Hitachi Data Systems and HBF Success Story


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4-page success story describes how private health insurer HBF selected Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform to deliver a seamless user experience when transitioning from physical to virtual desktops and for performance tiering and dynamic pooling efficiencies.

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Hitachi Data Systems and HBF Success Story

  1. 1. S U C C E S S S T O R Y“We needed a mechanism that HBFallowed us to be more efficient when INDUSTRY Insuranceprovisioning storage and consolidateour existing storage assets. We now SOLUTIONS Enterprise Platform, Virtualisationhave a storage environment that is Hardware — Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform Software — Hitachi Command Suite, Hitachi Dynamic Tieringover 50% virtualised, and with the Services — Provided by Hitachi TrueNorth™ Partner UXC Connectvast scalability provided by the VirtualStorage Platform we can quickly meetproject requirements, no matter howbig or small. ”Colin RutherfordSenior Network Engineer (Infrastructure)HBF
  2. 2. S U C C E S S S T O R Y 2 a revamped storage architecture all in theHBF Embraces Virtualised Storage Infrastructure with one package,” he explains.Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform “In addition, with a looming virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) project that involvedHBF is the largest private health insurer in Western Australia more than 650 desktops being brought into the data centre, we needed a platformand has been supporting the health and well-being of Western that would deliver a seamless user experi-Australians for nearly 70 years. With a network spread across 19 ence when transitioning from physical to virtual desktops. Performance tieringservice centres and its head office, HBF was planning to introduce and dynamic pooling efficiencies werea virtual desktop infrastructure and needed a way to efficiently also key to meeting the highly volatile and performance-critical VDI workload withoutmanage and store this data. Hitachi Data Systems was selected to costing the earth,” Rutherford this requirement with Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform. The Solution: A VirtualisedBackground located at the head office. With an enter- Storage Infrastructure prise storage platform that was beginning HBF engaged independent informationEstablished in 1941, HBF (http://www. to sprawl and components of that platform and communication technologies (ICT) is Western Australia’s leading nearing end of life, HBF was looking to provider UXC Connect to identify thehealth insurer, providing health coverage modernise its storage infrastructure and most suitable solution to meet its storagefor 900,000 members across the region. bring greater flexibility in the way it stores requirements. Following an assessmentHBF also sells general insurance prod- and manages its data. of the key technologies in this space,ucts, including travel, car, life, and home HBF decided on Hitachi Virtual Storageand contents insurance and prides itself “Our existing storage network was starting Platform (VSP), with UXC Connect provid-on providing the best personal experi- to become fragmented and difficult to ing support with the configuration, builds,ence possible for members. It is a strong manage with aging storage practices. We quoting and ordering of the products.supporter of community initiatives, such were ultimately limiting any future scalabil-as the HBF Run for a Reason and the ity,” says Colin Rutherford, senior network Enabling virtualisation of external SANHBF Rottnest Channel Swim. In 2010 and engineer, HBF. “We have multiple manage- storage from Hitachi and other vendors2011, HBF paid out AUS$928 million in ment points for storage infrastructure, so into one pool, Hitachi VSP is the only 3Dhealth benefits, equating to over AUS$2.5 were looking to introduce storage virtu- scaling storage platform designed for allmillion every day. alisation to underpin all new and existing data types and the only enterprise storage storage resources. This would allow for architecture that flexibly adapts for perfor-HBF has around 650 staff spread across easier data migrations off aging hardware mance and capacity.19 service centres and its central office in and consolidation of storage resourcesPerth. These users all require access to Combined with Hitachi Command Suite for improved utilisation, performance andthe data and internal business applications management software, the VSP gives “When introducing a technology change that affects so many end users, the user experience factor is absolutely crucial. The leading storage performance provided by the VSP has been an integral part of this successful deployment, giving us an extremely flexible and scalable virtual storage infrastructure for VDI and beyond.” Colin Rutherford Senior Network Engineer (Infrastructure) HBF
