The Solution: An Automated Private Cloud Approach
As Rabobank looked for a solution to its automation problem, Hitachi Vantara was working on the next generation of Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) architecture. Hitachi was also adding new features to Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Advisor (UCP Advisor), its management automation solution.
The two companies realized that by running a proof of concept (PoC) for UCP Advisor at Rabobank, they could achieve a win-win scenario. The bank would get access to a state-of-the-art automation platform with functionality tailored to its specific needs. Meanwhile, Hitachi Vantara would gain the feedback it needed to create a better product, whose features were proven to address real-world use cases, to exacting standards and at an industrial scale.
At the start of the PoC, Rabobank identified more than 70 issues with its existing approach, and the Hitachi Vantara team began working on implementing solutions in UCP Advisor. This resulted in the development of an enriched application programming interface (API) that makes it possible for Rabobank to provision any combination of storage and compute resources — on VMware or physical servers — with just a few clicks.
With security a priority, the Hitachi team added integration with Microsoft Active Directory and role-based access control (RBAC). Whenever a user logs in to configure or maintain part of the infrastructure, that login is now tracked automatically and visible in a management portal, creating a full audit trail.
In total, the Hitachi Vantara product development team was able to address all 70 of Rabobank’s issues within just two releases of UCP Advisor.
“Working closely with the product development team has been a great experience for both companies,” says Chatelier. “They made several visits to our headquarters, and we visited them Santa Clara, too, to make sure both sides really understood the features and the requirements. This is a partnership which has really paid dividends.”
On the hardware side, UCP Advisor runs as an all-in-one appliance, so there is no need for Rabobank to manage it separately. Moreover, the new solution will enable Rabobank to achieve further data center consolidation: The converged environment is currently spread across 80 physical machines, which will soon be reduced to just two. Rabobank also plans to upgrade its storage in the near future to Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) 5500, which promises “eight nines” availability.
“The UCP architecture is highly modular, so we can plug together a set of compatible hardware and software to build the solution we need,” says Chatelier. “UCP Advisor will provide the flexible APIs we need for end-to-end automation, while the VSP 5500 promises to be the fastest SSD-powered array in existence — unlocking new levels of performance for our business users and customer-facing applications.”