has been embraced by almost every industry, except healthcare. And for good reason, as one of the most regulated industries, we know not all data is created equal, and with daily data breaches and ransomware threats, it’s better to be it safe than be sorry, lose revenue and, most importantly, consumer confidence. The catch 22 here is, healthcare can only realize its full potential when the right information is shared, not locked up, and data can flow to where it’s needed, when it’s needed - seamlessly. And the stakes are high, at its full potential – the outcomes mean superior patient care and breakthrough treatments and research.

 

A recent article from EHR Intelligence offered up a few more reasons on why we should revisit our notoriously conservative approach to healthcare data in the cloud for the sake of future innovation (article here if you’re interested).

 

While hospitals and healthcare companies may (or cannot) dive into a traditional cloud environment, a hybrid environment could in the words of Goldilocks could offer the “just right”, solution, which is why we were excited at the opportunity to partner with University of Utah Health on their hybrid cloud environment.

 

To better serve the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on University of Utah Health every day, the University needed to modernize their data center. To navigate the constant change within the industry – they needed to be more agile. To support thousands of groundbreaking research projects, prevent disruption to patient care, and support their clinical professionals who rely on hundreds of IT systems and applications – they needed efficient access to massive amounts of data.

 

The solution was a combination of Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP), Hitachi NAS Platform clusters, the industry leading Hitachi Content Platform, and combines on-premise and public cloud storage.

 

The combination of these products allowed University of Utah Health to:

 

  • Faster provisioning of services and accelerated workloads by 40% by migrating the right workloads and data to the cloud without compromising the security of its confidential patient data.
  • Fast and reliable access to the systems and data they need
  • Reduced backup costs by >70% by moving data to Hitachi Content Platform
  • Mitigate future ransomware threats thanks HCP’s encryption features
  • Redirect resources where it counts, towards better patient outcomes through improved health care services

 

Read their full story here: https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/pdfd/case-study/university-of-utah-health-case-study.pdf

 

See University of Utah Health at NEXT

Attending NEXT? Get an opportunity to learn more about how U of U Health was able to leverage a hybrid cloud partners with Hitachi Vantara and deliver better patient care. View the complete list of breakout sessions here: http://www.hitachinext.com/en-us/pdf/breakout-session-guide.pdf

 

In a recent survey conducted by Hitachi Vantara and IDC, it was reported that of the 1000 organizations surveyed, over 35% of respondents manage between 1PB to 50PB of unstructured data and nearly 20% manage over 50PB of unstructured data. With roughly 30% of respondents facing data growth from 50%-75%, it’s no wonder customers are investigating methods for longer term retention of that data, such as the use of Object Storage. Object storage enables organizations to store data as unique objects that contain three key attributes:

 

  1. The actual object or file itself
  2. Metadata that describes the data and what it contains, which can be made up of
    1. Operational Metadata: Date Created, Created by, Last Modified
    2. Custom Metadata (or Application Metadata): Image Resolution, GPS Data, Keywords contained etc.
  3. Policy Information: Retention Policies, Security Policies etc.

 

As this data grows in size, customers who are looking for longer term retention (over 50% keep data for 5 years or more) are looking to the cloud as a destination to store data that is not regularly accessed or used, but stored because of some sort of data retention policy.

 

The Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) had the capability to tier data to the cloud since June 2014, be it Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, but with the recent adoption of S3 as a standard protocol to access data, this has opened HCP up to a whole new set of cloud storage targets. Because of HCP’s support of S3, we have been accelerating our compatibility testing with other service providers who also support this standard, and one such example is the Alibaba Cloud service offering in China.

 

 

As part of our commitment to continual development and improvement, we are excited that recent testing shows that HCP can successfully tier data off to the Alibaba cloud using S3 protocols, which will give our customers more choices when considering a hybrid or multi-cloud approach to tiering data. This development means that customers will be able to store their critical and most accessed data on their HCP object storage systems within their firewall, and tier infrequently accessed data to the Alibaba cloud for longer term storage.

 

With HCP, customers will be able to define a bucket in the Alibaba cloud, and configure HCP to target that bucket using a storage component that is S3 compatible. Once configured, administrators will be able to tier the data from HCP to the Alibaba cloud, and recall that data back in to HCP again as required.

 

 

Hitachi Vantara is committed to enhancing and refining the experience for enterprises to enable a variety of data solutions using object storage, and with the forthcoming ability to tier to Alibaba cloud, we are enthusiastic about the new choices this opens up for our customers.


Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 2.15.35 PM.pngToday the Business Intelligence Group announced the winners of the 2018 Stratus Award for Cloud Computing, and we are happy to share that the Hitachi Content Platform portfolio was named a Private Cloud Provider winner. In a crowded landscape we are proud to have been one of the few “differentiated” vendors with a solution recognized for “changing the way we all interact with organizations and each other”.

 

Full Press Release here: https://www.bintelligence.com/blog/2018/8/28/38-companies-honored-with-2018-stratus-award-for-cloud-computing

 

For all of the disruption around cloud, it has not been a “one size fits all” solution. It is not for everyone one, and more importantly, it is not for all data or workloads. In exchange of “cheaper storage”, organizations have had to sacrifice governance and control over their data. And should you need that data back, be prepared to pay. Need additional security measures to keep data safe? Be prepared to pay more. In fact, there’s been a quiet, but steady movement of companies who, after going all in on public cloud, decide to come back in-house (more on that here). Customers are taking a more critical look at which data and workloads are best suited for cloud environments. And for those customers who decide that a private cloud is the best solution - we can help.

 

The best part? A private cloud solution with Hitachi is possible at cost that is comparable, and in some cases even superior to leading public cloud service providers. In fact, customers can deploy a on premise cloud and achieve 61% TCO savings compared to leading public cloud solutions (that report here: ESG Lab Validation: Hitachi Content Platform Portfolio | Hitachi Vantara).