  3. 3. S U C C E S S S T O R Y 3optimal infrastructure growth in all dimen- fleet of HP thin client PCs to its 650 users An added benefit is that HBF has thesions and supports automated storage across all offices. The organisation has flexibility to decommission old storagetiering, known as Hitachi Dynamic Tiering, also been able to lower its information systems and move data between storageto automate the movement of data be- technology services disk costs by taking systems without any outages or impact totween tiers for higher performance and advantage of storage pooling and tiering. performance, ensuring business continuitylower cost. at all times. “When introducing a technological changeSitting above 3 existing Hitachi stor- that affects so many end users, the user A Look Forwardage systems (Hitachi Adaptable Modular experience factor is absolutely crucial,”Storage 500 and 2500, as well as Hitachi notes Rutherford. “The leading storage HBF is looking to further consolidate itsNetwork Storage Controller 55), the performance provided by the VSP has SAN storage platform in line with growingVSP enables HBF to view all of its data been an integral part of this successful its virtual-to-physical server ratio. Havingas one entity. This means data can be deployment, giving us an extremely flexible tight storage integration to support this willeasily moved, allocated and provisioned and scalable virtual storage infrastructure.” be crucial, as more reliance is placed onacross environments. The VSP now hosts virtual infrastructure as opposed to physi- “To serve our performance requirements cal infrastructure.HBF’s core internal applications, including we are able to use our existing disk assetsVMware View for its 650 virtual desktops, HBF will also be looking to take advantage and dynamically tier across them. RatherMicrosoft SQL Databases, MRM (Siebel/ of cloud storage offerings where possible, than having all our data sit on Tier 1 diskTibco/UDB) and Microsoft collaboration particularly with its development and testing on a single storage system, we can nowtools Lync and SharePoint. environments. Additionally, the company is tier this data via pools and automatically“Hitachi has proven its success in deliver- place the most frequently accessed data looking to the cloud for data replication anding high performance and reliability in the on the more efficient, faster disk, while the disaster recovery capabilities.last 10 years that we have been using its least accessible data is moved to the less "Over the coming months the VSP willstorage systems,” says Rutherford. “Its expensive, slower disk. allow us to further consolidate our storagetechnology concepts are easy to digest, platform, leading to a reduction in cooling “During periods of high performance de-with benefits immediately recognisable, and power costs and freeing up valu- mand, we can dynamically move our dataand it integrates seamlessly into our exist- able rack space in our data centre,” says up to a higher tier to get the best perfor-ing infrastructure environment. Rutherford. “The VSP uses energy-efficient mance. This functionality was a key reason“We needed a mechanism that allowed for us choosing the Hitachi solution, as it technology such as 2.5 inch drives, whichus to be more efficient when provision- allows us to use far less physical disks,” consume up to 40% less power than 3.5ing storage and consolidating our existing recalls Rutherford. inch drives.” According to Rutherford, overstorage assets. We now have a storage time, disk costs will slowly drop as more HBF has also been experiencing faster and more projects can take advantageenvironment that is over 50% virtualised, response times following the deployment, of the pooling and tiering technology.and with the vast scalability provided by which has resonated well with its end users. Traditional spindle to performance relation-the VSP we can quickly meet projectrequirements, no matter how big or small,” ships no longer exist. “Our core VDI deployment is currently expe-he explains. riencing 3-4 millisecond response time when “With its VMware integration, the VSP also accessing ‘writable disks,’ and the replicas allows for a move toward private or public“Furthermore, with storage lead times are peaking at 1 millisecond per 650+ cloud, with IT infrastructure being treatedoften delaying projects, we now have a desktop read requests. Users have really em- as a service to the business. HBF is a keenmechanism to help alleviate the impact. braced the technology as the performance adopter of new technologies that can helpThis is achieved through dynamic provi- has been better than that provided by the improve business operations, so cloud forsioning and zero page reclaims to see the previous physical desktops.” us is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ andactual storage being used and implement-ing temporary overprovisioning,” says the VSP is a step in the right direction,” Rutherford adds: “While providing us withRutherford. concludes Rutherford. a better user experience, it allows us to react quicker to growth demands andThe Result: Improved Disk provision storage more effectively.”Utilisation and Lower CostsSince deploying Hitachi VSP, HBF hasbeen able to seamlessly introduce its VDIproject, progressively deploying a new
  4. 4. S U C C E S S S T O R YCorporate Headquarters Regional Contact Information750 Central Expressway Americas: +1 408 970 1000 or info@hds.comSanta Clara, California 95050-2627 USA Europe, Middle East and Africa: +44 (0) 1753 618000 or Asia Pacific: +852 3189 7900 or is a registered trademark of Hitachi, Ltd., in the United States and other countries. Hitachi Data Systems is a registered trademark and service mark of Hitachi, Ltd.,in the United States and other countries.All other trademarks, service marks and company names in this document or website are properties of their respective owners.Notice: This document is for informational purposes only, and does not set forth any warranty, expressed or implied, concerning any equipment or service offeredor to be offered by Hitachi Data Systems Corporation.© Hitachi Data Systems Corporation 2012. All Rights Reserved. SS-387-A DG May 2012