Renee Lawrence

VMworld Preview: Containers and Converged Infrastructure Gaining Momentum for HDS

Blog Post created by Renee Lawrence Employee on Aug 12, 2015

In the lead up to VMworld US later this month, Lee Pender interviewed me for an article for Virtualization Review.  If you're planning to be at VMworld, please visit us at booth #905 and see what's new with our UCP converged, cloud and public safety solutions.


Containers and Converged Infrastructure Gaining Momentum for Hitachi Data Systems


Renée Lawrence, Director of Solutions Marketing at Hitachi Data Systems, recently sat down with Virtualization Review magazine to discuss trends in virtualization and how HDS is addressing them.

By Lee Pender


What are some of the key trends you see in virtualization today?
Virtualization has transformed the data center over the last decade and it's now a pervasive element of IT infrastructure. Now we're seeing organizations focus on making the most of their virtualized environments, finding new ways to improve operations and faster and better ways to build, deploy and manage applications.


In the last few years we've seen a huge adoption rate for converged systems and now hyper-converged systems. Converged systems are the integration of compute, storage and network resources for both bare metal or virtual workloads. Hitachi offers a family of converged systems called Hitachi Unified Compute Platform, or UCP. Converged systems are a very compelling solution because they are easier to deploy than DIY approaches and organizations can bring the most critical workloads to a data center or cloud environment with predictable reliability and scale to rapidly expand environments as requirements evolve. There are two key management benefits of a move to converged infrastructure like UCP. The first is the ability to have a high level of visibility and a unified view into infrastructure both at the physical and virtual system level to monitor health, performance, and capacity. The second is being able to automate routine tasks like hardware and VM provisioning, automated system updates, disaster recovery configuration and failover, and workload auto-rebalancing; all through fully native integration with a hypervisor management tool, such as vCenter. UCP can also help organizations enable users to provision resources on their own using service catalogs through a self-service portal called Hitachi Cloud Automation Suite.


Container-based application development is another rapidly growing trend that's reaching widespread use in the developer community and is gradually gaining traction within the enterprise. Container technology complements virtualization and because they're lightweight and portable from platform to platform without any dependencies on the host environment, containers brings some unique advantages to virtualized environments in terms of faster application development. Two barriers to the more rapid adoption of container-based workloads in production have been the challenge to provision infrastructure to support containers and the need to orchestrate the creation and scheduling of multiple containers. HDS recently announced a collaboration with Google addresses both of these areas to enable enterprise IT with agile infrastructure and orchestration capabilities, supporting development, deployment and management of containerized applications in increasingly faster cycles. Google recently introduced Kubernetes container cluster orchestration and we've worked with them to deliver support for Kubernetes orchestration on UCP. UCP has traditionally been an ideal platform to run bare metal and virtualized workloads, now we have an infrastructure that enables container-based workloads as well.


What will Hitachi Data Systems showcase at VMworld?
We've expanded our UCP family to provide a broader range of solutions to best accommodate infrastructure needs for all workload types. This expanded portfolio provides the flexibility to match the ideal solution to our customer's needs and workloads -- and support that solution through its lifecycle. The latest additions to the UCP portfolio include feature and scale updates to our flagship UCP 4000 solution, including a single rack UCP4000E, as well our hyper-converged appliance UCP 1000 for VMware EVO:RAIL and our mid-tier UCP 2000. Both use new rack servers and target small to medium enterprise or remote branch office environments. 
We'll also be featuring UCP's advanced capabilities, such as automated system hardware, fully orchestrated hardware assisted site to site replication with Global Active Device. In addition, we'll be showing a full complement of VMware integrations and solution demonstrations, such as site to site Metro Cluster (vMSC) replication with Global Active Device (GAD) and VMware Virtual Volumes (VVol) policy based storage, both features of the Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System that enable continuous infrastructure managed from a single interface.


We will also be showing a public safety demo which features Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) intelligent edge-capture devices and Hitachi Visualization Suite (HVS), an integrated cloud and mobile software platform. This is a very exciting demo that shows how cities, or universities could improve security and incident response with mobile video surveillance and public and private entity integration. The solution provides access to data such as facial recognition, license-plate recognition, gunshot detection, and integration with computer-aided dispatch (CAD) or 911 systems, and more.


We hear a lot now about the "internet of things." What does that mean to you?
"Internet of Things" is another term that is gaining momentum as an emerging IT trend in virtualized and cloud environments. At Hitachi, we refer to this area as "Social Innovation", using innovative technology and business solutions to address larger societal trends. These range from urbanization and smart, connected technology to new health models and strained natural resources. Today HDS, working with other Hitachi companies with industry domain expertise, is bringing Social Innovation solutions and services to some key areas that are found in a variety of industries: communications, healthcare, business analytics, energy, transportation, public safety, and smart cities.


To learn more about HDS' solutions, visit us at VMworld US, August 30-September 2 in booth #905, Moscone Center, San Francisco.