 

 

Industry Awards and Recognitions for the Hitachi Content Platform Portfolio:

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Hitachi Content Portfolio Wins the 2018 Fortress Cyber Security Award for Regulatory Compliance

 

 

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Hitachi Vantara Named “Leader” in IDC’s MarketScape for Object-Based Storage for the 3rd Consecutive Time   

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 2.23.34 PM.png Hitachi Scores in the Top Two for Gartner's 2018 Critical Capabilities Report for Object Storage  

In an age where change, transformation, mergers, and unicorns are the norm and little is constant, we’re happy to share that, for the third consecutive time, Hitachi Vantara has been named a “Leader” in IDC’s MarketScape for Object-Based Storage.

Hitachi Vantara Rating Was Based on IDC's Assessment of our Hitachi Content Platform Portfolio

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IDC analysts evaluated some of the most notable object-based storage vendors, measuring them on their ability to deliver a solution that can address the market's current & future needs. IDC cited the following as critical in their evaluation:

  • Security
  • Multicloud strategy initiatives
  • Performance
  • Information life-cycle management
  • Cost

These qualifications, in combination with our revenue compared to the competition, not only earned Hitachi Vantara a clear "Leader" position, but also earned us one of the more prominant bubble sizes in this year's report.

Among our biggest strengths was our ability to stay aligned with the needs of the market through our integrated portfolio which includes HCP Anywhere (sync & share), Hitachi Data Ingestor (cloud storage gateway) and Hitachi Content Intelligence (search and analytics). The report also highlights Hitachi’s extensive ecosystem of partners that can support both traditional and next generation use cases such as Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), enterprise file sync and share, etc. Our commitment to solving critical use cases like “data analytics on unstructured data” were also a factored into our ranking.

With the widest breadth of public cloud service support in the industry, HCP can repurpose existing storage investments to both hybrid and private cloud. With a multitude of must-have and "nice-to-have-features” HCP’s architecture supports standard and custom metadata and is coupled with intelligent policy-based management that go beyond simple storage tasks. The Hitachi Content Platform portfolio is a lynchpin that allows customers to successfully execute against their strategies to store, enrich, activate and ultimately, innovate with their data.

We are proud that IDC’s findings in this year’s MarketScape are aligned with the priorities of the award-winning, and now industry-leading HCP and by extension, the suite of HCP portfolio products. An industry leader for 14+ years, HCP has the largest install base with over 2,000 customers and notable success across verticals:

    • 4 of 5 of the largest banks in the world use HCP
    • 4 o 5 of the largest insurance organizations in the US use HCP
    • 2 out of 5 of the top 5 world's largest media companies use HC
    • 2 out of 3 of the top 3 major premium cable networks use HCP
    • 5 out of 10 of the 10 world's largest telecom companies use HCP

 

Read what else IDC had to say about Hitachi Content Platform: https://hcpanywhere.hitachivantara.com/u/6LTpwi8065X6tOnE/2018%20IDC%20MarketScape%20for%20Object-Based%20Storage%20Vend…

Learn more about Hitachi Content Platform:

https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/products/cloud-object-platform.html

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HitachiMobility

Let’s connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/hitachi-cloud-object-storage/

The pressure on IT teams is quickly approaching breaking point. The extraordinary growth of unstructured data is showing no signs of slowing down, and expectations for innovative new services are rising fast. Across the business, users from the C-level down expect IT to deliver on every front.

All the while, budgets have not grown to meet the emerging challenges, and traditional storage architectures simply cannot keep up with the pace of change. The result is many companies facing potentially huge headaches in terms of compliance and data security.

So, how can enterprises prepare for the demands of big data? It is time to embrace new, smarter ways of working that deliver the levels of performance, protection and scale required to ensure continued commercial success.

Moving beyond outdated thinking

Companies that believe that traditional file services can support their ongoing growth in the big data age are missing a fundamental point: the rules of the game have changed. Those conventional strategies—Windows and NFS servers or NAS boxes—were designed for a very different set of data challenges, when workloads were much more limited than they are now.

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Gartner estimates that data volumes will grow by 800 percent in the next five years, with 80 percent residing as unstructured data. Answering demand for storage capacity using traditional file services would lead to an unsustainable level of complexity within the data center. You would require more and more devices, as NFS servers simply cannot scale beyond petabyte-level.

That will mean more hardware to manage and power, and your storage costs creeping ever higher. And with constantly growing data volumes spread across multiple siloes, completing backups becomes more difficult and time-consuming. In fact, the cost of completing backups would soon be the equivalent of several times the acquisition cost of your storage assets.

 

Addressing demand for mobility

Although a huge problem, data growth is far from the only issue facing IT teams. Factor in, too, the impact of the consumerization of IT across your business. Your employees today expect the flexibility to work remotely, connecting their own devices to the corporate network to access sensitive data, and often relying on third-party solutions to share and store files.

The problem, of course, is that corporate data is suddenly beyond the control of your IT team. Research published by Gartner suggests that 28 percent of all corporate data now resides on individual workers’ laptops and tablets, rather than being securely stored within the data center.

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Underlying this challenge is the fact that traditional file services are poorly suited to support sharing between remote users. They were engineered for working within a fixed office environment, rather than supporting a highly mobile modern workforce.

The potential consequences of all that data outside your control could be enormous. Not only do you run the risk of failing to meet compliance regulations, but you are highly vulnerable to data loss or cyberattack, which could cripple your systems and cause lasting damage to your reputation with shareholders and consumers.

 

Transitioning to a modern architecture

Proactive enterprises have already begun the process of re-assessing their storage strategy to ensure they are ready for the challenges of big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and new regulations.

What these companies have realized, too, is that implementing smarter data management and governance processes today will be the springboard for generating new revenue streams and seizing competitive advantage in tomorrow’s marketplace.

The modern enterprise storage architecture cuts away the need for multiple servers that sprawl across your data centre, enabling a significant reduction in power and cooling costs. It delivers the scalability to cope with unstructured data growth, and the flexibility and security to ensure data is always safe at the same time as available to roaming business users. And it provides the foundation for analytics and business intelligence initiatives that monetize data as a business asset.

