We are pleased to offer a guest post from one of our valued vSAN partners, Hitachi Vantara. This post highlights the joint work from our two companies and showcases customers deploying hyper-converged infrastructure powered by vSAN.

By: Dinesh Singh, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager, Hitachi Vantara

Since last year’s launch of the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform HC (UCP HC) powered by vSAN, we have seen global customers deploy this solution across a wide-range of use cases, from tier-1 applications in a stretched cluster configuration to small-scale configurations at branch offices with minimal or no IT staff.

Let’s look at a couple specific customer HCI stories that we believe can easily be replicated to help other IT environments with classic infrastructure challenges.

Packaged Food Manufacturer

A multi-billion dollar North American packaged food provider runs a distributed business that uses dual data centers for high availability. Their virtual desktop environment was running on a legacy three tier architecture and was not scaling to meet their performance needs. A recent roll-out of a number of new employee productivity applications really brought to light these performance challenges.

New business initiatives required that their VDI environment be highly available in order to minimize business impact from system outages. Managing disparate systems wasn’t cheap either. The customer was required to dedicate IT team members for maintenance and upkeep of legacy hardware. The IT team was under constant pressure by the executives to optimize their data center footprint, especially when they planned to move to a new data center space.

The customer took this opportunity to reevaluate their infrastructure strategy and shift to a hyper-converged architecture. The customer replaced their legacy systems with the Hitachi UCP HC cluster. They saw improved performance and a reduced number of persistent desktops, all while delivering a native desktop experience.

Integrated disaster recovery ensured that their VDI environment was “always-on” in order to support their business requirements. Multiple racks of legacy compute and storage devices were replaced with just 4U Hitachi UCP HC clusters, with ample scale to accommodate future growth.  Interestingly, this opportunity started as a server refresh conversation, but evolved to deliver higher value to the customer as a hyper-converged infrastructure solution.

Image 1 above depicts the customer requirement of “always-on” virtual desktops being met as a turnkey solution integrating UCP HC with Hitachi Data Ingestor and Hitachi Content Platform (HCP). The Hitachi Content Platform was used to host the user profiles and user data to enable workforce mobility for the customer. Employees could seamlessly access their virtual desktops from any office they visited.  Furthermore, the DC-DR architecture provided enhanced availability for the customer’s VDI environment.

Non-Government Humanitarian Organization

One of the largest European relief organizations was running its entire VMware infrastructure on a converged platform. Initial design flaws were identified when their entire system came down due to an outage caused by a security loophole. Due to the fact that their management stack was also hosted on the same platform, it required a lot of troubleshooting to fully restore their IT operations.

Accordingly, Hitachi worked with the customer to separate their management layer (vCenter, vROPs, native management tool) from their primary infrastructure. Hitachi UCP HC was chosen for the new Management Cluster to run independently from the production environment. HCI was a great fix due to the ease of deployment and ease of management.

This customer operated with a limited IT team, therefore, ease of management was an essential factor in the decision-making process. By running the management layer within UCP HC, it provided the customer the ability to recover and restore applications quickly, mitigating one of their biggest pain points. In addition, the Hitachi UCP HC management cluster was deployed in a stretched cluster configuration to ensure the highest availability of the customer’s management software.

These customers exemplify the enterprise-ready Hitachi UCP HC’s ability to deliver performance, availability and policy driven operational efficiency, to support the customer’s business critical revenue generating applications.

Recently, the Hitachi UCP HC powered by vSAN was given the Hyperconverged and Virtualized Infrastructure Solution category award by NetworkWorld Asia Information Management Awards 2017. These awards recognize Asia's leaders in information security, storage and data management for the technology advancements made in these areas. This award bears testimony to the robust platform the UCP HC provides to virtualized and cloud-native applications, and the value that the deep integration with VMware is able to offer to the customer.

Learn all about the Hitachi hyper-converged systems powered by vSAN by downloading the brochure here. To learn more about vSAN, visit the web page here.