Days ago, I was interviewed by an online tech magazine on Hitachi's participation at VMworld and broader virtualization trends. Sharing thoughts with the community...
What are you showcasing at VMworld 2016?
We have expanded our offerings on Converged, Hyperconverged and storage product lines that cater to meet the requirements of agile IT needed for digital transformation, while also supporting traditional IT platforms for business critical applications. Today’s IT organizations are tasked with finding a balance between traditional IT and modern, agile technologies to be able to respond quickly to dynamic business conditions.
Hitachi converged and hyper-converged portfolio Unified Compute Platform provides flexibility, scale and reliability to be ideal platform for baremetal, virtualized and containerized workloads. We launched hyperconverged solution UCP HC for enterprises to tremendously cut down the capex commitments and meet business requirements at the speed of change. We are showcasing various use cases with UCP HC for enterprises to benefit from agility, and mobility with Docker containers, IT-less deployments at ROBO sites, and virtualized SAP HANA for improved time to market.
Extending the datacenter innovation into networking, we announced integration of VMware software-defined networking NSX with our converged portfolio. Hitachi Data Systems customers can leverage VMware software-defined networking solution NSX on Unified Compute Platform family of converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, accelerate application roll-out, automate network services deployment, and improve IT security. Customers will have enhanced flexibility to manage multi data center set-ups and mobility to move workloads across clouds without any interruptions.
We are demonstrating advanced Virtual Volumes (VVol) solutions that accelerate customer adoption of this key software-defined storage technology for production workloads. DR-enabled VVols with Hitachi Data Systems customers will have support for failover and failback replication to provide high availability for virtual machines (VMs). Organizations now have ability to deploy high-availability configurations for VASA provider, using vSphere HA (High Availability) and FT (Fault Tolerance) designs, without any impact on IT operations. To help customers transition from traditional file systems (VMFS/NFS) to VVols, we are enabling storage policy-based management framework on VMFS.
Legendary Hitachi data protection and business continuity technologies are on the show that enable 24*7 operations for mission-critical applications for customers across the business segments. Combining high availability, provided by Global Active Device technology with Site Recovery Manager’s orchestration will be a key highlight. Operational recovery solutions providing local data protection Hitachi Virtual Infrastructure Integrator would be demonstrated that allows customers to schedule application-consistent backup operations from familiar vCenter console.
We have many theater presentations scheduled at HDS booth #1659 to provide overview of solutions mentioned above. My colleague David Shyu introducing next-generation all-flash hyperconverged UCP HC to audience.
What’s new since last year’s VMworld in terms of products or partnerships?
We are continuously innovating to lead enterprises on their digital transformation journey that would help them discover new product opportunities and increase customer and employee loyalty through improved experience. We have introduced the strength of Hitachi converged portfolio in to lower cost, scale-out, 2U form factor hyperconverged UCP HC that provides tightly integrated compute, storage and vSphere hypervisor. UCP HC leveraged software-defined storage Virtual SAN to provide scale and flexibility to support traditional, cloud-native and mobile-native workloads.
We continue to partner with VMware in rolling out innovative software-defined solutions on Hitachi UCP family to allow customers to accelerate their journey to hybrid cloud. We provide comprehensive integrations with vRealize Automation to deploy and manage private cloud from vCenter, without the need of specialized storage skills.
What differentiates your Hitachi Unified Compute Platform HC hyper-converged systems from the competition?
Hitachi’s hyper-converged UCP HC portfolio consists of hybrid and all-flash systems that are lower cost, radically simple to manage and easy to scale to help customers realize full benefits of digital innovations. Newly introduced all-flash appliance V240F delivers powerful performance to meet requirements of enterprise applications, while bringing down the cost of ownership with next generation data efficiency technologies (dedupe, compression, erasure coding) that can provide upto 7X reduction in the amount of consumed physical storage, under real-world workloads scenario. Tightly integrated with VSAN software-defined storage management, UCP HC V240F helps organizations improve VM density, eliminate management complexity, while delivering high performance.