 

Redefining file services: the Hitachi approach

This is precisely what the Hitachi Content Portfolio provides for users. Our integrated solution combines cloud object storage, secure file sync and share capabilities, and advanced content intelligence tools to pinpoint specific data assets.

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As a first step, users can easily migrate data from their scattered NAS appliances, local devices and file servers into a centralized storage repository on Hitachi Content Platform (HCP). HCP can scale to hold billions of individual objects and their metadata, and users can expand into the cloud, avoiding the need to add further physical infrastructure.

Once your data is ingested, HCP Anywhere supports file sharing among users, providing reliable, round-the-clock access to corporate data, wherever your workers are based. Unlike a traditional file system, however, data remains firmly under the control of your IT team, and users no longer have any need to rely on third-party services to access files remotely.

The addition of Hitachi Content Intelligence (HCI) allows your data science or legal team to search through your data assets, building up an index of relevant assets for audit or analytics purposes. What would take days of work to complete using conventional file systems can be finished within minutes.

Altogether, the Hitachi Content Portfolio provides a comprehensive and cost-effective platform to modernize your storage environment, mobilize your data assets and enable greater collaboration and innovation. By re-thinking and re-engineering your file services, you can gain the agility to thrive in the age of big data.

 

Hear more on this by watching our webinar series “Lead with Data”:

 

To learn more about how Hitachi Content Portfolio can help to transform your business, visit: https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/products/cloud-object-platform/content-platform.html

 

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in place and ransomware attacks hitting the front pages of newspapers, data governance is currently a hot topic for enterprises.

High-level executives are asking questions about how their organization stores, manages and controls data assets – and whether their governance strategy will be sufficient to keep them on the right side of compliance, and ready for a future marketplace where data-driven decisions and initiatives will be key.

In many cases, enterprises find they lack the rigorous governance processes required to respond to growing regulatory pressure. And with the rapid emergence of new data sources, the scale of the repair job will only become greater. Once your company starts to lose control of where data is stored and whether it is protected, the problem quickly snowballs.

So how do you ensure your data strategy delivers the agility to answer every regulatory demand? And how do you go beyond that and monetize your data, transforming it into one of your key business assets? Traditional thinking and storage architectures won’t be enough to meet the challenge – so how can you build a smarter approach to data management?

 

The compliance headache

Data protection and compliance rules are nothing new, especially for companies operating in heavily-regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare. However, the launch of new directives such as GDPR, the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the EU e-Privacy Regulation will bring companies face-to-face with a new set of challenges to ensure data privacy.

The penalties for non-compliance are considerable. In the case of GDPR, the EU can levy a fine of up to 20 million euros in the event of failure to protect personal user data. Beyond that, the impact on your corporate profile can be even more severe. Following a data breach, consumers may question whether their privacy will be assured when they hand over their personal details, and decide to take their business elsewhere, potentially leading to a drop in revenues.

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The new regulations mean you must be able to track and monitor customer data in greater depth than ever. If a customer places a request to be erased from your systems, do you have the capability to locate all relevant assets, and ensure every trace is deleted? When you carry out an audit, can you be sure every data asset you present is complete and in its original form?

Conventional storage architectures, where data resides across multiple siloes in the data center, can stand in the way of meeting compliance requirements. Searching through scattered storage repositories to locate every relevant dataset in response to regulatory demands can be a hugely time-consuming and unreliable process, creating a significant drain on your resources.

 

Turning data into a business asset

Regulatory pressure is only one driver behind implementing more a robust governance framework. But many companies regard compliance as simply a necessary evil, and are reluctant to invest heavily in new ways of working. What they forget, though, is that smarter data governance can also be the foundation for business growth and digital transformation projects.

Gartner research suggests that by 2020, 10 percent of all businesses will have established a dedicated unit for data monetization. In many cases, the role of Chief Data Officer will become as important as that of Chief Information Officer in the development of corporate strategy.

These companies have realized that any steps to monetize and generate new revenue streams will only be as successful as the quality of the available data. Innovative analytics and data science projects have the potential to transform customer relationships and enable you to identify new commercial opportunities, but without the knowledge that you are working with complete, high-quality datasets their value will always be limited.

 

Secure storage and data discovery: the Hitachi strategy

How can Hitachi help you build a stronger governance framework? Our Hitachi Content Portfolio provides a scalable storage repository capable of holding billions of objects with their metadata. Rather than keeping your data assets scattered across multiple file servers, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) offers a single storage pool, enabling much simpler management.

HCP Portfolio.png

Once the data is stored within HCP, write once, read many (WORM) functionality ensures its integrity is assured, with full protection against tampering, corruption or alteration. If the data is changed in any way, a completely new object is created and stored, ensuring you always have a record of amendments along with the initial file in its original form. You can also set access rights and permissions to protect data against unauthorized access, and advanced encryption of data and metadata adds an additional layer of security.

Within the metadata of every object, you can set a retention period according to compliance requirements. Within that period the data cannot be deleted, and once the end-date has passed, secure shredding capabilities ensure every trace is removed from your systems, helping to guarantee the privacy of your customers.

Alongside HCP, Hitachi Content Intelligence (HCI) also enables you to search, locate and index relevant data in response to legal audits or when compiling compliance reports, simplifying and accelerating the work of your Data Protection Officer.

What’s more, with a well-governed data foundation, you can go beyond compliance and empower the business to unlock greater value from information. For instance, you can draw together data assets as a starting point for analytics jobs aimed at identifying patterns and trends, as well as opportunities for commercial expansion – sharpening business performance and your competitive edge.

