Greg Knieriemen

'Just Enough' isn't 'Good Enough'

Blog Post created by Greg Knieriemen Employee on Feb 15, 2016


During their recent earnings call, EMC Information Infrastructure CEO, David Goulden said, "Customers are buying 'just enough' and 'just in time' for their traditional environments. This is a surprisingly fair assessment of the traditional IT infrastructure market today. This isn't the same as buying 'on demand' which is the foundation for a cloud-first strategy. 'Just enough' means that many orgs are not investing in a platform or a strategy. If we are going to be brutally honest, it’s because IT vendors have put their customers in a position where it is tough for them to be strategic and cost-effective as they plot out their long term IT strategy.


Enterprises have been very clear about their strategic IT priorities. They want:

  • Demonstrated long term cost-effectiveness to support business strategies
  • A roadmap to leverage existing IT investments with the flexibility to transition resources as business priorities change
  • Simplicity
  • Control of data for security and compliance
  • Ability to leverage public, private and hybrid clouds


No surprises here... but what they have been getting for the last few years is almost the exact opposite. In the race to be all things to all people, the largest IT vendors have been offering multiple “cloudy” solutions, usually the result of an acquisition to fill in their own technology gaps. While this might serve their business interests, migrating to the latest cloud storage platform has become an expensive headache for the enterprise.


So yeah, it’s no wonder their customers are buying ‘just enough’. There’s no room to be strategic when you are constantly being told you have to migrate to the next great thing.


In contrast, the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) has been uniquely consistent. With over 1,300 diverse customers, HCP is one of the fastest growing solutions in our portfolio because it is wildly simple, cost-effective and specifically addresses the highest priorities for IT with broad application across nearly every industry vertical.


It also scales… MASSIVELY. We have over 50 customers who have scaled their environments to well over a petabyte on HCP.


At it’s core, HCP is an object storage solution that allows IT organizations and cloud service providers to store, share, synchronize, protect, preserve, analyze and retrieve file data in a single system. With HCP, you have the freedom to move data to your choice of public clouds automatically, based on policy, and still retain control and visibility at all times because the metadata is securely stored on site. The system is more efficient, easier to use, and handles much more data than traditional file storage solutions. HCP also automates day-to-day IT operations, such as data protection, and readily evolves with changes in scale, scope, applications, and storage and server technologies over the life of data.


Instead of diving into speeds-n-feeds in this post, I want to talk about three real world use cases that I think show the breadth of solutions HCP can address.


Public Cloud Storage: Photobucket

Photobucket has 26.4 million users in the U.S. across mobile and desktop, with 54 million global unique visitors per day. Photobucket’s audience recently surpassed Yahoo’s Flickr user base, and they are closing the gap with leaders Pinterest and Tumbler. Photobucket has also become the default photo sharing platform for Twitter as more than 2.25 million images are shared daily, accounting for 1.25% of all Tweets posted.


HDS provided a cloud-based solution with HCP which now allows Photobucket to move out of the infrastructure business and focus on application development. The results? The solution allowed Photobucket to:

  • Move to an OPEX model to contain costs
  • Migrate from NAS to flexible object storage solution to manage substantial growth
  • Ingest nearly 3PB of photo and image objects with petabyte-scale year-over-year growth
  • Support for 54 million global unique visitors per day


Data Archive: Starz

Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ and ENCORE pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of June 30, 2014, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 55.9 million subscribers, including 22.0 million at STARZ, and 33.9 at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S.


HDS provided a multi-business unit archiving platform to replace tape and manual/USB procedures as well as provide a user interface for search, access, archive, and restore operations. The results? The HCP-based solution allowed Starz to:

  • Manage data growth and contain costs
  • Archive from multiple sources, including Hyper-FS, GPFS (DDN), and DIVArchive data movers from Front Porch Digital
  • Leverage a unified Platform for IT, Graphics and Media Post-Production


Private Cloud Storage: Global Pharmaceuticals Company

This Fortune 500 company is one of the leading global pharmaceutical companies in the world with tens of thousands of employees serving patients and clinicians in more than 100 countries. As with many healthcare companies, regulation and compliance requirements around data management are critical elements for their environment. Application integration was also a critical component of the solution.


HDS provided a fully compliant HCP solution that addressed multiple business challenges with a simple, consolidated content repository. The results? HCP enabled this pharmaceutical company to:

  • Optimize IT costs
  • Restore performance and reliability
  • Virtualize for data consolidation


This is just a quick snapshot of customer use cases for HCP. It’s also critical to our own IT requirements. HCP has been broadly deployed within HDS and is the backbone for our file sync-and-share requirements leveraging HCP Anywhere. With HCP Anywhere we get similar functionality as Dropbox or Box without creating separate silos of data that needs to be managed: It’s integrated directly with our storage resources.


Protocol support

The system is also more efficient, easier to use, and handles much more data than traditional file storage solutions. Support for traditional (NFS/CIFS) and newer cloud (S3, REST, etc.) means you can get all kinds of data in and out as needed, and because the system is more efficient, easier to use and handles much more data that traditional file systems, it becomes an ideal repository. With all this content in one place, it also becomes easier to manage and analyze with built in metadata tools.


To wrap, here’s a quick list of additional features of HCP:

  • Control Access in a Multitenant Environment
  • Secure Data With Built-In Encryption
  • Satisfy Today’s Compliance Demands; Adapt for the Future
  • Safeguard Data With Multiple Data Protection Options
  • Automated Data Placement and Tiering
  • Advanced Metadata Features and Tools
  • Intelligent Archiving Capabilities
  • Support Traditional and Next-Generation Workloads
  • Mobilize Data With Integrated Cloud Gateways and File Sync and Share
  • Deliver Unique Private, Hybrid or Public Cloud Storage Services
  • Connect to Your Choice of Public Cloud
  • Scale Cloud-Storage From a Few Terabytes to Hundreds of Petabytes
  • Multiple Application Support With One Solution
  • Economical Deep-Data Storage and Protection
  • Built-In Efficiency, Data Protection and Automation Tools


'Just enough' isn't a strategy. With HCP, the conversation is different. Let's talk about how IT can make investments that are strategic and consistent for long term business value.