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Last summer my son landed a summer job as a teller at a small local bank. As you might guess, it’s not millennials who frequent bank branches, but elderly and small business owners who prefer the in-person banking experience over online banking. There are myriad reasons why this is the case but that’s a topic for another blog.

 

But it got me thinking about how automation has revolutionized the way consumers have been doing banking over the past two decades and how the enormous time savings represents a tectonic shift in banking.

 

Take ATM machines. Prior to ATMs, all banking was done in a bank, during business hours, with a teller. ATM machines took banking beyond traditional banking hours, to any day or time from the comfort of your car or on foot, without human interaction.

 

Then there’s online banking. I can recall countless hours spent paying bills, writing checks, addressing envelopes, buying stamps to mail the bills – hoping all the while that my payments arrived on time. Online banking has obviated the need for numerous, error prone, manual steps and countless hours spent managing household finances. And mobile banking has taken us even further without even leaving the comfort of our living rooms.

 

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Advisor (UCP Advisor) software is doing for IT administrators what automation has done for the banking industry. UCP Advisor simplifies infrastructure operations while enabling faster deployment with less risk and fewer resources. It delivers automated management and orchestration for Unified Compute Platform converged (UCP CI), hyperconverged (UCP HC) and rack scale (UCP RS) systems supporting virtual and bare metal environments.

 

With deployment manager functionality, UCP Advisor automates 600+ Day-0 tasks, reducing deployment times for UCP hyperconverged systems from multiple days to as little as a few hours.

 

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Simply initialize, auto discover, set up and configure and you are ready.

With UCP Advisor you can:

  • Rapidly deploy Hitachi UCP HC solution for VMware in production environment
  • Achieve a simple and easy user experience with guided user interface (HTML5 based)
  • Rule based validation of supported firmware and best practice compliance
  • Tailor the vCenter Host and vSAN cluster (3 or more nodes)
  • Eliminate complex steps to deploy UCP HC for VMWare
  • Autodiscover available UCP HC nodes in customer environments
  • Generate deployment reports for audit purposes

 

At face value, the IT transformation driven by automation may not seem as great a tectonic shift as evidenced in the banking industry. But the enormous time savings gained through automation presents IT staff with new opportunities to provide strategic value to the business and that is driving unprecedented digital transformation.

 

For more on UCP Advisor, check out the latest deployment manager demo in booth P311 at VMworld Barcelona for a full product demonstration.

IT infrastructure is changing fast. You don’t have to look any further than several paradigm shifts like cloud computing, software defined data centers, pay-as-you-go consumption models, and converged and hyperconverged computing. While it isn’t difficult to understand that the solution lies in digital transformation, the devil is in the details. How can you harness the benefits on new infrastructure without disrupting existing systems? The power is in APIs.

 

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Here are 3 top reasons:

1. Streamline processes

New data sources, either from new partners or from third parties, can be integrated using APIs. APIs make managing and organizing these sources more agile, because they can also work on the management systems and processes of the inherited data which dramatically decreases time to production.

 

2. Customer and partner ecosystem growth

A common challenge for organizations is to address requirements that vary on a customer-by-customer basis – ideally, these should be delivered in such a way that customers can help themselves in setting up for unique needs. In addition, partner organizations can often provide valuable complementary services to enhance an offering. The right infrastructure partner is essential to realize the full potential of digital transformation.

 

3. Maximize value

IT teams must balance between cloud native and traditional application development. Enabling and delivering unique native integration makes workload migrations far easier. IT teams often struggle to learn new systems, buy additional software and undertake the risky and time-consuming task of manually integrating systems.

 

To stay responsive to the business while addressing security, scalability and integration challenges introduced by shadow IT requires a modern IT architecture that supports both traditional and cloud-native applications.

 

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To stay responsive to the business while addressing security, scalability and integration challenges introduced by shadow IT requires a modern IT architecture that supports both traditional and cloud-native applications.

 

We use APIs and adapters developed specifically for VMware environments in the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) and VSP storage portfolios. These solutions support the full range of enterprise workloads whether traditional or cloud native.  You can achieve rapid time-to-value from standardized building blocks and advanced software automation “out of the box.”

 

Hitachi Vantara has announced some key enhancements to our robust offering of adapters and plug-ins for the VMware Ecosystem.

 

VMware vRealize Operations Management Pack (vROPS) v1.8

  • Troubleshooting storage dashboard identifies and remediates potential issues quickly.
  • Improvements in capacity savings dashboard for customers.
  • Support for VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager for automated updates.
  • Supports vROPS  v6.7.

  Storage (VASA) Provider v3.5.0 and v3.5.1

  • Supports multiple SSO domains and SVP less for VMFS (v3.5.0).
  • Automates QoS actions when storage policies are changed on a VM (v3.5.1).
  • Supports VMware vSphere 6.7 and up to eight times VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) count increase.

Storage Plugin v3.8

  • Ten times improvement in datastore provisioning time on latest VSP models.
  • Support datastore provisioning with deduplication and compression settings.

 

The UCP portfolio of enterprise-class converged and hyperconverged systems along with Hitachi’s next generation of VSP storage solutions, provide a trusted foundation and enables you to manage and automate without leaving the hypervisor ecosystem. You can easily provision infrastructure resources from vCenter through the tight integration of our tools with VMware APIs, for an end-to-end view of the entire provisioning process to accelerate your digital business.

 

Learn more about Hitachi integration for the VMware ecosystem or by reading our point of view Move Today Shape Tomorrow – Next Steps on the Digital Transformation Journey.

