Jim Miller

Help Modernize the Data Center with Operational Automation

Blog Post created by Jim Miller Employee on May 29, 2019

IT Automation for Data Center Modernization

With the continued shift towards digital transformation, businesses are no longer viewing IT as a cost center, but as a strategic component that focuses on initiatives geared towards increasing market share and competitive differentiation. As I speak with IT professionals, they share a similar and significant challenge. Data center IT operations seem to be stuck in the past, subject to the same lengthy, tedious tasks and exposure to risk.

IT operations consist of the continuous management and maintenance of the data center and according to IDC survey data, consume up to 45% of IT administrative resources. How can an organization meet the necessary but arduous task of IT operations yet still drive business growth and strategize on innovation?      

In my first blog, I explored the benefits of IT automation, and how it could benefit IT organizations by reducing effort and lowering risk. A true IT automation solution reduces the human touch required to gain insight and execute essential but repetitive storage management tasks.

There was a list of requirements in that blog that are mentioned that an IT automation product should meet if it is going to be effective across the data center. Hitachi Vantara has been a pioneer in intelligent IT operations and has a history of complimenting excellent storage solutions with cutting edge analytics and automation software. Hitachi Automation Director (HAD) is Hitachi Vantara’s current IT automation software. Let’s revisit those blog requirements and see how HAD stacks up.

Tight integration with a best in class analytic product determines root cause and prescribes action for the entire stack.

HAD is fully integrated with Hitachi’s Infrastructure Analytics Advisor (HIAA), a powerful tool that collects telemetric across the entire IT stack, determining root cause and a prescribed solution that HAD can automatically act upon. Tight integration of HAD and HIAA simplifies and unifies monitoring of telemetric data and the automation of task completion

Single automation product that works across the entire IT stack including storage, the hypervisor, data protection, and the network layer.

By reaching beyond storage, into the system stack, HAD delivers a homogeneous approach to automation, eliminating silos of different tools that must be used to orchestrate operational solutions. The result is consistent, reduced operational effort from storage to the hypervisor. ESG research shows that 64% of organizations would prefer to consolidate on a single overarching management suite from a single vendor.  

Pre-packaged workflow policies to get off the ground fast that can be customizable to meet individual data center needs.

The building blocks of HAD are pre-packaged automation workflows known as service templates that enable users to get value from HAD as quickly as possible. Each data center is different with unique best practices and the HAD pre-packaged workflow templates are customizable you build your own to simplify tasks.

Robust REST API capabilities to extend the value of automation.

Hitachi Vantara’s HAD, HIAA, HDID (Hitachi Data Instance Director) and HAS (Hitachi Data Instance Director) have all aligned onto a common set of REST APIs. This enables a unified management framework that simplifies overall administration. These APIs can also enable HAD to integrate with 3rd party ITSM (IT Service management) platforms such as ServiceNow.

Stay tuned for additional blogs on how Hitachi Automation Director frees IT staff to drive the tactical and strategic initiatives to grow the business. Next, we will look at storage provisioning to see how using HAD can significantly reduce provisioning time and effort.