 

Hear more on this by watching our webinar series “Lead with Data”:

 

To learn more about how Hitachi Content Portfolio can help to transform your business, visit: https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/products/cloud-object-platform/content-platform.html

At Hitachi Vantara, we’ve seen a lot of HCP customers (over 2,000 to be exact). Quietly, slowly, steadily, we’ve been working across industries, across geos, to help customers with their most valuable asset, their data.  We wanted to start sharing some of those stories with you here. We’ll take you behind the scenes and share how customers worldwide are leveraging the power of the HCP portfolio.

 

A Growing Problem

We’ll begin with a software security company whose job is to protect hundreds of millions of users globally. Their existing solution was struggling with performance issues in their virus lab. They could not keep pace with the 800M files that were being added/created daily – all which needed to be kept permanently. These issues left them unable to run analytics against the growing files and release new virus definitions – all critical to protecting their install base.

 

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The Solution

They decided it was time for a new strategy, they needed a solution that could:

  • Deliver secure web access to data
  • Retain virus samples permanently
  • Grow on demand
  • Relieve a very overburdened IT team.

They took proposals from a number of vendors, including their own internal team – none of which could deliver what they needed. We proposed Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), an enterprise proven scalable platform that could provide front-end access via the S3 API for their internally developed applications,  no management overhead – which meant their IT department could go back to their day jobs. HCP could deliver high availability and a lower TCO when compared to their internal proposal and a superior architecture compared to other vendors.  With HCP they could keep pace with all of the data growth without impacting their 400M users. HCP's advanced metadata capabilities were also key for this customer – they leverage metadata to describe the virus information they collect. They could now keep  metadata in their object store and easily search it and analyze it, anytime.

 

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The Future

HCP also will be able to deliver the features needed to successfully navigate through the GDPR maze – critical for any company operating in the EU. With Hitachi Content Platform, their IT environment is future-proof and ready to leverage more complex use cases - all from a single solution.

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As the competitive landscape continues to develop, these are exciting times for object storage, and particularly for Hitachi Content Platform (HCP). The breadth of use cases and range of storage options available today is expansive.  Consumers have their choice of offerings from enterprise storage vendors, open source software developers, and niche players – all of whom are looking to capitalize on the object storage buzz.

 

Gartner’s Critical Capabilities Report for Object Storage evaluates object storage products against eight critical capabilities and five use cases.  Of the 13 considered, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) scored in the top three products for all use cases.  HCP also scored in the top two products for five critical capabilities.

 

Gartner’s report points to cost reduction being a driving factor in enterprise interest in object storage, along with compelling hybrid cloud capabilities.  Supporting this statement were a number of key findings:

 

  • The price range for object storage platforms is wide
  • Hybrid cloud storage is in a renaissance period
  • Analytics workloads are a large driver of data growth to public cloud object storage services
  • There is a continued requirement among enterprises for file protocols
  • Many object storage vendors claim S3 API compatibility

 

Key Topics

Gartner’s analysis of HCP covers a number of important traits and topics.  The information below provides additional product details.

 

  • Metadata Storage
    • HCP combines a robust metadata architecture coupled with intelligent policy based management. HCP based solutions treat file data, file metadata and custom metadata as a single object that is tracked and stored among a variety of storage tiers. HCP also allows custom metadata and the ability to store multiple annotations of that metadata for more advanced data management and analytics.

 

  • Protocol Support
    • HCP supports multiple protocols, including NFSv4, CIFS (SMB 3.1.1), SMTP, WebDAV, HTTP/REST and S3. Data ingested via any one protocol is fully accessible by every other protocol, with directories and filenames intact.

 

  • Hybrid/Multicloud Support
    • HCP supports simultaneous tiering to, from and between multiple leading public cloud vendors, including Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Microsoft Azure, or any S3 enabled cloud.

 

  • Customer Support
    • We take any customer support issue very seriously with the goal of fast, efficient and accurate resolution. With the largest customer base of any actively sold object storage solution, we provide our customers with expertise gained in some of the most complex and challenging customer environments around the globe.  Maintaining consistently high standards in customer satisfaction is our top priority.

 

  • Deployment Options
    • Current deployment options include software defined (VM or KVM), fully-integrated appliance, delivery by service provider partners.  Additionally, HCP is available as either a managed or hosted cloud service through our Cloud Service Provider partner program.  HCP also provides the ability to run on commodity off the shelf hardware.  Enabling HCP to run on bare metal is a development priority.

 

  • Management Interface
    • HCP supports a variety of consistent monitoring and diagnostic solutions that enable easy integration into any enterprise environment.  For example, HCP provides Call Home features and chargeback reporting.  Reporting can be gathered for individual namespaces, a tenant rollup of namespaces, and for the system as a whole.  These reports can be collected from the Management Console or via API. Dashboards leverage a number of software integration points to monitor SNMP, Syslog, Status API, SAR logs, and Admin/Tenant administration monitoring screens.  A redesigned, unified and versatile management interface is among our key development priorities.

 

Summary

We believe Gartner’s findings in the Critical Capabilities Report align with HCP customer priorities, which were a key consideration heading into our June 2017 HCP portfolio launch.  That launch addressed the challenges faced by customers who are on the road to digital transformation and looking to enable accelerated productivity, cost reduction, and data mobilization.  New innovations that were introduced allowed the HCP portfolio to achieve over 60% TCO savings versus public cloud.

 

We attribute our HCP portfolio as the key to our success across more than ten years.  The portfolio is the only organically developed solution set in the industry that lets you build your own secure cloud storage or large-scale repository using HCP object storage, and an on-premises enterprise mobility solution with HCP Anywhere, and a Cloud or File gateway using Hitachi Data Ingestor, and a big data search and analytics solution using Hitachi Content Intelligence.

 

The numbers speak for themselves:

    • 2,000+ customers and growing, with over $1B in revenue generated
    • 4 of 5 of the largest banks in the world use HCP
    • 4 o 5 of the largest insurance organizations in the United States use HCP
    • 2 out of 5 of the top 5 world's largest media companies use HCP
    • 2 out of 3 of the top 3 major premium cable networks use HCP
    • 5 out of 10 of the 10 world's largest telecom companies use HCP

 

Learn More

Learn what leading analysts have to say about the HCP portfolio:

 

Enterprises everywhere are at a data mobility crossroads. Many companies have moved along the acceptance curve of the BYOD trend, but others use a stop-gap approach when it comes to providing true data protection and governance. This can be a costly lesson for companies.