Read the blog Hitachi and VMware Ecosystem - Integration Updates

Queue the choirs of angels, trumpets and harps. Enter Gods and Goddesses on puffy white clouds eating ambrosia and sipping nectar. Ok, maybe not pure bliss, but with UCP Advisor management and orchestration software you get pretty darn close.

 

Digital transformation changes everything. We are becoming more interconnected and generating more data than ever before. This opens us up to more data opportunities. Companies are working to enhance the customer experience, reduce cost, improve efficiencies, and deliver the service levels demanded in today’s competitive landscape. And the world is rapidly evolving. Through IoT we are becoming more and more interconnected and more and more things, eventually everything, will be generating data. And this opens up tremendous opportunities because it’s that very data that businesses require to power their digital transformation initiatives. But as with all great opportunities, there also comes great challenges.

 

For customers to embrace data center modernization, a different approach is needed. Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Advisor (UCP Advisor), management and orchestration software, lets IT staff move applications andworkloads between clouds, UCP systems and solutions. It is the foundation for Hitachi suite of Intelligent Operations software, unlocking the power to govern, analyze and mobilize data. Here’s how UCP Advisor is helping:

 

Address evolving business needs with shortened release cycles

Companies want the ability to manage hardware and software resources in an abstracted, end-to-end manner and not have to depend on individual infrastructure specialists for each resource in the hardware stack. The converged hardware stack which includes compute, network and storage has traditionally been managed in silos requiring individual infrastructure specialists to manage them, which drives up operating expenses. Companies desire the ability to discover and pool resources and then represent them visually in an easy to consume model.

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Move apps and workloads in a smart and automated way to meet service levels (SLAs)

Until recently, UCP systems have been managed in silos, meaning one vCenter pod per management software instance causing increased complexity, cost and inefficiencies. Companies are looking for the ability to consolidate their UCP systems and infrastructure management into a single federated management instance for local and remote management. They want federated management to support a single resource pool enabling them to move applications and workloads between clouds, UCP systems and virtual machines in a smart and automated way. UCP Advisor lets individual infrastructure resources to be redeployed to more strategic initiatives by reducing complexity through via a consumable IT model.

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Reduce manual tasks and minimize risk

The industry is shifting toward a consumer-based model that pools infrastructure resources enabling them to be provisioned via a set of simplified provisioning workflows delivering true Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Companies are looking to leverage best practices to minimize risk associated with manual tasks. They require end-to-end provisioning services through templates and workflows that can accelerate innovation while reducing risk.

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With the latest release of UCP Advisor 2.x, Hitachi takes automation to the next level by providing Day 0 deployment, policy-based provisioning and support for the latest VSP storage arrays.

Click hereto learn more about the latest release of UCP Advisor.

Data is an organization’s most strategic asset. To drive competitive advantage, IT needs to efficiently manage, govern and mobilize key data services across data centers and clouds, bringing together disparate sets of data.

 

Hitachi Vantara Unified Compute Platform (UCP) family of converged and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions supports all workloads and business applications, to gain more complete data insights and drive better business outcomes.

 

Converged and Hyperconverged have been all the buzz in data centers for several years now. As a veteran B2B tech marketer, I wanted to hear from customers directly what is driving demand for these systems and the problems they are solving.

 

So, we partnered with TechValidate, a respected 3rd party survey company, to ask customers and here’s what they said.

 

Simplified Management Is Key

Our customers say that simplified management and increased performance are the most critical business challenges that Hitachi converged and hyperconverged systems help them to address.

 

Here’s why. UCP Advisor simplifies IT management and orchestration and brings guided life-cycle management to server, network and storage elements within UCP systems. VMware management tool sets are tightly integrated for additional functionality and easy deployment.

 

Flexible configuration helps optimize application performance. UCP is a complete portfolio of solutions, so customers can choose the system that best fits their needs to drive competitive advantage. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Protect service levels and support predictable reliability with integrated data management, protection and recovery.
  • Reduce management cost and complexity with comprehensive provisioning, automation and administration
  • Easily scale to meet changing business and workload needs with prevalidated building blocks
  • Increase operational efficiency and resource utilization by coordinating the management of physical and virtual resources.

 

Reliability is King

Reliability ranked as the top reason our customers choose UCP converged/hyperconverged systems. UCP Systems enable IT organizations to accelerate time to production, automate operations and reduce administrative costs by providing prevalidated, pretested and factory-built converged (CI) and hyperconverged (HC) infrastructure systems.

 

UCP Converged Infrastructure (UCP CI) solutions provide prevalidated building blocks of compute, storage, and networking guaranteed to work together the first time and deliver predictable performance.

 

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Hyperconverged (UCP HC) appliances create simple, easy-to-deploy, all-in-one solutions, powered by VMware vSAN and Hitachi software, to extend the agility and simplicity of the UCP family.

 

Deployments are made faster and simpler with Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Advisor. This state-of-the-art, intelligent management and orchestration software simplifies deployments and automates operational tasks to reduce errors and improve efficiency.

 

Where the Rubber Hits the Road

But here’s where the rubber hits the road. We asked our Large Enterprise and Global 500 customers if they would likely recommend Hitachi UCP systems and the answer was a resounding said YES!

A modern data strategy is the foundation of any digital transformation journey. The broad family of UCP systems provides a flexible low-risk path to a modern IT infrastructure. Learn how to streamline IT modernization with converged and hyperconverged infrastructure. Read the 451 Research Report

The eighties left in its wake, countless fashion victims.  Admittedly I was among them. I survived the fashion brutalities of permed hair, parachute pants and fingerless gloves. It was impossible, through the blinding fog of Aquanet hairspray, to predict that this decade would also serve as a technological turning point.