With the announcement of availability of Docker container drivers on UCP HC platform, customers can leverage Hitachi hyperconverged appliances for reliable deployment of traditional and cloud-native applications to meet elasticity requirements of modern businesses. UCP HC provides persistent storage to meet data locality requirements of enterprise applications. Container integration delivers ability to DevOps team to deploy applications VMs with lightweight containers and container mobility. UCP HC would be the best infrastructure platform for a wide variety of applications. Customers are showing keen interest in Hitachi HCI appliance for business applications, analytics, database, VDI, DevOps and cloud hosting platform because of linear scale, radically simplified management, and improved cost efficiency. Integrated with innovative Hitachi WAN accelerator and data protection technologies, UCP HC provides compelling proposition for deployment at remote (ROBO) sites with zero IT support to deliver scale and bottomless backup for unstructured data.
To top it all, customers are assured of legendary Hitachi reliability that gives them confidence to run their business critical applications on UCP HC infrastructure. For any post-sales sales, we offer one-stop support for all the hardware and software in the stack.
What trends have you spotted in the virtualization market recently?
Previous decade has been all about virtualization helping customers improve resource utilization and bringing down cost of IT operations by running multiple applications on same hardware. However, now customers are dabbling with cloud technologies that accelerates the time to market and helps them keep costs under ever shrinking IT budgets. However, due to security and compliance concerns with public cloud, hybrid cloud approach is gaining momentum that provides the best of both worlds to customers. They can run critical applications inside the firewall to maintain full control, with the ability to leverage public cloud such as Amazon, Azure for short bursts during peak hours, or for tier 02 VMs. Hitachi’s Unified Compute Platform (UCP) family of converged and hyperconverged solutions provide solid foundation for customers to deploy scalable , predictable cloud operations. UCP’s deep integration with VMware cloud management and automation tools helps them automate routine tasks and realign freed resources for more strategic projects. UCP eliminates the complexity of managing discreet hardware elements by exposing functionality through UCP Director, management software that natively integrates with vCenter and vRealize Operations Manager. Customers such as Deluxe Corp in Americas or Spar Retailers in Europe, have deployed self-service private cloud for end-users to consume IT services through role-based access to service templates. UCP offers programmability for cloud-like elasticity in a box, and offers an agnostic platform to allows enterprises to run traditional and new workloads efficiently via API interfaces.
Recently, IT analyst IDC conducted analysis of multiple customer environments that are running Hitachi Unified Compute Platform and shared below findings
What kinds of benefits are your customers experiencing with your technology?
Today, organizations are at crossroads, where they either embrace transformation to stay ahead of digital disruptors or be relegated to irrelevance. Customers are increasingly collaborating with technology partners to evolve digital strategy that would help them accelerate the time to market, while improving cost efficiency in business operations. HDS plays vital role, with its integrated time-tested portfolio of software, hardware and services to help customers realize full benefits of digital transformation. Below image is a snapshot of Hitachi UCP family optimized for core data center, to edge deployments at ROBO sites, and big data applications.
What changes do you expect to see between now and VMworld 2017?
I anticipate accelerated adoption rate of hyperconverged infrastructure that allow customers to roll out applications with ease of management without committing capex upfront. Another trend that I see is containerized deployment of applications, and as the container technology matures, more and more enterprises will adopt it for production environments. Enterprises will continue to embark on hybrid cloud journey to be able to deliver agile IT services and shift the balance from infrastructure to applications. Another important shift is taking place in Flash technology. Industry is at a tipping point for adoption of flash for primary storage, as falling flash prices now deliver favorable ROI, when compared with spinning disks. HDS has been a leader in flash technology, shipping hundreds of petabytes of flash in its enterprise storage systems. Now, customers can leverage lightning-fast all-flash performance in its entire range of UCP family.
Hitachi Data Systems will be a strategic partner that would help customers introduce digital transformation in business strategies.
To learn more about HDS' exciting solutions for SDDC, cloud, Containers, and automation, visit VMworld booth # 1659