 

From the get-go, BYOD has been workforce-driven: tech-savvy individuals moving about the workplace, those in the younger generation demanding fluid data access, the rise of the remote offices, and the growing focus on employee productivity. Anywhere, anytime data access has quickly progressed from nice-to-have to a business requirement. And users are going to get their files however they need, whether or not that access is supported by the company. Users are not demanding access to their files out of malicious intent – but they need their data, and they need it fast. And we can’t go back.

 

Yes, we’ve come a long way from the days of BYOD corporate resistance when those requests were ignored, blocked or subverted. Ultimately, companies succumbed to the pressure because there was nothing they could do to stop it.

Employees, group managers, and entire organizations adopted “quick and dirty” data storage solutions, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and the like. This practice continues at thousands of companies across the nation and the globe.

 

But let’s be clear: many offerings may be cheap and fast on the surface, but their value beyond file sync and share is highly questionable. Many of these services offer encryption keys, data management policies, and other features intended to boost their data security, but corporate IT still lacks direct control and visibility of the data – two critical components of data security.

 

This lack of control is an even more serious risk when you consider compliance and regulatory requirements for banking, healthcare and telecom – industries with strict data policies in place to comply with laws and avoid penalties. For other businesses, adherence to data guidelines can be like living in the wild west.

 

Take compliance audits for instance. Say an internal compliance team needs to see an email trail or documents related to a particular case. If that data is somehow lost or deleted outside of the company’s walls, the compliance team will have to rely on the outside data storage vendor to retrieve and access the information. This can result in delays with customer service or discovering that files have been lost or deleted – and who knows what else? Obviously a huge problem.

 

For those who say that implementing strict compliance guidelines is more expensive than the fine, know that companies typically change their stance once an audit problem happens to them. Noncompliance can result in damage to reputation and customer loyalty, with repercussions far beyond the financial implications of a fine.

 

Bottom line, companies need a reliable and cost-effective way to balance data privacy, security and productivity to match today’s ever-growing data mobility requirements – in other words, the Goldilocks of enterprise mobility. They need a solution that reaches beyond what cloud-based storage providers can deliver. Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere (HCP Anywhere) is the on-premises object storage solution that fits the bill and is a proven, integrated secure data mobility solution.

 

HCP Anywhere is a win-win. Workers get the flexibility and productivity they need to perform their jobs efficiently (and seamlessly), and IT departments become empowered with the right levels of visibility and control over company data.

HCP Anywhere is an integral part of the Hitachi Content Platform portfolio, recognized by industry analysts as the secure, simple and smart object storage solution for today’s data-hungry enterprise.

 

Find out more about how HCP Anywhere can solve your data mobility challenges with one, elegant solution.

These days, companies don’t just struggle with the barrage of regulations coming in rapid succession, but where and how to store the data to ensure compliance. This twofold data challenge is putting tremendous strain on traditional (and outdated) storage methods – especially for heavily regulated industries such as banking, healthcare and telecom.

 

New data privacy regulations coming into effect ratchet up the urgency even more. In the past, companies could save personal data and prove integrity through audit trails, but now consumers will have the power to know what personal data is there and how it is being used, demand a copy of the data, and even delete it.

For example, take the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), aimed at unifying and strengthening data protection within the European Union (EU). When GDPR goes into effect on May 25, 2018, it will have a profound impact on how any company located anywhere in the world that does business within the EU handles their customer data with severe penalties for noncompliance.

 

This strict data protection compliance regimen is just one example of the many regulations global companies are dealing with on a regular basis. Regulation creep and sprawl are forcing companies to rethink their storage systems.

 

And the emphasis is on the plural: systems. Companies often lack one centralized data store to respond to regulatory changes, conduct searches, investigations and address other compliance issues. This means that regulatory management is a manual effort, one that is error-prone, time-consuming and costly for compliance teams.

 

These data silos evolved simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. Example: a business might use data storage for emails to respond to one regulation five years ago, but use another system for call recordings to address a new regulation that comes a year later. Unsurprisingly, as more and more data stores proliferate, it becomes an untenable web of storage when it comes to managing compliance.

 

What’s required is a proactive approach to consolidated data preservation and security that offers the flexibility, speed, and advantages made for compliance.

 

Consolidating data from multiple sources on one storage solution gives you the power to manage data in a “wholesale” manner and to apply policies for data movement. In a regulatory environment, these capabilities are huge benefits.

 

The Hitachi OBS Solution

Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) is the ideal and unique object storage solution to address the challenges of modern compliance for data storage. There is no other solution on the market that is built to respond quickly, effectively and accurately to regulations as they evolve over time.

 

Take the example of Rabobank a large global bank located in the Netherlands. This HCP customer was able to cut its compliance investigations down from weeks to hours.

 

HCP stands the test of time as a proven solution. HCP has been in the market for 10 years, with over 1,900 customers across the globe. HCP has earned industry praise from Gartner, IDC, ESG and 451 Research, just to name a few.

 

Regulations may be reactive and out of your control, but your data storage strategy doesn’t have to be. Isn’t it time to rethink how your business is handling compliance issues for the long term?

 

Learn more about how HCP can help you respond to complex data challenges more easily and quickly with one solution.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 9.20.42 AM.png

Unsurprisingly – a new strain of a ransomware recently made its way across the globe last month, hitting Spain, Germany, Russia, France, the UK and US, with the largest impact being felt by companies in the Ukraine. This strain was identified as Petya (reportedly using the same EternalBlue exploit that was witnessed in last month’s “WannaCry” ransomware attack ). It took Ukraine banks offline, locked government officials out of their computers and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant  had to monitor radiation levels manually after its Windows-based sensors were shut down. Comforting.