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The personal computer, the compact disk, video cassette recorders, and the mobile phone –are just a few of the eighties technologies that jettisoned us to where we are today. They also proved to be tremendous business enablers. Throughout history this has been the case, but that’s all changing as technology is quickly BECOMING the business in most industries. Never could we have predicted the massive proliferation of data, infrastructure complexity that would follow. IT is left in a precarious position and must evolve to survive.

 

Many IT teams are seizing the opportunity to lead the digital revolution. Some organizations are adding new roles like chief digital officer (CDO) to lead the transformation. Yet others are slow to embrace change and find themselves spectators to the emergence of shadow IT in lines of business, or even parallel IT organizations that form to run agile, digital-centric operations. Often there is a fundamental gap between how the business views digital transformation initiatives and how the IT organization views its domain. The gap is made worse by the legacy processes, systems and skillsets that still predominate in most enterprise IT organizations.

 

If, like most, your data center is populated by disparate, often disconnected systems, management can be a long, slow, inefficient struggle. The answer is automation. IT must meet the growing demands for faster delivery of business services while addressing complexity, rising cost and risk associated with managing disparate technology resources. Increasingly, businesses require IT infrastructure management and orchestration that delivers flexible operations while reducing operating expense.

 

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) Advisor and Hitachi Automation Director (HAD) help to simplify operations, reduce costs, automate management and get apps into the wild faster. All through a single pane of glass.

 

Unlike other vendors who require multiple management tools, UCP Advisor provides a single automated management software solution that spans converged, hyperconverged and rack-scale supporting virtual and bare metal environments. UCP Advisor is an automated management platform that simplifies IT management and orchestration for faster and easier deployment, and brings simplified IT administration to virtualized, converged and hyperconverged systems. Advisor brings guided life-cycle management to server, network and storage elements within UCP systems. This management automation capability is tightly integrated into VMware management toolsets, providing programmability via scripting as well as additional automation tools.

 

UCP Advisor is designed to manage single or multiple UCP systems of the same model and can be extended with additional functionality through the use of plug-in software modules.

 

Although in 2018 we’re seeing some 1980’s fashion trends make a comeback, data centers won’t be returning to those simpler days. UCP Advisor automated management and orchestration software is the answer to today’s data center complexity. Watch the video and find out how UCP Advisor can simplify operations for faster Innovation, lower risk, and enhanced flexibility.

Winter is here. For you G.O.T. fans, you know what I’m talking about. With all the buzz around the season finale of Game of Thrones and now the dreaded “show hole”, I have plenty of free time to contemplate the possible outcomes and potential benefits of single pane of glass visibility for Westeros. I’ll admit, it’s a bit of stretch. Please hear me out. I’m not implying that automated management and orchestration software can prevent the siege of white walkers. We all know that’s impossible.

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Data and infrastructure management might not be the answer to the problems in Westeros, but in today’s world of digital transformation – data is the foundation. Digital transformation brings disparate sets of data together – structured, unstructured and machine data into a single data strategy. Hitachi Vantara enables customers to unlock the strategic business value of their data through better data management.

 

This modern data strategy lets customers derive value and gain competitive advantage with ubiquitous data services – using any data source, from any application, on any cloud. This new data model underscores the need for a modern I.T. infrastructure to ensure data is efficiently managed, governed, mobilized and analyzed to gain richer insights to drive better business outcomes.

 

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) Advisor is the foundation for data services that includes key tools like automated provisioning, service catalog, automated workflows, and REST API integration. Advisor works with Hitachi Automation Director and Hitachi Data Instance Director to provide modern data protection, application-consistent recovery, and copy data management across the IT infrastructure. It enables flexibility for a modern datacenter strategy and data services. Deep integration with VMware vCenter promotes ease of use and the intuitive UCP Advisor user interface provides single pane of glass visibility across one or multiple data centers with zero or minimal learning curve.

UCP Advisor provides a single framework for managing diverse and distributed environments across the UCP family [to learn more about the UCP family of infrastructure solutions, check out this blog] which allows you to:

  • Manage compute, network and storage resources from a single pane of glass
  • Deploy and manage firmware updates
  • Integrate seamlessly with VMware vCenter
  • Automate complex I.T. operations such as infrastructure lifecycle management
  • Reduce OPEX through automated management and orchestration
  • Provide better insight into your environment

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The new management framework incorporates deep integration with Hitachi Automation Director (HAD) to enable I.T. process automation and smart infrastructure provisioning capabilities. UCP Advisor leverages the smart provisioning workflows and predefined templates available through HAD to automate and orchestrate these tasks:

  • Firmware upgrades
  • Operating system deployments for bare metal provisioning
  • Decommission of operating systems
  • ESXi cluster deployments
  • Storage based provisioning

 

If you want more information about UCP Advisor you can find it here.

 

 

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UCP Advisor also integrates with Hitachi Data Instance Director (HDID) to enable business continuity and disaster recovery for a two-datacenter or three-datacenter global active device (GAD) configuration. You can define data protection policies to be executed through HDID, integrated with HAD. You can further perform application level back-up and recovery.

 

UCP Advisor delivers I.T. transformation by enabling simplified deployments, automation, improved efficiencies and reduced risk. It may not destroy the army of white walkers or bring peace to the Seven Kingdoms, but it is a crucial part of a solid, modern data management strategy.

Before you head to Vegas for Hitachi NEXT, for what promises to the premier event for the digital revolution, this is a sneak peek of some of the game changers coming in  converged infrastructure.

 

For you kids at heart out there, this is not an early birthday present. You’ll have to wait until September 19th for that.

