Hu Yoshida

2015 Trends: Convergence, Automation, and Integration

Blog Post created by Hu Yoshida Employee on Nov 24, 2014

This is a continuation of ten 2015 trends which I started in my last post. These three posts refer to three key enablers for Business Defined IT.


2. New Capabilities Accelerate Adoption of Converged and Hyper-converged Platforms


A key enabler for Business Defined IT are converged solutions that are integrated with the systems and the application stack. Converged solutions are the fastest growing segment in the Hitachi Data Systems portfolio. Businesses no longer need to wait weeks or months for IT to spin up an Oracle RAC or SAP Hana platform. The integration of its orchestration software with VMware and Hyper-V, provides a software defined data center for private and public cloud. IT will begin to focus more on best of breed converged platforms, which can be customized, orchestrated, and optimized through a single pane of glass. New capabilities such as lower cost entry points, deeper integration of infrastructure and software, and the ability to nest hypervisors will accelerate the adoption of converged and hyper-converged solutions.


The entry point for converged solutions will be lowered through solutions that are priced and packaged for the SMB and remote office/back office market with the flexibility to integrate into enterprise configurations. Hyper-converged solutions, which are composed of scale out nodes of commodity servers with internal storage, will help to lower the costs even further for scale out applications like webservers and map reduce analytics.


New capabilities like VVOL from VMware will provide increased communication between the infrastructure and the application through API’s and client /providers. This will enable infrastructure vendors to publish their value-add capabilities to vSphere for consumption while providing the infrastructure with awareness of the logical entities like virtual machines. This interface enables vSphere to utilize these value add capabilities when they define a virtual volume while enabling the infrastructure with the visibility to allocate resources based on virtual machines rather than infrastructure constructs like storage LUNs.


Another new capability for unified compute platforms will be the ability to run nested hypervisors on the new Intel Xeon E5v3 processors. This will enable the running of different hypervisors on the same physical server for flexible cloud services, development test, and migration of legacy applications. Hitachi’s blade server will be able to use this new Xeon E5v3 capability with its unique LPAR architecture for added protection and load balancing without degradation in performance. LPARs enable multiple applications to run on the same processor in their own partitions with dedicated resources and with no data leakage or escalation of management privileges. Failures in one partition will not impact the running of applications in other partitions. Hitachi x86 LPARs, which have been used to run multiple bare metal applications, such as SAP HANA and Oracle RAC, in the same server to reduce hardware and software licensing costs will now be able to run a mix of bare metal applications and hypervisors for further costs reductions.



3. Management Automation


2015 will see greater investment in management automation tools. Provisioning of applications and orchestration of workloads will be done based on templates. Management automation will begin to include exception monitoring, alerting, root cause analysis and automated remediation.  Orchestration will include the movement of workloads between clouds, private and public to align the appropriate infrastructure based on cost, performance, locality, and governance. Management automation will be facilitated by a converged infrastructure with an orchestration layer that eliminates the need to link and launch different element managers.


IT vendors have worked with applications and have built up best practices. Instead of delivering their products with white papers on best practices, they should be able to deliver these best practices in the form of templates that can be used for automation. While it is easier for infrastructure vendors to do this if they own a converged solution, including server, storage and network, API’s must be available in the element managers for customers who still have the need to integrate with legacy infrastructure, OS, or applications.



4. Software Defined


Software defined everything will be heavily hyped in 2015 and many vendors will sell their products under this banner. The concept of software defined is a key step toward simplifying and automating the IT infrastructure. Startups will jump into the market with software that will be purported to be enterprise class with commodity low cost hardware. While software can enhance technology in the hardware the results will be limited by the hardware infrastructure beneath it. Software with commodity hardware can be good enough in some cases, but there will still be a need for intelligent enterprise hardware in the software defined world.


Software defined will require communication between the software and the infrastructure through APIs or client/providers, which are open and restful. A good example of this is VVOL from VMware. VVOL provides VM-level granularity to IT administrators by providing an abstraction layer in the form of a storage API between control plane and storage systems. It provides increased scalability and unprecedented automation in policy-based storage management. Using vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA), Hitachi is creating providers for its storage and converged solution products to publish their unique capabilities to vSphere for consumption. VVOLs can also use these storage providers to set policies and push information down to the external storage to make the storage VM-aware and able to negotiate with individual VMs; rather than the traditional way of dealing with a set of VMs in a LUN or file share. VVOLs minimize the NAS vs. SAN debate due to its VM centric management perspective and enables VMs to leverage the enterprise capabilities of enterprise storage systems. At the same time VMware provides VSAN for internal storage that is good enough for smaller configurations of EVO RAIL and EVO Rack that don’t need the functions of enterprise storage systems.


Here for reference are my ten IT trends for 2015. I will be covering trends 5, 6, 7 in my next post. I invite you to join me along with George Crump, analyst with Storage Switzerland, on December 10 in a web discussion of these trends and their impact. Registration and details are available here.


1.  Business Defined IT

Convergence, Automation, and Integration

2. New Capabilities Accelerate Adoption of Converged and Hyper-converged Platforms

3. Management Automation

Continuous Infrastructure

4. Software Defined

5. Global Virtualization adds a new dimension to storage virtualization

6. A Greater Focus on Data Recovery and Management of Data Protection Copies

7. Increasing Intelligence in Enterprise Flash Modules.

2015 Trends: Big Data, Internet of Things, Data Lakes, and Hybrid Cloud

8. Big Data And Internet of Things

9. Data Lake for Big Data Analytics

10. Hybrid Cloud Gains Traction