ING Group, Rabobank and Telefonica to adopt new Hitachi cloud

Dutch financial services company ING Group is one of the customers planning to adopt the new cloud infrastructure that Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) unveiled this week.


Dutch financial services company ING Group is one of the customers planning to adopt the new cloud infrastructure that Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) unveiled this week.

At its distribution centre in the Netherlands, HDS launched a Hitachi Storage Virtualisation Operating System (SVOS), new hardware in the form of Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) G1000, new version of the Hitachi Command Suite systems management platform and “significant” enhancements to its Hitachi Unified Compute Platform offerings. One of the claims of the new system is that it will enable data migration without disruption.

ING’s storage consultant Robin Bohm told ComputerworldUK that the company was considering Hitachi’s new system to “make it easier” for business, with the promises of a simpler data migration a pull for the company. It has been using Hitachi-built systems for 15 years.

“Data migration is work - that’s the good part of it - but we do a lot of hiring of consultants to get the systems migrated which costs a lot,” he said.

“Sometimes it takes a year or more to get the systems replaced. Hitachi’s new system and new tech can be virtualised, plus Hitachi is a reliable partner - they deliver on their promises.”

Potential customers

Other customers planning to implement the new system include telecoms company Telefonica Germany, Spanish public healthcare Osakidetza and Dutch bank Rabobank.

Osakidetza, which runs the public health system in the Basque region of Spain will be using the new systems to store its 18 hospitals’ 2.5 petabytes of information - 80 percent of which are radiological images.

Aritza Irazagorria, chief production officer of IT at Osakidetza, said: “HDS has demonstrated they are a leading resource. They make our lives easier. The new generation of VSPs will help us achieve our goals.”

Effective data storage and management will also allow doctors to diagnose quickly and accurately, which Irazagorria emphasized “will save lives”.

Patrick Sholte, cloud provisioning manager at Dutch bank Rabobank said that managing cloud provisions “is the main challenge for us in ICT and also business - to keep competing at the level our customers’ needs.”

Sholte believes that aligning cloud with business strategies is one of the most exciting aspects of the coming year and that although cloud has been adapted quicker in certain aspects of the business, particularly in customer focused areas, there is a lot to be done at the core of enterprise strategies.

He said: “When you delve deeper into banking you’re not really used to that as a normal mode of business. So it’s an interesting year for partnering in business and IT.

“This is critical for competition.”

Longer-lasting hardware

HDS said that its new hardware is expected to reach double a typical stacks’ life-span, with HDS’ EMEA chief technology officer Bob Plumridge estimating that the Virtual Storage Platform G10000 box would last customers “six or seven years”.

Sean Moser, SVP of software platforms management at HDS added that the system “lasts longer without pinning you to a legacy system”.

Moser said that inevitable upgrades would allow data to “migrate without disruptions” and avoid ripping and replacing, which can often expose businesses to security and functioning risks.

Accompanying management software suite includes templates for apps, the ability to manage services levels and give users insight into how all aspects of the system is performing.

Gartner IT analyst Valdis Filks told the conference in Holland that enterprises cannot rely on a technical edge by “buying the latest and greatest” as competitors “will buy the same within 18 months”.

He advised that “soft skills like driving, managing, focusing on where you are going is really going to be the difference in the future whether companies are successful or not.”

“It is very, very difficult to make new things and most of the brains are in the soft skills and software - new design with new algorithms and new equations. And these are all software benefits that most people will be able to repeat in a very short time.”


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