 

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Here’s a glimpse into the latest technology and strategies to drive digital transformation. While digital transformation changes everything, it doesn’t come easy – especially for mature businesses who haven’t grown up digital. To succeed, business and technology leaders have to completely re-think traditional approaches.

 

With the accelerating pace of change in today’s business landscape, the inability to transform and stay ahead of the competition can be the death of a business (remember Blockbuster, Borders Books, MySpace?).

 

In this new digital era, where consumers are interacting with banks and retailers not just in their physical locations like a branch or store, but through multiple online channels, brands are staking their future on the online experience.

 

This integration between physical and digital touchpoints is the next step in the evolution of multichannel banking and retail. A world where consumers are connected usefully, either sequentially or simultaneously to any number of channels.

 

And the foundation of this digital transformation is data. The right data strategy enables banks and retailers to find and use the value that is already in their data and to create new business value.  There are four key ingredients to a successful data strategy:

  • Data infrastructure – deliver data agility through data independence
  • Data governance – to ensure control of enterprise data
  • Data mobility – move data freely and securely from any source, to any place, for any use
  • Data analytics – foster innovate through data-driven insights

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A successful digital transformation is entirely dependent upon taking a strategic approach to enterprise data. Most companies have multiple data silos. Digital transformation starts with bringing those disparate data sets – whether structured, unstructured or machine-generated – into a single data strategy.

 

Hitachi offers customers an integrated and secure way to manage, govern, mobilize, analyze, and ultimately turn that data into insights that create new opportunities for business and society.

 

And your data strategy delivers maximum value only when it is deployed with a modern, agile I.T. environment – one that allows you to take advantage of cloud, open source, and emerging technologies to deliver I.T. services.

 

No one delivers modern, agile I.T. environment quite like Hitachi. Our upcoming announcements at Hitachi NEXT represent the evolution of Hitachi’s converged infrastructure and management automation strategy -- so you don’t want to miss it!

 

What can you do to accelerate your digital transformation? Come see us at Hitachi NEXT where we will have new product demos and subject matter experts on hand to answer any questions.

Introduction

Industry infrastructure deployment is transforming. This transformation is being driven by the need for IT to focus limited economic and human capital resources on leading business innovation, resulting in less resources available to focus on infrastructure.

 

On the one hand, customers are always trying to reduce their capital and operational expenses related to running data centers. The number of applications required to run a business, the amount of data associated with these applications, and the requirement to retain data for longer periods of time, along with the training and support tools required for operation of the infrastructure, are significant and expanding.

 

On the other hand, data centers are becoming drastically complex. Applications and workloads are increasingly growing. Also, IT organizations want to deliver faster service and be more flexible and agile using low cost to meet businesses requirements.

 

Hitachi Compute Platform (UCP) RS is the answer to these requirements. It is one of the optimized hyper-converged systems that has been designed by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) using a VMware hybrid-cloud optimized software stack that allows customers to reduce the number of physical servers in their environment, migrating the application on those assets from a physical to virtual deployment. UCP RS has also been designed to reduce costs associated with maintenance of the infrastructure by automating many day to day operational tasks with maximum resiliency.

 

Hitachi UCP RS is a turnkey solution completely supported End-to-End by Hitachi Data Systems. UCP RS as a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) enables the convergence of compute, storage, networking, and management onto industry-standard x86 servers, providing a building-block approach with scale-out capabilities. By taking advantage of UCP RS, all main data center functions run as software on the VMware hypervisor in an integrated management software layer. In today’s modern data centers, HCI is a stepping stone to have a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), but lifecycle management and automation needs to be tightly coupled together.

 

What is the SSDC

Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) is a private or public cloud deployment, or both, in which IT infrastructure components such as compute, storage, network, and security are virtualized and delivered as a service. What SDDC Manager does is automate the entire bring up process of the VMware Cloud Foundation stack from ESX, vCenter, vSAN and NSX on top of Hitachi UCP RS. SDDC is a remarkable design trend driving a unique transformation of the IT infrastructure market. SDDC is VMware’s architecture vision for modern and flexible software-centric data center.

 

Figure 1

 

Cloud Foundation enables deployment of a private cloud environment based on VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center architecture. A Cloud Foundation installation is a turnkey private cloud instance that is easily deployed in a corporate network. In this environment, SDDC Manager enables the ability for streamlined and automated data center operations and delivery of service offerings, such as virtual infrastructure (VI) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments, based on a VMware SDDC architecture on top of Hitachi UCP RS.

 

Hitachi Data Systems and VMware have been collaborating closely to build this solution to pave the way for providing a software defined data center.

 

Solution Overview

UCP RS hyper-converged infrastructure system, as shown in Figure 1. It leverages VMware’s Cloud Foundation, an integrated virtualization software platform that includes vSphere, vSAN, SDDC Manager, and NSX. The UCP RS is a system that is sized for customer workload, and made to customer's specifications. The solution arrives on site ready to be configured and quickly integrated into the data center network and to provision virtual servers within a couple of hours.