 

And should you be holding out hope that Ransomware would be a passing phase, in a BBC news article, a spokesman for security firm Recorded Future refutes that, “such attacks would not stop because cyber-thieves found them too lucrative.” That same article cited one South Korean company who had to pay $1 million to get their data back… (that article here ). The true cost of a ransomware attack goes beyond the ransom…there’s lost productivity, loss of data, and the loss of customer confidence if you’re unable to quickly recover.Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 12.35.14 PM.png

 

Current convention stresses the importance of frequently running backups to protect organizational data and using the latest antivirus software. Even here at HDS, we put these precautions in place, but that alone is not enough. Ransomware attacks are becoming growing in frequency and sophistication. With IT environments becoming increasingly complex and distributed, companies are left more vulnerable than ever. In order to effectively safeguard IT environments, a more comprehensive strategy is required.

 

What if there was another way to safely protect an organization’s and its employees’ most frequently accessed and used data? What if that same solution could serve as the foundation for key transformative technologies (i.e cloud and analytics), could also serve as an ally, rather than a liability in your ransomware strategy? And what if this solution could work with the more conventional ransomware solutions to ensure complete protection for the entire data center?

 

If you haven’t considered object storage as part of your ransomware strategy, now may be a good time to start. And if you’re going to consider object storage, well,  Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) is a good place to start.

 

HCP is one of the most secure object stores in the industry, and its capabilities can be used to enrich an existing ransomware strategy. Here are just some of the reasons why to consider HCP:

  • Content is continually checked throughout its retention period for integrity, with proactive data repair
  • Supports encryption at rest
  • In the case of an attack, leverage versioning capabilities, maintain business continuity and avoid losing valuable time, work, and money by accessing the last clean version of any corrupted file
  • Leverage HCP Anywhere for protecting valuable user data
    • Quickly recover the last, uncompromised version of their files, limiting data loss by rolling back to the latest version of any file, and are not limited to the version linked with the latest backup; this eliminates lost productivity.
    • Users can continue to access their data through HCP AW file synchronization capabilities, from any web browser or mobile device, at any time.                                               

 

If you're interested in learning why object storage, simply follow the link below:

https://www.hds.com/en-us/pdf/solution-profile/hitachi-solution-profile-overcome-risks-ransomware-with-hcp-portfolio.pdf

Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) Anywhere version 3.0 is now available and has evolved beyond simple enterprise file sync and share. This latest release makes it an enterprise mobility solution that gives workers the tools to be more engaged, productive and efficient. Expanding on its heritage of enterprise class features and security, HCP Anywhere adds more collaboration, usability and data protection capabilities with a refined user experience and a rich API enabling organizations to redefine file services and transform to a digital workplace that is virtual, mobile and highly collaborative.

 

                                Digital Workplace Attributes

 

In my opinion, one of the biggest pieces of this new release is the updated API and SDK for HCP Anywhere, which you can learn more about on Hitachi Content Platform or at http://hitachi-data-systems.github.io/anywhere-fss-sdk/fss-api-doc/. These are the key pieces that lay the foundation for the digital workplace by enabling the development of custom applications and workflows, as well as provide a path to integrate 3rd party applications with HCP Anywhere's enterprise mobility capabilities.

                                                                                                                                     

So what else is new, you ask?

 

Usability

  • Users can view files/folder structure locally without using any disk space and can keep selected files locally for offline access
    • Choose to either sync all your files/folders or sync selectively
    • Eliminate small disk space concerns (think of the larger hard drive sizes in laptop/desktop vs. the smaller onboard storage in Microsoft Surface tablets)

  • Modern adaptive UI for User Portal – Mobile browser support (better user experience between devices with different screen sizes, performance specs, etc.)
  • New Android App (enhanced UI)

  • Adds non-persistent virtual desktop support to existing support for persistent virtual desktops (reducing VDI boot load and optionally enabling user access to data outside the VDI)
  • Use “My Documents” as HCP Anywhere directory (simplified deployment and daily use for end users such as not needing to remap where Word, PowerPoint etc save files by default.)
  • New client dashboard gives end-users greater information on system status and easier access to settings etc.

 

 

 

Collaboration

  • Disable/Limit folder sharing (greater control over who can share what and with whom)
  • Support dynamic active directory groups (simplified management of participation in shared folders i.e. a new sales person joins HDS, they are automatically added to folders that are shared with all sales people or for their district, etc.)
  • Permanent links (create links without an expiration date)
  • Enhanced link creation via desktop client (easier for users to create links with fewer steps and more control)

 

Data Protection

  • Self-Service recovery from user error, ransomware and so on by allowing users to view and restore their files as of a given date.

  • Admin defined folders (allows IT to ensure the right folders are protected)
  • White and blacklisting of file types (allows IT to define file types not to protect i.e. PST files, or not protect i.e. MP4s etc.)

 

If you are attending InteropITX next week, join in on my "Lightning Talk" session. And whether you will be in Las Vegas or not, please try HCP Anywhere out for yourself with a free trial.

Introduction

 

Picture1.pngArticle 4(1) of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) defines personal data as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person,” and specifically acknowledges that this includes both ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ identification (for example, you know me by name – that’s direct identification; you describe me as “the Sr. Director of the Emerging Business Portfolio at Hitachi Data Systems” – that’s indirect identification).

 

The same GDPR article expands this definition with the fact that identification can also be by means of “an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity.“  Wow… that’s vague – does that mean then that an IP address, a website cookie string or the geographical metadata of a picture match this classification of an “identification number”?   The vagueness is by intent. EU regulators were minded to treat the definition of “personal data” as broadly as possible based on the content, purpose and result of the data.  And, yes, I have to imagine that those examples I just provided will generally be considered personal, even if the organization does not.  The take-away here is that GDPR is meant to be descriptive, not prescriptive.

