2 page Case Study
Posted: 12/21/2012
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Hitachi Systems Hosting Provider Creates Cloud Platform for Delivering Flexible and Reliable Offerings

To expand its cloud computing opportunities, Hitachi Systems, Ltd. has begun to deploy the Windows Server 2012 operating system. The company determined that the operating system could provide multitenant capabilities, disaster recovery features, and cost-effectiveness that it needed to be successful. By using Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, Hitachi Systems can meet a wide range of customer needs, deliver exceptional performance and availability, and reduce operating costs.

Business Needs
Hitachi Systems, Ltd. is the core company for the information and communication systems business of Hitachi Group. It provides comprehensive IT services that cover the full life cycle of IT systems, from design and build to hosting, operations, and maintenance.

Recently, Hitachi Systems has increased its focus on cloud computing opportunities and begun to provide a number of private cloud services to customers, including more than 100 “software as a service” applications. The company intends to increase its sale of cloud services to 100 billion yen (US$1.25 billion), or 20 percent of total sales, by the end of 2015.

However, to successfully meet these sales targets, the company needed to identify a powerful, flexible, manageable, and cost-effective cloud infrastructure. Hideo Tsuru, PMI Project Management Professional and Senior Chief Engineer, Cloud Computing Business Promotion Project at Hitachi Systems, Ltd., explains, “We have been providing a virtualized on-demand infrastructure service called Business Stage Resource On Demand, or ROD, for more than five years. However, to enhance our competitiveness, we have to satisfy diverse needs and further reduce costs. We decided to conduct an evaluation to identify the best hypervisor for our coming cloud platform.”

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* With Windows Server 2012, we will have the flexibility to create a virtual private cloud that can easily connect to customer data centers and public cloud environments such as Windows Azure. *

Hideo Tsuru
PMI Project Management Professional and Senior Chief Engineer, Cloud Computing Business Promotion Project, Hitachi Systems, Ltd.

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Hitachi Systems needed a hypervisor that met its requirements for high performance, high reliability, and low costs. It felt that the Hyper-V technology in the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system lacked the virtual machine capacity, live workload migration capabilities, and replication features that it needed for its new offering. It also needed more sophisticated management capabilities that it could use to deploy and configure hundreds of servers at a time.

Solution
Hitachi Systems learned about the Windows Server 2012 operating system and began to evaluate it for use in its ROD cloud environment. “When we learned that Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V had significant capacity and functionality enhancements, we began to consider using it for our new cloud platform,” says Tsutomu Sato, Chief Manager, Cloud Computing Business Promotion Department, Cloud Computing Business Promotion Project at Hitachi Systems, Ltd. Windows Server 2012 supports virtual machines with up to 64 virtual processors and 1 terabyte of memory and clusters with as many as 64 nodes.

Previously, to achieve multisite connectivity, Hitachi Systems had to use multiple virtual local area networks (VLANs), which complicated network design and management. However, by using the Hyper-V Network Virtualization feature, Hitachi Systems can isolate network traffic among different customers on a shared infrastructure without using VLANs. “By using Hyper-V Network Virtualization, we can connect data center sites with minimum change processes,” says Yuji Uchida, Senior Engineer, Cloud Computing Business Promotion Department, Cloud Computing Business Promotion Project at Hitachi Systems, Ltd.

Hitachi Systems tested Hyper-V Replica as a way to create low-cost disaster recovery services. Hyper-V Replica provides asynchronous replication of virtual machines between storage systems, clusters, and data centers over two sites.

Additionally, in Windows Server 2012, the Windows PowerShell command-line interface and scripting language is greatly enhanced to allow more Hyper-V cmdlets (small units of PowerShell functionality) and thus more extensive automation.

Hitachi Systems tested all these features in a pilot environment. Concurrently, it migrated a production environmenttotwo data centers that span eastern and western Japan. The team successfully migrated running workloads from one data center to the other. “Our business-critical systems ran stably in the Hyper-V environment,” says Uchida.

Hitachi Systems plans to deploy Windows Server 2012 on 10,000 servers for its new cloud platform. It will use the Disk2vhd tool to migrate physical servers to virtual machines.

Benefits
By using Windows Server 2012, Hitachi Systems can meet a wider range of customer needs and deliver high performance and availability without increasing IT operating costs.

Meet Wide Range of Customer Needs
By migrating to a Windows Server 2012 cloud computing infrastructure based on Hyper-V, Hitachi Systems will have even more dynamic responsiveness to meet rapidly changing customer needs.

“With Windows Server 2012, we will have the flexibility to create a virtual private cloud that can easily connect to customer data centers and public cloud environments such as Windows Azure,” Tsuru says. “We intend to take advantage of these features to create new services.”

Deliver High Performance, Reliability
With the higher virtual machine capacity of Hyper-V, Hitachi Systems can cost-effectively boost compute power for customer workloads. Additionally, Windows Server 2012 contains many high-availability features that hosting providers previously had to buy separately and integrate into their environment at great cost. With built-in features, such as Hyper-V Replica and Hyper-V Network Virtualization, Hitachi Systems can move workloads and storage around freely and update host servers without interrupting workloads.

Reduce Data Center Costs
Hitachi Systems can also simplify data center management and lower costs by using Windows Server 2012. Most of its data center administrators are familiar with the Windows interface, so they can easily operate Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. Additionally, with so many capabilities built into the operating system, Hitachi Systems has an infrastructure that is easier to maintain and support.

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Solution Overview



Organization Size: 5000 employees

Organization Profile

Hitachi Systems, Ltd. provides a comprehensive suite of IT services ranging from design and build, hosting, and data center operations and maintenance. It is part of Hitachi Group.


Software and Services
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Microsoft Hyper-V

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
Japan

Business Need
  • Cost Containment
  • Cloud & Server Platform

IT Issue
  • Cloud Services
  • Virtualization

Languages
English

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