 

UCP RS, using VMware Cloud Foundation, is designed for companies that want to have a cloud platform with improved security, integrity, and of course, economy. Also, it has been developed by HDS for companies that desire standardization for VMware virtualization and cloud technologies and intend to have a premier base for automated data center operations. It is an intelligent and agile system that enables customers to develop an IaaS platform based on a compatible SDDC architecture. It is designed to consist of many VMs and provides features such as:

  • Performing day 0 to day 2 operational tasks in few couple of hours
  • Automated bring up process
  • Easy configuration and provisioning of the environment and the workload domains that are used to provide service offerings
  • Manage users, roles, and permissions
  • Scale-out by adding, assigning, and extending server nodes on the fly to expand compute, storage and networking resources exponentially
  • Pre-installed, pre-loaded, pre-configured, pre-tested, and fully optimized hardware and software stack
  • Supports a variety of application workloads
  • Easy day-to-day management

 

Hitachi hyper-converged UCP RS provides a reliable, easy and fast way to build a SDDC by leveraging of VMware Cloud Foundation and delivers a rack scale hyper-converged system that simplifies the transformation from a traditional data center to the SDDC.

 

UCP RS supports different workload domains. Workload domains are logical units that carve up the compute and storage resources of the entire installation. The Management workload domain includes all server nodes that are hosting specific infrastructure VMs but other VMs can also reside on this domain as well. Besides the Management workload domain, there are two pre-packaged environments that can be deployed as a workload that are called Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Virtual Infrastructure (VI) workload domains. To deploy one of these workload domains, you can follow a work flow to carve a pool of capacity out of the available capacity, then SDDC Manager provisions the environment and names the workload domain, using the carved-out pool of capacity. When you create a VDI workload domain, the SDDC Manager will deploy the components from the VMware Horizon which are necessary for the VDI infrastructure to deliver a network-based virtual desktop. When you create a VI workload domain, SDDC Manager will reserve the specific pool of hardware capacity from the available resources, and will deploy the VMware software stack for the VI environment. It is good to know that it will deploy one or more vCenter Server Appliance instances, associate the ESXi host with those instances, and perform a suitable configuration of the hosts and virtual networks.

 

Technical Overview

UCP RS for VMware Cloud Foundation solution can start as small as four servers, and scale out to multiple racks. Additional capacity and performance can easily be added linearly in increments as small as one server at a time within a single rack. Each rack consists of one management switch for out-of-band traffic. Hitachi UCP RS is the major hardware component in this solution and most of its software elements rely on this appliance.

 

Figure 2

 

Deployment Process

After racking and stacking, taking advantage of the VMware imaging appliance (VIA) imaging process should start. HMS service will be upload on the Management switch, it will identify all equipment in a rack, and the equipment will be imaged and ready for VCF deployment. SDDC manager VM (VRM) and other infrastructure VMs such as vCenter, PSCs, ISVMs, and LCMs are created during the imaging process on the primary server node. The SDDC manager web interface helps determine necessary information for VCF deployment as well as: Management VLAN, vMotion VLAN, vSAN VLAN, VXLAN, and uplinks that connect the solution to the corporate network.

 

Figure 3

   

 

This example describes the advantage of the Hitachi UCP RS solution. If you want to deploy just a single vSAN datastore on top of four server nodes, you must to do the following:

  • Install vSphere on hosts, and then configure the management VMkernel port on each host.
  • Deploy VCSA and then create and configure a distributed virtual switch (vDS) with two distributed port groups, vMotion and vSAN.
  • Create two corresponding VMkernel port groups that are specifically designated for vSAN and vMotion on each host.
  • Create a vSAN cluster and move all hosts under the VSAN cluster with the HA feature enabled.
  • Configure the vSAN feature to create disk-group(s) by identifying the cache devices and capacity drives to contribute to corresponding tiers.

 

All in all, configuring a four node VSAN cluster takes between two to three hours. Whereas, by taking advantage of VMware's Integrated Software-Defined Data Center with the UCP RS solution, in addition to automatic vSphere and VCSA installation and configurations, and vSAN deployment, you can have an entire software-defined data center including software-defined network installation such as NSX, vRealize suite installed and configured in less than five hours. In general, this solution automates day 0 to day 2 operations and deploys all operations in a couple of hours on top of reliable hardware.

 

Network Topology

All equipment is connected to the management switch. Also, two Top of Rack (ToR) switches in each rack and server nodes are connected to two ToR switches redundantly. For multi-rack solutions, two spine switches are used for inter-rack operability.

 

Figure 4

     

Summary

The IT industry is evolving more rapidly than ever, transforming from traditional data centers to modern software-defined data centers, and this should be taken into account by IT departments. This is not only for running on the verge of technology, but it also reduces costs by automating repetitive tasks and delivering services in a minimum time frame. Hitachi UCP RS is the answer for today's IT demands to deliver agile, flexible, and reliable services based on organization requests, and it is a cornerstone in a new and modern data center that provides an easy and fast way to deploy SDDC.

Here is a link to some videos I made about UCP 4.1.x and the Cluster Service Templates.

https://gssdojo.wistia.com/projects/uau1dmtsrf

 

The videos were generated on a simulated UCP in the Global Demo and Learning Lab. 

One of the videos gives a tour of the "new" UI.

One of the videos explains how the UCP Simulator works.

Another video explains the necessary prerequisites before building a cluster template.

The others show how to build and deploy a cluster template.

Hi Everybody,

 

SETO recently did a validation by following simple steps to setup/configure a Hyper Scale-Out Platform and documented the processes with video clips.

 

Links to the document:

 

http://myhds.hds.com/portal/public/classic/assetDetails?asset=HDSIT_162150&navid=3224

 

https://www.hds.com/en-us/pdf/best-practices/hitachi-hsp-setup-installation-validation.pdf


It was very intimidating at first but turns out is rather simple. Use this as a reference and give it a try. You will like it!. You will also find the tips and tracks in the document. Enjoy!

