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Data Center Transformation Part 9: With a little help from your friends

by Hu Yoshida on Sep 13, 2010

Aside from the investments in software and hardware, data center transformation will take some investment in processes and people. The best way to address process is to follow ITIL best practices and reporting. If you are not using ITIL, you need to define and document your own best practices and follow them. The people part may be the hardest to address.

Over the years since we introduced storage virtualization, we have had many customers buy into the concept and invest in the hardware and software to virtualize and transform their data center.

Unfortunately when I visit them a year later, some of them are still using our storage as dumb storage and all the software is shelfware. That is not good for our customers and that is not good for Hitachi. They are not getting the full value of our virtualization solutions. Some have even done the storage economics study and know what TCO savings and ROA can be gained.

After analyzing the problem, it became apparent that the data center staff did not have the time to invest in the education and planning to implement the transformation. Data centers have been asked to do more with less for a number of years and the less has often meant less people. The same three IT staff that used to manage 20 TB of storage ten years ago are now managing 400 TB. On top of that, they have to cope with the increases in networking, server virtualization, desktop virtualization, application refresh, unstructured data , and security and compliance. They are up to their eyeballs in grunt work and don’t have the time to learn new skills, much less plan for new data center projects.

Realizing this, our services group began offering some remote managed services to offload some of this grunt work so that the operations people could find the time to do the training. These remote services are provided by experienced professionals from our Service Operations Center, using our storage management tools. Since these services can be leveraged across many accounts, the cost for these services is very reasonable.   Services include measurements and scorecard reporting, provisioning, and performance monitoring and tuning. We also can provide residencies for 6 to 18 months for major projects. We have found a great demand for these types of services and are continuously expanding our support with new Service Operations Centers.

We also offer two Transformation Services that are designed to accelerate your ability to plan and design an actionable plan for your data center transformation around your specific requirements and our Hitachi tools.

  • Transformation Workshop services helps to develop a high level roadmap and strategy
  • Planning and Design Services creates an assessment of the current state and a detailed roadmap to implement recommendations encompassing people, process, and technology

If what we have been saying about data center transformation makes sense, consider the need for services to ensure that your people have the time and the tools to properly plan and implement the transformation.

This month, Hitachi Data Systems will be kicking off its 2010 series of worldwide Hitachi Information Forums, at which we will be talking about data center transformation. Jack Domme our CEO, Tadahiko Ishigaki our CEO of Hitachi Americas, and I will be kicking off the first Hitachi Information Forum on September 27, in Santa Clara at the Santa Clara Convention Center on Great America Parkway.  You can register here.

Following that event, our executive team will be spreading out to cover similar 2010 Hitachi Information Forums around the globe. Be sure to catch us at one of these events. 2010 is Hitachi’s 100 year anniversary so we plan to make it a big event.

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Comments (3 )

[...] this takes investment, so we covered storage economics in part 8 and the need for services in part 9. In this last post on this series, I would like to address the need for data center virtualization. [...]

Santos Skelley on 28 Jun 2012 at 1:10 pm

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