In this blog post, what I want to focus on is a specific category of personal data, as defined in Article 4(1),  that is commonly referred to as “special” or “sensitive personal data.”  The concepts presented in this post can be easily expanded to address broader GDPR definitions and include additional data as described and used within organizational assets.  The “special” data that I am referring to is personal data that is afforded extra protection and covers data elements such as a National Insurance Number, Personal ID Number, Credit Card Number, etc.  Providing the extra protection to special data means that an organization is able to scan each file using specific patterns and data profiling. 

As shown in Figure 1, this is just one area where Hitachi Content Intelligence excels – by enabling an organization readily identify, locate, categorize and reference files that contain PII.  This is the first step on the journey to GDPR compliance – awareness.

 

 

Picture1.png

Figure 1: Overview of a compliance architecture from Hitachi

Finding Personally Identifiable Information with Hitachi Content Intelligence

 

Personal Data.jpgOne of the more powerful features of Content Intelligence is the Content Class. A Content Class is essentially a query expression that defines how to find and extract information from within the contents of the file being processed or within the file’s metadata. Content Classes can represent the ideal pattern matching based on an XPath in an xml file, a JSONPath in a JavaScript Object Notation document, or regular expressions.  Clearly we are jumping into this topic pretty deep and pretty quick.  If you’re not willing to wait for the explanation, CLICK HERE to jump to the end of the post for the final video.  Otherwise, stay with me and I will explain how easy Content Intelligence can use this capability to adhere to Article4(1) of GDPR, or any other regulatory effort where data profiling and pattern matching are necessary. 

Content Classes are used as customizable data processing stages that profile and match data based on the query expression created by the organization.  Of the three types mentioned previously, this example deals with regular expressions.  A regular expression is a sequence of characters that describes a pattern used to find text in within a larger chunk of text, validate that a string complies to the conditions of the pattern, and extract the subset of text according to the expressed rule.  Now this post would get wildly out of control if I were to try to explain regular expressions in detail – instead, I would suggest YouTube as a way to get started understanding regular expressions if necessary.  However, I will cover one specific regular expression to provide some insight into how they are used by Content Intelligence.

 

Content Classes: Breaking Down Regular Expressions

 

In the associated demo a form of PII can be the license plate number of an automobile that I own (an indirect identifier).  When I was in the US Army, I spent 3.5 years in Yorkshire, UK (more on that some other time), and had a license plate assigned to my car “YG01 SMR”. Finding that pattern within a file can be achieved with a regular expression, as shown in Figure 2 and 3 below:

Picture1.png

Figure 2: Pattern matching with regular expressions

 

Picture1.png

Figure 3: Highlighting a matched pattern

To achieve this match, the pattern shown in Figure 4 was defined within a Content Class:

Picture1.png

Figure 4: The regular expression to find a pattern matching a UK National Insurance ID Number

The expression in figure 3 is broken down into its individual elements as follows:

    • \b  asserts the position of the search to be on a word boundary (e.g. the beginning of the string being evaluated)
    • [A - CEGHJ - PR - TW - Z]{1}  matches the first character exactly one time unless it is the  "D, F, I, Q, U, or V" character
    • [A - CEGHJ - PR - TW - Z]{1}  matches the second character exactly one time unless it is the  "D, F, I, Q, U, or V" character
    • [0 - 9]{6}  matches the next six characters as numerical digits ranging from 0 to 9
    • [A - DFM]{0,1}  optionally matches the letters "A" through "D, F, or M" in the last position of the string
    • \b  asserts the position of a word boundary (e.g. the end of the end of the string being evaluated)

 

You can learn more about regular expressions from a number of sites on the internet.  One of my favorite is RegEx101 as it includes a built in testing environment that also describes how the regular expressions matches a given string (if at all).

 

For this post, the table below contains the full compliment of the regular expressions created for this GDPR Content Class.

 

METADATA Field Name

Regular Expression

PII_UK_PHONE(((\+44\s?\d{4}|\(?0\d{4}\)?)\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3})|((\+44\s?\d{3}|\(?0\d{3}\)?)\s?\d{3}\s?\d{4})|((\+44\s?\d{2}|\(?0\d{2}\)?)\s?\d{4}\s?\d{4}))(\s?\#(\d{4}|\d{3}))?
PII_EMAIL\b[\w-\.]+@([\w-]+\.)+[\w-]{2,4}\b
PII_ID_NUMBER\b(?!000)([0-6]\d{2}|7([0-6]\d|7[012]))([ -]?)(?!00)\d\d\3(?!0000)\d{4}\b
PII_ADDRESS\b\d+\s[A-z]+\s[A-z]+\b
PII_UK_POSTAL_CODE\b([A-PR-UWYZ0-9][A-HK-Y0-9][AEHMNPRTVXY0-9]?[ABEHMNPRVWXY0-9]? {1,2}[0-9][ABD-HJLN-UW-Z]{2}|GIR 0AA)\b
PII_UK_NATIONAL_INS_CODE\b[A-CEGHJ-PR-TW-Z]{1}[A-CEGHJ-NPR-TW-Z]{1}[0-9]{6}[A-DFM]{0,1}\b
PII_UK_BANK_SORT_CODE \b[0-9]{2}[-][0-9]{2}[-][0-9]{2}\b
PII_CREDIT_CARD\b((4\d{3})|(5[1-5]\d{2}))(-?|\040?)(\d{4}(-?|\040?)){3}|^(3[4,7]\d{2})(-?|\040?)\d{6}(-?|\040?)\d{5}\b
PII_NAME\A.*
PII_UK_LICENSE_PLATE\b([A-Z]{3}\s?(\d{3}|\d{2}|d{1})\s?[A-Z])|([A-Z]\s?(\d{3}|\d{2}|\d{1})\s?[A-Z]{3})|(([A-HK-PRSVWY][A-HJ-PR-Y])\s?([0][2-9]|[1-9][0-9])\s?[A-HJ-PR-Z]{3})\b

 

Enough Already.... On With The Demonstrations!