Midmarket IT organizations face the same challenges as their larger enterprise brothers, keep the lights on and adopt new technologies; ensure asset protection and unleash maximum mobility; deliver reliable critical applications and deploy new user services swiftly; store massive amounts of data then efficiently analyze it to impact business decision. Being out of sync with business and technology demands forces IT organization to constantly shuffle priorities, reconfigure existing resources amidst budget constraints, and stay in constant firefighting mode.  IT must shift from a reactive to proactive business partner, be more agile and flexible and also achieve the level of service delivery users need and expect.



Midmarket IT needs to lead with a digital transformation strategy or become irrelevant


Digital transformation isn’t an option, it’s imperative to stay competitive in a constantly changing business environment.  It requires new ways of doing business, dramatically improving operational efficiencies.  Technology and data are essential to a successful digital transformation journey. Digital transformation uses technology to enable efficiency, differentiation and innovation all while achieving cost savings and accelerating time-to-market.

 

Digital transformation requires a modern, agile IT environment to take advantage of cloud, open source and emerging technologies to deliver all IT services.  That is why Hitachi Data Systems is pleased to introduce two new solutions squarely targeting midmarket IT transformation – the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform 2000 (UCP 2000) and the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform HC V240.  Both solutions are flexible, agile and grow as you need to meet ever changing business demands.  Built on proven technology, these solutions enable digital transformation that reduce cost and risk while alleviating complexity and increasing time to market.



Right-sized, simple, resilient, value-based entry level converged system

 

The UCP 2000 converged architecture is comprised of commodity, rack-based servers, VSP unified storage arrays, Brocade switches with HDS value-add software.  These modular building blocks scale independently and provide customers with greater configurability, flexibility and scale. Built on standard Intel x86 rack servers to provide the foundation for innovation and account for the majority of all servers in today’s virtualized data centers, driving down cost and providing higher performance for peak workloads. There are four ESXi hosts in a single rack server that enable resiliency for failures as well as a fault-tolerance.  The G200 through G600 as well as F400 and F600 storage arrays are based on VSP unified storage technology, providing industry-leading unified and flash-based features and performance.  Networking is provided by a Brocade top-of-rack switches.  Designed, tested and factory-built to support multiple virtualization environments, including VMware, Microsoft and OpenStack, UCP 2000 provides a flexible, low-risk path to converged infrastructure. The solution is ideal for general-purpose applications, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), small databases, and test and development.  UCP 2000 provides midmarket, enterprise, departmental and MSPs with enterprise scale, efficiency and agility not found in other solutions.



Start modestly, launch quickly and pay as you grow


UCP HC V240 builds the foundation for business applications and next-generation solutions with the introduction of a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) built on standard Intel x86 rack-based servers with VMware vSphere, vCenter and Virtual SAN (VSAN) software defined storage along with HDS value-add software. UCP HC V240 enhances business agility by allowing IT to build, deploy, scale, and maintain their hyper-converged infrastructure through a more agile operational framework – to respond more quickly and efficiently to changing business needs.  UCP HC offers the fastest path to new application and technology adoption, optimal deployment and consistent operations across midmarket, enterprise, departmental, remote office and MSP environments.

 

UCP HC V240 appliance delivers virtualization, compute, storage, management and protection in an agile, scalable, resilient, hyper-converged infrastructure. Designed for simplicity, UCP HC is an all-in-one solution that accelerates time-to-value with rapid deployment enabling customers to go from power on to virtual machine creation in minutes. UCP HC fully automates provisioning and orchestration, simplifies installation, management, patches and upgrades, and provides linear scale-out that grows in small increments to meet business needs. UCP HC V240 is ideal for midmarket general purpose applications or a specific project, such as virtual desktops, remote office/branch office (ROBO) or big data analytics.  UCP HC offers a flexible, versatile, scalable, automated, low-risk path to virtualized infrastructure.

 

Drive digital transformation by shifting from a reactive to proactive business partner. UCP offers a choice of converged and hyperconverged infrastructure to deploy solutions that support virtualized cloud environments and gives IT leaders the flexibility to manage costs, enhance service delivery, meet evolving business expectations, and increase revenue. IT leaders want better control over IT services, automated provisioning, scale up and down elastic capacity, and simplified operations for their virtualized environments. They want to deploy infrastructure quickly and easily where and when it is needed. Deliver a converged infrastructure with greater hardware configurability, scalability, a choice of virtualization environments, improved management and protection to enable the midmarket enterprise to transform IT operations into a strategic asset.

 

Hitachi Data Systems offers a family of converged and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions that spans from the core of your data center to the edge, to meet all your IT enterprise requirements. Find out more about Unified Compute Platform (UCP) today by going to www.hds.com

Hi All, this is my first attempt at blogging. This is a section from a handy UCP Notebook I helped author last year.

 

These tips are applicable to UCP 3.5, 4.0, 4.1.1. Note, however, an improvement in UCP 4.1.1 - It has its own Jobs page! Now in SCVMM you can see the events while the job is still running. In previous versions of UCP for Hyper-V, you had to wait for the job to complete before seeing the events. Otherwise, you'd have to use the CLI to watch the events while the job is running.

 

Jobs – Events – Logs

Architectural Overview

Orchestrator

On UCPManagement VM, all IIS services report to API trace logs. Logs are located in C:\Program Data\Hitachi\UCP\Logs.  (Program Data is ‘Hidden’. Use the View menu to unhide.)

The log is regularly archived, so finding which zip file contains a particular failure is a key trouble-shooting step.

UCP Jobs

Jobs are comprised of Events. They are viewable through:

  • Platform manager (SCVMM\vCenter) Jobs or Tasks panel
  • CLI
  • API

The events from every job are also contained in the Orchestrator log along with much more detail about what UCP was doing to accomplish the job. Finding the job’s stack trace in the Orchestrator log helps in troubleshooting.

