Data Center Advisors Blog: 2014 Archive

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Modernize IT or Fail

Ravi ChalakaOriginally posted by Ravi Chalaka on May 13, 2014


IT can be a weakness or a strength to its business. Almost every industry is witnessing dramatic changes in its business, and IT has a critical role to play in the business’ growth and in some cases, even its survival. A European retailer, after 40 years in business modernized their IT solutions to make real-time decisions and fast execution to increase profits and eliminate waste. Leading telecommunication companies are finding new revenue streams by expanding IT as-a-service offerings to their customers. New IT models with cloud and converged systems are challenging the status quo and rewarding astute CIOs, while leaving behind the ones that are unprepared.


So how do CIOs separate the winners in bringing solutions to meet their company goals in rapidly changing environments? In the past, lowering cost meant simply using commodity hardware; and agility meant deploying new software capabilities – some with high licensing cost – while still depending on expensive solutions to maintain high availability, performance and scale. Integration and optimization was either left to IT professionals or to professional services that can be unaffordable for many.

Hitachi took a different solution strategy for its converged solutions and integrates enterprise class systems and software, optimized for specific or general purpose workloads and automation with end to end infrastructure orchestration software. This Intel Xeon X86-based open systems not only delivers agility, automation, and availability only comparable in mainframes or high end UNIX systems, it eliminates complexity and cut cost to enable businesses compete better and grow faster. Gartner’s recent Critical Capabilities report for High End Storage Arraysrated Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP)as number one in enterprise class storage across all five use cases – consolidation, virtualization, cloud, OLTP and analytics environments.  Hitachi recently announced a new enterprise platform, Hitachi VSP G1000, which greatly extends this market lead with next generation capabilities based on Storage Virtualization Operating System. Optimizing the best of server, networking and storage is the real secret to mission critical workloads and lowering capex and opex. For instance, a highly optimized, converged solution can deliver similar IOPS and latency performance as the highest performance competition for mission critical database environments,  using about half the number of CPU cores, less space, power, cooling and software licenses and lowering the cost by 30% to 50%  of other high performance solutions.

This new generation enables fast deployment of always-on cloud infrastructure which HDS just announced, to support its customers for the next decade or more. The refreshed line of converged systems, called Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) enable state of the art automation software for servers, network and storage all in one, with servers using Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge Xeon X86 processors and Storage systems with Hitachi’s new Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) software.

Customers are finding, to their amazement, that enterprise class converged systems can cost less than commodity products due to advanced capabilities that drive down system and management cost by large factor.  HDS is basically rewriting the rules of the game by offering high end features that drive down cost without sacrificing always on, automated and agile solutions.

A New Jersey based service provider , offering mission critical SAP application services to its business clients is rapidly growing its business by providing competitive cloud based workloads.  Hitachi UCP enables this provider to focus on growing its business and its expertise in SAP apps rather than being slowed down with legacy technologies that are complex to scale and manage, not to mention expensive to acquire and maintain.  Businesses are making important decisions to modernize their IT with the right solutions and grow their business faster in a business defined IT era.



World’s Most Ethical Company

Originally posted by David Karas on Mar 21, 2014


By David Karas

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” ― Aristotle


Last night, in New York City, several of the world’s top companies, including Microsoft, Intel, Google, Adobe, Ford Motor Company and Cisco were recognized as the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Receiving the recognition right along with them was Hitachi Data Systems! If you have a good memory you’ll remember that I announced the same result for HDS last year.  And if your memory is really good, (and you’re keeping score) this is the 4th year in a row HDS has received this award.

On any given day, take out a pair of scissors and a copy of your favorite newspaper. I realize you probably get your news online, but play along. Start by cutting out the articles about companies embroiled in investigations. Snip out the blurbs about questionable business dealings, graft and corruption. Remove the articles about companies being fined and by-lines about executives being indicted for illegal activities. Now close the newspaper. Chances are you’ll be able to read straight through to the sports section without leaving the front page (or the stock prices if you are reading the Wall Street Journal or Financial Times)!

The point is, in the current legal and regulatory environment it seems far too easy for multi-national companies to become the subject of negative publicity.  It seems far more difficult for companies to act consistently and in a manner that displays adherence to ethics and values.  To maintain a program and act in a manner that garners accolades for ethical behavior establishes HDS a trusted partner and distinguishes us from our competition in a meaningful way.

Being awarded World’s Most Ethical Company for the fourth straight year displays excellence and is an award that is shared among all HDS colleagues. It’s becoming a habit of which you should be proud!



HiMSS 2014–We’ll Be There!

Dave WilsonOriginally posted by Dave Wilson on Feb 20, 2014

It’s that time of year again when we gather up our demo systems and head for somewhere warm and sunny to escape the brutal cold of winter. This year we head to Orlando, FL for some excitement with Mickey and, of course, the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual meeting. A common theme we have seen over this past year is that healthcare is moving in a direction that demands better patient care. Did you know that since the last conference over 1 exabyte of patient-related data has been generated? But what have we done with it? Or the better question is…what CAN we do with it? This of course leads to what we can expect to see at HIMSS.


