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The Road Ahead: Digital Infrastructure For the Data-Driven

By Radhika Krishnan

When conversations turn to digital transformation, it is usually smart phone apps, dizzying feats of AI, and domestic robots that capture all the attention.

But the unsung heroes of I.T. know the truth: digital infrastructure is the foundation on which data-driven transformations are built.

And increasingly we’re talking about two qualities digital infrastructure must possess if it is to be an effective backbone for digital transformation.

First, it must be bullet-proof, always-on and highly reliable. If you’re in any doubt about that, cast your mind back to the outage that recently took down Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Second, digital infrastructure must adapt quickly and flexibly to the changing demands of digital business and new ways of working. Think about how spikes in ecommerce, or tens of thousands of employees suddenly working from home, affected the delivery of digital services during the pandemic.

The big question for every IT leader then is “how do I build a digital infrastructure that is reliable, high performing, AND agile?”

During today’s launch event “The Road Ahead: Digital Infrastructure for the Data Driven“, Hitachi Digital Infrastructure President Mark Ablett and I outlined Hitachi Vantara’s answer to that question.

I talked about how we’re enabling clients to embrace the benefits of cloud and cloud-like operations in their digital infrastructure, without having to compromise on world-class performance, availability, and reliability.

Our vision is to deliver digital infrastructure designed for hybrid cloud, which enables clients to seamlessly back up their data to the cloud, or effortlessly migrate data and applications between on-premises or cloud infrastructure. We’re also working to enable clients to seamlessly provision and manage infrastructure for ‘born-in-the-cloud’ apps as easily as those running in their data centers.

Central to that strategy is our roadmap for combining cloud-ready infrastructure solutions with our software defined storage offerings, and to run a unified digital infrastructure wherever clients need it: on premises, in the cloud, or at the edge.

That choice of deployment options is clearly going to be key. While 91% of CIOs have embraced the cloud, 70% are simultaneously investing in on-premises IT for reasons ranging from data gravity, to properly addressing data regulation, sovereignty, and governance requirements.

Even though the future of digital infrastructure is clearly hybrid, the path to achieving simple data and operations management in a hybrid world is less clear.

No CIO wants to see operational costs rise as infrastructure becomes distributed. They also don’t want data living in multiple places, if that means data gets stuck in silos. And they certainly don’t want to see a drop in application performance just because some workloads move to the cloud.

CIOs need a unified view of their data, a single pane of glass through which to manage and optimize the underlying data infrastructure.

That requires a data fabric that seamlessly extends from on-premises resources into the cloud, and which mimics the scalability, simplicity, and convenience of cloud in their own data centers.

This is precisely data fabric vision Hitachi Vantara shared today, and the mindset driving several new products and solutions unveiled during our event:

  • Hitachi Virtual Storage Software for block is our software defined storage solution. We shared that we’re extending the offering to run in the cloud and that we expect to enable integration with public cloud IaaS including Amazon Web Services soon.
  • We debuted new versions of Hitachi’s VSP E590 and E790 midrange storage solutions. The new E-Series solutions feature integrations with cloud services platforms such as Google Anthos and Red Hat OpenShift to make it easier to extend data fabrics to the cloud.
  • Hitachi also announced Hitachi Replication Plug-In for Containers, which enables enterprise data services in container environments for stateful storage with the Hitachi VSP and E-Series family.
  • Our object storage offerings Hitachi Content Software for File and Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) added new capabilities today. A new optimization for HCP delivers a greater than 2x improvement in performance for cloud gen apps, while Hitachi Content Software for File now supports ingest from Amazon S3 object storage for high performance unstructured data applications such as IoT sensors and video surveillance machines.
  • Our industry-leading VSP 5000 Series expanded its enterprise-class features for clients with large data requirements. The new VSP 5200 and 5600 deliver a 42% improvement in data reduction efficiency, and the VSP 5600 sets a new performance record with an industry leading 33 million IOPS. Both models are extensible to the cloud with the same integrations as the new E-Series models.
  • Lastly, we added more punch to our IT operations management software, Hitachi Ops Center. Ops Center applies AI and ML methodologies to automate 90% of manual tasks and helps you get to root cause analysis up to 4X faster.

So, it’s been a banner day for Hitachi Vantara, and another important step in the delivery of digital infrastructure that helps data-driven organizations achieve their goals.

If you’re curious to see the type of impact our innovations are already having for clients, check out how our VSP 5000 series has helped Swiss Insurer SUVA make better, data-driven decisions about the 480,000+ claims it handles each year. Or take a look at how our E Series systems have helped client DenizBank improve business resiliency as it scales to provide banking services to more than 14 million clients worldwide.

We’re proud to support SUVA, Denizbank and thousands more organizations, including more than 80% of the Fortune 100. I invite you to watch the playback of our event and decide whether it might also be time for you to consider Hitachi Vantara as your partner for the journey to hybrid cloud.

Radhika Krishnan is Chief Product Officer at Hitachi Vantara.

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