Monitoring

The Monitoring service collects information from storage, switches, and servers. The details are reported in the UCPMonitor_APITrace.log and the aggregated health\performance status is reported to UCP.

Replication

When installed, the replication service runs at each of the paired UCP sites. Replication activity is reported in the ReplicationManager_APITrace.log

Scheduler

Scheduled tasks are reported here. For example, inventory refrshes.

Trace32

A third party tool recommended for viewing logs.

 

The following diagram displays the list of application pools in IIS on the UCPManagement VM.

  Each has its own log.

 

 

Exercise – A – Gather events from failed job

This exercise guides you through the following:

 

Goal #1:

Identify the failing job in the platform manager.

Goal #2

Get events from the failed job into a single text file.

Goal #3

Find the Orchestrator or Monitor log(s) containing the failed job.

 

 

View the Jobs in vCenter

If the job has not already been purged, find it in the Tasks and Events panel as shown below:

 

 

This tells us the string to search for in the Orchestrator logs. For example: “Unexpected error with error code: 5057 occurred on the device manager.”

Use the attached tool "ExceptionFinder" to find the Orchestrator log that contains the exception string

 

 

Viewing Jobs in SCVMM

To view the jobs panel in SCVMM:

 

Click Jobs in the left-hand panel, at the bottom:

 

  1. At the top, click History:

 

Scroll through the jobs till you see the failure:

 

 

 

 

Here we see the exact string to search for in the Orchestrator logs. The following is just one example:

“exception: 11023395”

 

Use the attached tool "ExceptionFinder" to find the Orchestrator log that contains the exception string.


 

Using Hitachi.UCP.CLI to gather events

Since some of the tasks must be done on the UCPManagement VM (log-gathering, for example), you can go ahead and run all of the following tasks from there. So launch a remote-desktop session to the UCPManagement VM.

The Hitachi CLI is already installed on the UCPManagement VM. But if you need to install it in some other location (like the serviceVM), see subheading “Supplemental – Downloading and Installing CLI”.

To establish a connection with UCP (“Get-UCPDirector cmdlet) you need to launch PowerShell with ucpadmin credentials. This will happen automatically if you’ve logged into the system as ucpadmin.

After opening PowerShell with ucpadmin credentials:

  1. Load the UCP CLI module with:

Import-module Hitachi.ucp.cli

  1. Connect to UCP Director with CLI session

Get-UCPDirector Ucpmanagement.domain.local

  1. If there aren’t too many failed jobs to parse through, you could use the following. But note, if the appliance has MANY failed jobs, this could take too long and bog down the system:

Get-UCPJob –JobStatus Error

  1. Get the ID of an object associated with the failed job (Cluster Template? Server? Switch?)

Get-UCPServer,

Get-UCPEthernetSwitch,

Get-UCPAllServiceTemplate,

(For more ideas, type: Get-Help Get-UCP*)

  1. Get jobs associated with that object ID. There are many ways to do this. To read more about it, do get-help get-ucpjob –full.

(See next page for some examples.)

Examples:

These examples help you find the failed job ID.

 

All failed jobs where the job Name starts with “Apply”:

get-ucpjob -JobStatus error | where {$_.Name -like "Apply *"} > c:\temp\FailedDeploymentJobs.txt

All failed jobs where a particular service template failed deployment:

get-ucpjob -JobStatus error | where {$_.Name -like "Apply *"} > c:\temp\FailedDeploymentJobs.txt

 

Or:

 

$t = Get-UCPLinuxServiceTemplate -ServiceTemplateId 83

 

get-ucpjob -JobStatus error | where {$_.TargetId -eq $t.GlobalResourceId}

 

All failed jobs where the type is TemplateApply and Status is Error

Get-UCPJob -JobType TemplateApply | where {$_.Status -eq "Error"}

Get job where user knows the target server is in chassis slot 0 and the job type was service template deployment (only one chassis in this environment):

$s=get-ucpserver | where {$_.PrimarySlot -eq 0}

Get-UCPEvent -TargetId $s.GlobalResourceId | where {$_.EventType -eq "ServerApplyTemplateStartedInfoEvent"}

Get all failed jobs for a given server, when the server’s Id is known:

$s=Get-UCPServer | where {$_.ServerId -like "*c6bf"}

get-ucpjob -JobStatus error | where {$_.TargetId -eq $s.GlobalResourceId}

 

  1. With the known job ID, collect the events from it and output to a text file which you will provide to the engineer who is supporting your help ticket.

The following command is a single line of text:

Get-UCPEvent -JobId 10163 | Select-Object EventId, Description, Severity | Format-Table -Autosize > c:\temp\Job10163.txt

Find the log with ExpnFinder:

To find the Orchestrator log(s) that contain the failed job. Use ExpnFinder tool as follows:

  1. Copy the ExpnFinder tool to c:\Program Data\Hitachi\UCP\Logs on the UCPManagement VM
  2. In powerShell, navigate to the above location and launch the script as follows:
  3. PS C:\ProgramData\Hitachi\UCP\logs\ExpnFinder> .\ExpnFinder.ps1
  4. The script asks: Enter the exception no. please- such as 1234567:
  5. Type:  JobId=<xxxx> (Example: JobId=4092)
  6. The output tells you which log(s) contain the failed job. This\these should be sent to UCP Engineering if the problem needs escalation.

View stack trace in Orchestrator log

Trace32 is the most popular log-viewing tool in UCP Engineering, but you can use other.