BIG DATA. It is certain to be featured in everyone’s booths, in everyone’s lectures and be present on everyone’s minds. This year, big data has gotten bigger! Healthcare generates a variety of data types, with new devices, technologies and mission critical systems all generating digital data, the velocity of data is increasing. Add to that social media, wearable devices and the Internet in general and the amount of data that can be utilized to make evidence-based decisions increases dramatically. In the HDS booth, we will be demonstrating the Hitachi Clinical Repository that starts at the root of your big data problem by overcoming interoperability issues, normalizing the data and enabling aggregation of data.

Key to big data is timely access to the data and this starts at the infrastructure layer. Hitachi Clinical Repository is aVendor Neutral Archive that consolidates medical images and clinical content so that it can be shared across departments, facilities and regions. A completely integrated hardware, software and workflow solution, HCR ingests the medical content, indexes the associated metadata and then enables access to viewers, portals, analytics engines and business intelligence applications to standardized data. Add the enterprise viewer from our partners, Calgary Scientific and you have a fully functional VNA. As an add on to Hitachi Medical’s modality business or as a PACS archive replacement, HIMSS will be rife with VNA offerings and HDS and HMSA will be demonstrating how to get the most out of your VNA, beyond just medical imaging.

For the second year in a row, HDS is excited to have our sister company Hitachi Consulting join us in our booth. HCC will be demonstrating how they can help deliver on the promises of big data with a clinical focus. Chronic disease is a huge cost to the healthcare system and being able to manage patients more effectively throughout their life is a big part of how we can reduce those costs. HCC will show you how to identify those patients at risk and how to take preventative measures before a particular disease gets out of hand.

Building on the big data theme, Hitachi will be hosting a series of speaking sessions including Elmar Flamme, CIO at Klinikum Wels, Austria. Mr. Flamme will be discussing the work HDS has done with Simularity, around risk management and the ability to identify patients at risk. We have been working on a Proof of Concept and will be showing this at HIMSS for everyone to see how getting access to the right data and applying a predictive analytics suite like Simularity can help lower patient risk and improve the potential outcomes of patients.

Also included in the speaking sessions, HDS has invited a number of our partners to share their experiences and best practices that every provider should be aware of when it comes to healthcare IT. Stop by the booth and seeCalgary Scientific, Karos Health, Informatica and Visbion discuss important topics ranging from enterprise viewing requirements to application retirement. In addition, HDS has launched the Hitachi HLS Fitbit project. Join our Fitbit Group and track your sleep, your steps per day and get healthy with us.

And finally, what would HIMSS be without some fun. Hitachi will be hosting a cell phone charging bar to recharge your cell phone and a coffee bar for you to get your caffeine fix and keep you awake during that exciting ICD-10 transition lecture. Don’t forget to stop by as the day winds down for the Brocade Happy Hour on Monday and Tuesday where you can taste some exotic beverages and learn about how our partners Brocade work with HDS to deliver key infrastructure benefits that improve performance and reliability of your mission critical systems.

I hope everyone enjoys #HIMSS14 and I look forward to seeing you in Florida! If you can’t make it to the show, follow the action on Twitter at @hds_healthcare, #HIMSS14HDS.



Hitachi Content Platform Object Store Earns Top Marks from Gartner


Originally posted by Jeff Lundberg on Feb 17, 2014


As you may have read in my colleague Steve Garone’s blog post in our Hitachi Data Systems Community site, the industry is abuzz with object storage reports, articles and events such as the upcoming Next Gen Object Storage Summit for which HDS is a sponsor. This week, yet another analyst has weighed in on this topic, and according to Gartner’s new Critical Capabilities for Object Storage report, by Arun Chandrasekaran and Alan Dayley:Critical Capabilities for Object Storage Report


I couldn’t agree more. Nor would I disagree with Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) being top rated in overall score, which was assessed across archiving, cloud storage and content distribution, or their recognition that HCP offers the most robust security of any object store they reviewed. (No surprise, I’m sure…)

Product Ratings and Viability Assesment on Critical Capabilities

We are thrilled that Gartner sees the value of the HCP object storage platform, and that they recognize there is more to the story than the object store itself.  While the platform excels on its own merits, the real beauty of Hitachi Data Systems solution is the integrated portfolio of HCP, Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere and Hitachi Data Ingestor. The trio of integrated offerings deliver simplified file sharing and for remote and branch office employees, instant access and easy collaboration for mobile workforce and corporate users, all while supporting a growing number of cloud and traditional applications. It is this integration that makes Hitachi Data Systems’ object storage solutions so compelling for our 800+ customers around the world and inspires the deployment of roughly 150PB of storage behind their HCPs. The security, simplicity and smarts of the HCP Portfolio means they did not have to rewrite existing applications, spend hundreds of hours and piles of money to make it work, or force users to learn new tools and processes, resulting in reduced operational costs and improved productivity.

Hitachi Data Systems Object Storage Portfolio

And Gartner is not alone in recognizing this. Enrico Signoretti at Juku writes: “At the end of the day [the Hitachi Content Platform] is the only product on the market that can offer a complete set of end-to-end solutions from the object store to the gateways, all directly supported by a primary storage vendor.” Also, a recent 451 Research piece noted customers are “Looking at object-based storage in remote offices – the idea you can have a caching mechanism without a huge footprint is very appealing” and that “HDS’ object-based storage is something we’re also interested in.” Even Verizon is convinced that the HCP Portfolio is the right solution for their Enterprise Cloud offerings.

So, if you are thinking about object storage like just about everyone else these days, be sure to give HCP strong consideration. We believe you’ll see what those 800+ customers know to be true.