Sean Siegmund

Hitachi and Cisco: Data Technology Leadership

Blog Post created by Sean Siegmund Employee on Mar 20, 2019

Ready to leverage the power of data within your organization? Hitachi Vantara and Cisco offer the technology leadership you need to manage, share and access data — quickly, flexibly and securely.


By Sean Siegmund - Applications and Converged Technical Advisor and Tim Darnell - Product Owner - UCP CI


Nearly every company recognizes the need to manage and leverage the enormous volume of data that’s available today. Real-time insights about customers, competitors, trading partners, industry trends and other strategic topics have the power to shape the success of the entire business.


However — as Nick Winkworth discussed in his blog, “Unlocking Your Data” — most companies find themselves with an outdated IT infrastructure and a set of disparate legacy systems that aren’t ready to handle the size and scale of today’s data management challenge.


To address this problem, longtime partners Hitachi Vantara and Cisco have joined forces to launch an innovative solution called Cisco Validated Design (CVD). Companies can leverage CVD to quickly and cost-effectively achieve the speed, scale, flexibility, and security they need to capitalize on their data assets.


Thousands of customers have already established their IT landscapes by using Cisco’s computing and networking solutions, along with Hitachi’s enterprise-class block storage technologies. Now, with Cisco Validated Design, customers can take advantage of the Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure (Adaptive Solutions for CI) — which enables them to deploy industry-leading Cisco and Hitachi technologies as a private-cloud converged infrastructure.


Adaptive Solutions for CI is a robust and scalable architecture, leveraging the technology strengths of both Cisco and Hitachi Vantara. It includes the following components, each of which represents a best-in-class solution from an established industry leader:



By bringing these leading technologies together in a converged infrastructure, Cisco Validated Design offers three key advantages: speed, flexibility, and security.


Speed: Accelerate Your Data Results


Automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced technologies have not only increased the availability of real-time data — but they have also increased the strategic value of that information. Companies can now sense and respond to changes quickly before they can disrupt the business. But that means having uninterrupted, 24-7 access to real-time data.


While most people think of speed in terms of network or SAN connections, real speed needs to occur across the scope of the technology implementation — and throughout its entire lifecycle, beginning with initial deployment. With Cisco Validated Design, both Hitachi and Cisco have invested heavily in validating designs and technologies that support speed. Customers benefit from best practices, performance tuning, and interoperability within the CVD platform.


As the CVD solution comes online, storage and network connections are designed to enable 16 to 32 GB FC line rates, with anywhere from 1 to 100 Gigabit FCoE speed. Network connections are also reduced by utilizing the Cisco UCS Fabric extenders (FEX) or I/O Modules (IOMs), which multiplexes and forwards all traffic from servers in a blade server chassis to a pair of Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects.


Setting up the network also becomes a breeze, as the use of the Cisco UCS Virtual Interface Card (VIC) 1400 Series extends the network fabric directly to both servers and virtual machines so that a single connectivity mechanism can be used to connect both sets of workloads (FC and FCoE), with the same level of visibility and control.


And, with Hitachi storage, all systems scale to meet the demands of IT organizations’ ever-increasing workloads. Depending on their specific needs, customers can select from mid-range storage capacity (600k IOPS to 2.4M IOPS) or enterprise-class storage (4.8M IOPS).

Flexibility: Become More Agile and Responsive


If the modern business world has taught us anything, it’s that both technology and data are moving targets. The increasing adoption of artificial intelligence and other innovations means that IT infrastructures must be built with flexibility and agility in mind. Cisco and Hitachi have perfected their hardware to address this need.


The Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS) is a next-generation data center platform that integrates computing, networking, storage access, and virtualization resources into a cohesive system designed to reduce not only the total cost of ownership but also increase business agility. 

From a system management perspective, the Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects (FIs) provide a single point for connectivity and management for the entire Cisco UCS system. Typically deployed as an active-active pair, the system’s fabric interconnects, integrate all components into a single, highly available management domain controlled by the Cisco UCS Manager. Available in Gen 3 and Gen 4 configurations, the fabric interconnects, Cisco Nexus 9000 series switch and the Cisco MDS 9000 switch family are tailored based on port count needs and storage FC connection rates. 


Also, the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1x00 (VSP G1x00) and the all-flash Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F1500 (VSP F1500) unified storage systems provide high performance, high availability, and reliability for always-on, enterprise-class data centers. Based on Hitachi's industry-leading storage technology, the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G350, G370, G700, G900 — along with the all-flash Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F350, F370, F700, and F900 — include a range of versatile, high-performance storage systems that deliver flash-accelerated scalability, simplified management, and advanced data protection.


As with all Hitachi solutions, upgrades are easy to implement as conditions change. It is cost-effective and straightforward to increase storage capacity and add new user licenses.


Security: Protect Your Critical Data Assets


No one understands the strategic importance of your data more than Hitachi Vantara. Hitachi storage systems are designed with reliable data protection and security in mind. Not only is every storage system in CVD completely secure, but it is backed by Hitachi’s 100 percent data availability guarantee. If a Hitachi storage system ever fails to deliver availability, it is replaced free of charge.


With a mix of different drives (HDD, SDD, FMD) and parity group options available, Hitachi storage systems can be configured to meet each customer’s unique needs — but these solutions always follow strict security protocols for even the most stringent industries, including banking and health care.


Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) RF is the latest version of SVOS. Flash performance is optimized with a patented flash-aware I/O stack, which accelerates data access. Adaptive inline data reduction increases storage efficiency while enabling a balance of data efficiency and application performance. Industry-leading storage virtualization allows SVOS RF to use third-party all-flash and hybrid arrays as storage capacity, consolidating resources for a higher return on investment and providing a high-speed front-end to slower, less predictable arrays.


SVOS RF is just another feature added to flash enabled systems that are in addition to an already impressive set of storage-efficient options like Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning and Hitachi Dynamic Tiering.

Start Increasing Your Data Performance Today


Cisco Validated Design represents an advanced solution that is within reach of every company, no matter how outdated the current technology environment. With this solution, Hitachi and Cisco have carefully designed a converged infrastructure platform, which partners two technology companies rated as leaders in their respective domains. This best-of-breed converged infrastructure solution makes it simple and straightforward for organizations to modernize their IT landscape and begin leveraging the full power of their data assets.

Visit Cisco/Hitachi adaptive solutions for CI design guide to learn more about the advanced technologies behind Cisco Validated Design. Please see the following link for more detailed information.