  1. After identifying which log contains your error, open it with Trace32
  2. In Tools \ Filter, enable the first Filter, choose ‘contains’ as criteria.
  3. If you don’t know the job ID yet, type some text from the error event as seen in the Job or Task panel in the platform manager. Click OK.
  4. In the filtered results, look for JobId=<ID>
  5. Filter again for text ‘containing’ JobId=<id>. Click OK.
  6. The Log text changes in the main panel to display only the activity related to that JobId

 

 

Supplemental – Download and Install CLI

If the UCP CLI is not installed on the machine you’re using, download and install it as follows:

  1. Open a browser to https://<ucpmanagement.domain.local>/ui.
  2. Then go to the Help menu and click Download CLI.
  3. Find the executable (usually in C:\users\MyName\Downloads)
  4. Double click the executable file: UCP.CLI.Installer.msi

 

  1. Launch PowerShell with ucpadmin credentials. You must either be logged into the workstation with the ucpadmin domain account, or do one of the following:
    1. In Windows Server 2012, navigate to the location of the PowerShell exe at C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0. Hold and right-click the .exe, then choose “Run as different user.”

 

    1. In Windows Server 2008, the PowerShell icon is on the task bar. Shift + Right-click the icon, choose “Run as different user” and input the domain credentials for ucpadmin.

 

  If you frequently use Hitachi.UCP.CLI from a workstation that is not joined to the same domain as UCP, you could add a connection in your Credential Manager. Click the Start button and search for Credential Manager. Add an entry where the IP is UCPManagement IP address and the credentials are the domain account for ucpadmin. Now, simply launch PowerShell (without the ‘run as’). When you do Get-UCPDirector, the connection will be established with the ucpadmin account.

Short blog post. More to come on this subject...

 

Software Defined Storage (SDS) vendors seem to think that all they have to do is say the words "commodity hardware" and the enterprise storage buying world will beat pathways to their doors. The problem with that thinking is simply this: Enterprise storage buyers are definitely price-conscious its true. And commodity equates to lower price. But if storage buyers were allowed to rank in order of importance to them the following list of desired storage attributes:

 

Performance

Data integrity

Software defined on commodity hardware

Reliability

Manageability

 

...I submit that Software defined on commodity hardware would fall to the bottom of the list 9 times out of 10.

 

The issue really becomes clear when systems vendors sell SDS. Yes, they say, we have software-defined versions of our storage platforms but they run best on our hardware and we will integrate the software/hardware stack for you. Hmmm... Aren't we more or less back to square one?

 

I'm still approaching SDS with an open mind. However, I do think that the way most vendors bring it to market obscures what could potentially be the real value--and its not commodity. The commodity platform/pricing argument is generally made without reference to TCO (hardware, software, support, management) or what is of value that one could only get with SDS. As I said, more to come...

Incubation of Convergence

 

As the data center grows in rapid phase, complexity s increasing double. The operation costs increasing and maintaining service level agreement is daunting tasks. The birth of Convergence in the data center reduces operational costs and increases the efficiency.  Converged appliance provides confidence that customer could host their server, storage network with pre-tested and pre-configured stack together. The benefits are delivering from core integrations, and that reduces software bugs, reduces so many engineers trying to work on known issues that can be easily sorted out before production, based upon predictions from the stack with respect of scalability and performance.

 

Reflection of Converged Appliance Adaption – Reduction of x86 Servers Revenue

 

How many of us believed the data center convergence approach will improve efficiency in spending practices five years before. I certainly believed but not sure how benefits are going to be measured.  In 2014, The true reflection of convergence started happening, and seeing results that really benefiting customers. The recent data from IDC showcases customers are moving to consolidation, virtualizion , migration initiatives, and focusing on reducing the data center operational costs. The results are reduction of server counts, Worldwide Server Market Revenues Decline -6.2% in Second Quarter as Market Demand Remains Weak. Server unit shipments decreased -1.2% year over year in 2Q13 to 2.0 million units (IDC, 2013). The key important point is customers buying patterns of UNIX server significantly reduced , a revenue decline of -21.0% year over year. This was the lowest revenue obtained by UNIX Servers.

 

Observance of Market: 2014 Servers Reduction Because of growing Consolidation, Virtualization Strategy



 

 

 

Convergence- Foundation for Private Cloud Adaption

 

                As demand for shared infrastructure is growing , our vision is to provision one platform for all data rapidly. Customers are looking ways to implement converged appliance as it is the base for private cloud delivery.  The importance of deploying private cloud deployments using convergence is to support business model and increase the operational agility.

 

Hitachi Data Systems provides baseline for customers on convergence and giving right approach to move into private cloud journey. Our convergence bringing substantiated business benefits and that helps customers progressively moving their infrastructure to the cloud delivery model to promote the efficiency.

 

It offers an integrated management interface to provision, monitor, inventory, and troubleshoot applications delivery that aid to provide higher service level of agreements.     

 

 

 


 

1) Convergence appliance built for providing high availability, and in turns provides applications up-time

2) HDS Convergence appliance can migrate non virtualized applications non disruptively from end to end stack with our bare metal hyper visor. This does not require any software hypervirsors

3) Significantly improves service level agreement, and reduces service degradations

4) We provide local control over the applications consumptions. We do it by creating pool, manage, and allocation of resources from compute, storage, network for setting baseline for agile Infrastructure as service mode

           5) Support reduced risk, rapid deployment, and low cost of ownership methods

              6) Application centric which means multiple applications can share the same convergence platform


References;


StorageNewsletter » VCE and FlexPod Lead WW Converged Infrastructure Market – IDC


 

 

Thanks

Gana Chan