Tasha Stone

CIO Blog: Converged Infrastructure Can Help Deliver on the Promise of Real-time Business Intelligence

Discussion created by Tasha Stone Employee on Oct 28, 2015

Branded blog post on CIO.com discusses:

Converged Infrastructure Can Help Deliver on the Promise of Real-time Business Intelligence


By Paul Desmond

With companies awash in a sea of big data, many are seeking to implement business intelligence (BI) and data analytics initiatives to help them make sense of it all and improve decision-making. In the process, some are finding their traditional IT infrastructure isn’t up to the challenge of crunching through all that data in a timely fashion and are seeking alternative solutions.


We’re still in the early stages with respect to BI and analytics, but it appears to be coming on fast. In CIO magazine’s Tech Poll: Tech Priorities 2015, BI and analytics was the most frequently cited application targeted for increased spending, cited by 56 percent of the 211 CIO-level respondents. Enterprises were significantly more likely than small or medium-sized businesses to plan for spending increases in the area, 65% to 48%.


Steve Conway, research vice president in IDC's High Performance Computing group, said we’re now seeing the third wave of compute technology to help perform what he calls high-performance data analytics. The first phase was compute clusters in the 1990s, followed by the move to grids that enabled “enterprise-wide management of the applications and workloads.” The third phase is the move to cloud infrastructure, be it public, private or hybrid.


In an earlier post, I explained many large enterprises are choosing the private cloud route and employing converged infrastructure to build their clouds. The rationale is that they have highly specific requirements and goals to meet – and BI and data analytics represent an excellent example.


In his piece on ThePlatform.net, Conway lays out some compelling examples of the power of BI and data analytics, and the need for high-performance compute platforms to gain the benefits. One example is PayPal, which he said performs “sophisticated fraud detection on eBay and StubHub transactions in real time, before fraud hits credit cards. Enterprise technology had taken up to two weeks to identify fraud.”


Companies are also turning to technologies such as SAP HANA to help them deal with big data challenges. SAP HANA is an in memory database technology to drive far faster analytics, enabling companies to make real time decisions that, as in the PayPal example, may have previously taken weeks.


The India-based IT services provider Infosys, for example, wanted to become the first enterprise in the country to declare quarterly results. To do so, it needed to increase the speed and frequency of its financial reporting. It turned to SAP HANA to run its SAP Business Suite (ECC) and Business Warehouse (BW) systems.


To support the implementation, Infosys opted for the Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Unified Compute Platform (UCP). It went live with its BW implementation in August 2014 and with ECC the following November. With more than 150,000 users, it is the largest single-node SAP ECC on SAP HANA, according to Infosys.

Infosys chose HDS UCP because it could meet its stringent demands for scalability and storage. IDC analyzed the implementation in a white paper  on SAP HANA and HDS UPC and had this to say:

[Infosys] had a requirement for a 6TB scale-up appliance, and it found no other vendor offering such an appliance in a satisfactory manner. Infosys also likes the scalability offered by HDS, which allows it to switch from a scale-up to a scale-out appliance fairly simply. This simplified scalability is attributed to Hitachi's use of the same server blade architecture in its scale-up and scale-out appliances.

Parisa Fathi, Sr. SAP Solutions Marketing Manager at HDS, adds, “The inherent architecture of Hitachi UCP for SAP HANA allows organizations to grow their environments in a highly cost-efficient manner.”


Converged infrastructure that’s tailored for high-performance computing platforms such as SAP HANA seems to me like the right approach for building a platform capable of handling the sort of real-time BI and analytics that can deliver a true competitive edge.

Click here to learn how the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform portfolio can create a more agile and flexible data center to help IT enable faster time to production, automate operations, and provide real-time business insights.

About this Blog: Hitachi Data Systems builds information management and Social Innovation solutions for enterprises. Hitachi's IT infrastructure, analytics, content and cloud solutions and services enable enterprises to leverage their data assets to meet strategic business goals. The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform portfolio of converged infrastructure products helps enterprises manage increasingly complex and critical data center operations in a way that enhances flexibility, agility, efficiency, productivity and scalability. Learn more about Hitachi Unified Compute Platform here.