The Software-Defined Data Center and the New Hitachi Unified Compute Platform

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1 The Software-Defined Data Center and the New Hitachi Unified Compute Platform By Miklos Sandorfi, Chief Strategy Officer for File, Content and Cloud at Hitachi Data Systems and Mike Clayville, Vice President, Product Marketing, Cloud Infrastructure, VMware

2 he traditional data center is dying. Far from being a harbinger of the future of computing, the data center as we know it today has actually become a relic of the past. It is inefficient, expensive and unreliable. It s also unsustainable. A Museum of IT Past The main problem with the traditional data center is a lack of integration. It s a loose collection of technology silos, a complex blend that requires time-consuming, hands-on management and still is not reliable enough to consistently meet the needs of today s organizations. The jumbled collection of technologies present in the traditional data center can be an assortment of outdated and outmoded tools. Today s data center isn t part of the future; instead, it s a museum of IT past. Let s take a look at some of the problems with today s data center. Traditionally, applications have dictated a set of requirements that directly related to a set of choices on infrastructure technologies. Each application type had its own vertical stack of CPU and operating system type, storage pool, networking and security, and even management systems. The contemporary data center has yet to benefit from virtualization in the same manner other elements of computing have seen value. While IT has made substantial progress virtualizing much of the the Microsoft Windows and Unix world, organizations are still dealing with all of the disparate and poorly integrated pieces of the datacenter. Continuing the theme of a lack of integration, different providers of tools to the modern data center have different excuses as to why it s not working: Database vendors argue that another vertical, proprietary stack should be put in place. Mainframe vendors argue that the only way to deliver mission-critical environments is with their vertical stack. High-performance computing vendors argue that we can t afford any more latency or overhead. And today, with Hadoop for example, many IT organizations are building yet again another isolated, propriety pool. The result is devastating: IT spends now spends more than 70 percent of its budget to keep the data center up and running to keep the lights on. This picture is just not sustainable over time. It is putting IT further and further into the hole. A New Approach to the Data Center There is a solution to the dilemma of the data center. The new data center is integrated and virtualized. It s automated and simple to control. The new data center paradigm is the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). In the software-defined datacenter, infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service, and control of the datacenter is entirely automated by software. Figure 1: The offerings in the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform product family That means the end of disparate technologies that don t work together, require constant intervention from IT and have to be linked in an inorganic fashion. The SDDC ushers in a new era of automation and control for the data center. It includes five essential 1

3 characteristics. The SDDC is: Standardized: Homogenous infrastructure is delivered as software services across pools of standard, x86 hardware to eliminate unnecessary complexity. Holistic: A unified platform is optimized for the entire datacenter fabric, providing comprehensive infrastructure services capable of supporting any and all applications. Adaptive: Self-programmable virtualized infrastructure services are provided on-demand, unconstrained by physical topology, dynamically adapting to application scale and location. Figure 2: Available configurations of the Unified Compute Platform for VMware vsphere Automated: Built-in intelligence automates provisioning, placement, configuration and control, based on defined policies. Resilient: Software-based architecture and approach compensates for failing hardware, providing failover, redundancy, and fault tolerance to critical operations. This concept has been developing for a long time. Now, all of its elements have come together into a cohesive approach for the entire datacenter. What the SDDC does is clean up the data center. It abstracts services that are required from the underlying hardware, pools them and then automates them. The concept is based on the existing philosophy of the hypervisor. The classic hypervisor abstracts and pools both CPUs and memory. The SDDC fills the need for a platform that applies this approach to storage and availability services, as well as to network and security services. Only by taking this fully virtualized approach can organizations begin to address the true automation of the entire datacenter environment. Now, everything becomes an on-demand service that can take on the shape and size of application requirements as they are presented it s a just-in-time service configuration. That s the Software-Defined Data Center: one platform, consisting of all software services, delivered on demand as a service, to support any and all application types in the datacenter both existing apps and new, modern apps that will increasingly demand more of the datacenter infrastructure. Delivering on the Vision and Delivering Value Hitachi Data Systems and VMware have made the concept of a Software-Defined Data Center a reality. Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) Pro for VMware vsphere, introduced in October 2012, integrates the vsphere hypervisor, server, network and storage in a data center and validates the application layer running on top of them. In UCP Pro, the application layer is the only element of the data center not natively integrated. Everything else is part of one package with one management console: VMware vcenter. Hitachi UCP Pro for VMware vsphere ties in VMware s vsphere hypervisor with server, network and storage technologies from Hitachi, Cisco and Brocade. It delivers on the promise of an integrated data center consisting entirely of software services and available on demand. UCP Pro and UCP Select both deliver the Software-Defined Data Center integrated, flexible, easy to deploy and simple to 2

4 maintain. (The various iterations of UCP are shown in Figure 2). They offer best-in-class functionality and a wide range of integrated and flexible reference solutions. The deep integration of UCP Pro for VMware vsphere, with UCP Director Software, into vsphere and vcenter enables faster deployment of cloud infrastructure and efficient resource allocation, simple automation and orchestration for streamlined infrastructure management, as Figure 3 demonstrates. All Hitachi UCP integrated (Pro) and reference (Select) solutions are designed for maximum performance and utilization through Hitachi best-in-class storage and software technologies. The Select option offers the choice of Hitachi servers with Brocade networking and your choice of Hitachi storage, or Cisco servers and networking with Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform. In addition, most UCP solutions support multiple storage systems with industryleading Hitachi storage virtualization technology. With Hitachi UCP Select for VMware vsphere, organizations can: Simplify configuration and integration of all solution components to accelerate time-to-value for your most demanding applications. physical and virtual resources. Increase operational efficiency and resource utilization by aligning business processes to IT execution. UCP Select for VMware vsphere also lets companies decide which reference architecture best meets their needs either Hitachi- or Cisco-based then choose the CPU and memory configuration to match workloads or offer multiple tiers of compute resources. UCP Pro for VMware vsphere Pro enables organizations to do even more: Bring infrastructure on board quickly with faster deployment and preconfigured elements with Hitachi UCP Director software. Automate and orchestrate the management of essential infrastructure components as unified pools of business resources from directly within the vcenter management console. Use comprehensive management via integration with vcenter and vsphere through the UCP Director software. Improve organizational agility by quickly deploying new applications and services to respond to changes in business needs and integrate into current environments. Be certain with the predictable reliability of a robust private cloud platform aligned to business service levels. Reduce management cost and complexity with coordinated comprehensive provisioning and administration of virtualized private cloud environments. Simplify the ordering and procurement process as well as the onboarding and management of Figure 3: Efficiency benefits of Hitachi Unified Compute Platform for vsphere Pro 3

5 The Data Center of the Future and the Present The increased efficiency and ease of management UCP Pro for VMware vsphere offers translate into bottomline results. This converged solution, with its unique UCP Director software, offers organizations simplicity and efficiency, with a single purchase order, a single solution stack, single-pane-ofglass management from vcenter, one-source support, percent availability and deployment in as short a time as two days. Those concepts turn into dollars when UCP Pro for VMware vsphere is implemented. The results are documented, measurable time reductions and cost savings in test and development activity, deployment, staff productivity, asset utilization and power usage. See Figure 4 for details. The Software-Defined Data Center delivers far greater value, efficiency and flexibility than the traditional data center. The single-platform, just-in-time data center exists Figure 4: Tangible results customers have experienced with the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform for VMware vsphere Pro today, but it s also the data center of tomorrow. Today s data center is in rapid decline; the new paradigm of the SDDC is the future of the data center model. The Hitachi UCP family of offerings for VMware vsphere, it s also the here and now

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