Angela MaGill

Digital Transformation Doesn’t Stop at Storage: Invest in the Network for Competitive Advantage

Blog Post created by Angela MaGill Employee on Sep 12, 2016

A recent article, Starbucks is increasingly a free wireless ISP, highlighted the competitive advantage Starbuck’s has gained by offering free WiFi at their stores. Why would a coffee brand put so much investment into WiFi? Because, as author Patrick Hubbard explains, “Starbucks is not just selling coffee. It, like most successful brands, is selling an experience.”

This experience is expanding the Starbucks brand from coffee-provider, to network-provider, and provides a perfect example of how companies are changing their business, actively pursuing a Digital Transformation to offer new services and create competitive advantage.



Digital Transformation is business transformation, and it’s an imperative. But digital transformation doesn’t come easy – especially for mature businesses that haven’t “grown up” digital. To succeed, business and technology leaders have to completely re-think traditional approaches. With the rapid pace of change in today’s business landscape, the inability to transform and to do so ahead of the competition can put the entire business at risk.


At Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), we help customers navigate Digital Transformation through our extensive portfolio of storage, software, and management platforms. But it doesn’t stop there.  For over 16 years, Hitachi has partnered with Brocade to enable our teams to have broader, more impactful infrastructure conversations and ensure that customers view us as a trusted solutions partner. In recent years, this relationship has expanded beyond general infrastructure to UCP, enabling HDS teams to drive differentiated converged platform conversations.




HDS is helping its customers do just that!  For example, a prominent board of education recently upgraded their storage and networking environment in order to transform their business model and increase their competitive advantage. Not possible for a school district you say? Think again! Modern education platforms include smart-boards, bandwidth hungry video content, cloud-based eLearning applications, and a wide variety of mobile devices. Classrooms, teachers, and students all need to be connected, but the school district’s legacy IT infrastructure was standing in the way. By partnering with HDS and Brocade, the board of education was able to transform their business using modern Hitachi storage solutions and Brocade ICX networking. By transforming their business model, every school within the district is now able to deliver more robust, digital educational services to their teachers and over 11,000 students.


HDS has integrated the Brocade portfolio of Fibre Channel and Ethernet switches into market leading storage solutions such as Unified Compute Platform (UCP). Over 40 such solutions integrate Brocade networking products in order to enable HDS to offer our customers a unique competitive advantage across performance, scalability, reliability, ease of use, and return on investment.


Best known for its Fibre Channel SAN switches and directors, Brocade has built a solid reputation for delivering market leading storage network infrastructure and innovation.  In addition, Brocade has been quietly building up an equally robust portfolio of Ethernet switches. In fact, HDS has sold over 14,000 Brocade Ethernet switches within integrated solutions such as UCP, HSP, and more.


HDS continues to expand its Brocade portfolio, and now offers the full line of Brocade Ethernet network products, including VDX and ICX families of switches. Hitachi’s UCP portfolio of solutions includes VSP storage with the Brocade VDX switch portfolio for both top of rack (TOR) connectivity for converged systems as well as dedicated IP storage network environments.  The ICX family of switches can also be found in several solutions, including HSP and UCP. 


UCP, in particular, has been designed and proven specifically for application environments such as SAP Hana, VMware, Oracle and Microsoft. Hitachi HSP provides the backbone to Pentaho analytics –ICX switches are designed in for maximum scalability.




These products are either complements to traditional storage deployments or they are integrated into Hitachi Converged and HyperConverged solutions.  The advantage of converged platforms like UCP, HSP and HCP is the end to end testing and integration from application to server to storage to network and a single pane of glass to manage your environment.  This allows you to quickly transform your business for competitive advantage.


Together, HDS and Brocade’s experience and expertise qualifies us to help you navigate through the complexities of Digital Transformation.


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