 

Content Intelligence provides users with the ability to test their work as they design Workflows, Pipelines, Content Classes, etc.  Testing during the design process ensure the final results match the intent using a smaller subset of data versus executing those same tasks against a large repository.   Consider that a large number of repositories and files, flowing against a complex data model, can be a time and resource consuming effort.  Coming to the end of that effort and not having anything to show for it can be incredibly frustrating.

 

For this post, the videos (best viewed in full screen mode) marked as Demo 1 and Demo 2 walk you through the testing process for the Content Class, and its parent Pipeline, to support the GDPR requirements for Article 4(1).


Demonstration 1: Pattern matching and data profiling with Content Classes

 

Demonstration 2: Including the Content Class in a Workflow Pipeline

Testing the logic of a Workflow, Pipeline or Content Class is an ideal way to garner stakeholder support.  In real-time, users can be presented with the results of a test for consideration and input.  Together the content manager and end-user refine how the data is mapped and enriched to ensure it is of the highest quality and relevance.

Following the tests, executing the Workflow can seem a bit anti-climactic.  It is essentially performing the same actions shown in the previous two demonstrations with the addition of committing the results to output location.  Take a look at Demo 3 below, which covers the Workflow execution in detail.

 

Demonstration 3: Executing the Workflow

After building and centralizing the document index with the Workflow’s execution, the content manager must now consider how the results are presented to the end-user.  In these last two video demonstrations, learn how to further heighten the quality and relevance of the newly discovered data by tailoring it representation to the intended audience.  Demonstration 4 provides an overview of how the results are customized and walks through the Hitachi Content Search end-user application to navigate files containing PII.




Demonstration 4: Customizing the results set for the end-user

 

Demonstration 5: Working with the resulting index using the Search App (powered by Hitachi Content Intelligence)

 

Summary

That was quite a great deal to cover in a single blog post – it is possible that a series of four may have been easier to consume.  Regardless, the growing concern over the implications of GDPR caused me to err on the side of detail to ensure you received as much a “How-To” as a “Why It’s Relevant” kind of post.

Hitachi Content Intelligence, combined with the broader Hitachi Content Portfolio, provides several strong benefits for organizations concerned with PII protection – too many to list in this post, but (4) specific ones are outlined below.  Keep in mind that this is not an end-to-end solution, rather it’s the first step along a broader GDPR journey – one where awareness of where PII exists, and to what degree, within any organizational asset.

  1. Contextual Analysis: using real-time data pattern matching and profiling to isolate direct, indirect and customized occurrences of PII.
  2. Adaptable Controls: the results can be tailored to match how an end-user thinks and works with data.  This flexibility continually refines the quality of data with end-user involvement and greater adoption due to the ease-of-use.
  3. Feedback: the ability to test the Content Class, Pipeline and Workflow results in the ability to quickly isolate errors before the end-user accesses the result set.  A bad end-user experience can erode trust in the solution and the data - a lack of trust can quickly result in a lack of system and data use (among other things).
  4. Managed Access: granular policies (either locally defined or relayed from the organization's security services) protects the sensitivity of PII by only allowing those with authority to access the results set or see specific parts of PII data.  For example, a user could be authorized to access and explore a result set, but can not see any PII data - Content Intelligence provides a means to redact that sensitive data selectively.

I'd be happy to receive feedback on this topic and any other videos and tutorials that would be helpful - just let me know.  Please use the comments section to share your feedback and recommendations on how, together, we can make Hitachi Content Intelligence a powerful edition to your GDPR initiatives.

 

Cheers!

Scott Baker

 

NOTES:

  1. My thanks to Duncan Brown of IDC who pointed out that I was referencing the wrong GDPR Article in this post.  I've modified the post on 12/14/2016 to reflect the correct Article.
  2. My thanks to Jon Chinitz who suggested that the last video be bisected to make it easier to consume.

The first steps to building a custom plugin to extend Hitachi Content Intelligence.

 

Last week we launched Hitachi Content Intelligence (link to blog) as a new edition to our Hitachi Content Portfolio.  The attention from the launch has been outstanding - both internally and externally.  This is truly an exciting time for HDS and offers us new ways to engage and support our customers as they contend with copious amounts of "discontinuous data".

 

To begin, it's important to note that Content Intelligence includes a number of drag-and-drop user experiences.  Building connectors to different data sources, designing pipelines to process files, and even customizing how users interact with the results - all of these processes are interface driven.  But you are not limited to using our interfaces.  What happens when the data connector you need isn't available, or you want to process data in a way that is unique to your organization?  These questions are answered with the software developer's kit (SDK) that is included with  Content Intelligence.  Getting started with the software developers kit is straight forward - it includes the necessary programming libraries and interfaces you need to design your own custom experiences.  It even includes sample code to get you started.

 

In this blog series, I thought it would be worthwhile to include a video that walks through the initial setup of a development environment and creation of a sample project using the SDK.  This video is an initial recording of a larger set that will go into more detail regarding the development and testing of a fully functional plugin.  I recommend viewing it in full-screen mode to prevent eye-strain.

 

 

The extensibility of Content Intelligence essentially means that you can do almost anything you want with it.  The Plugin SDK allows you to build your own data source connectors and data processing stages used in building workflows.  The same SDK includes a test harness to support end-to-end development activities before moving the custom plugin into production.  Once you've completed the testing, the administrative interfaces of Content Intelligence are used to upload the resulting plugin bundle for inclusion in your Content Intelligence cluster.

 

In addition to the Plugin SDK, plans for Services and Application SDKs are in the works.  The Services SDK will allow you to build your own containerized services to support activities within your Content Intelligence cluster.  For example, you could create your own speech-to-text engine, virus scanner, entity extractor, database, etc. services that scale as your cluster does.  Similarly, if the you're looking to build your own end-user experience or integrate Content Intelligence into existing applications, the Application SDK will support you in this endeavor.

 

I've digressed just a bit at the end - it's just difficult to contain the excitement sometimes.  More to come on this.

 

Scott