by Yoshihiro Koshimizu, President & CEO, Hitachi Data Systems, ITAsia.
April 2000 - With the Internet making its powerful presence felt across the globe and bringing to life the virtual 'global village',
business computing has drastically changed. A company's image is now often based on users' Web site experiences.
Traditionally, businesses had a buffer, such as a broker, between the user and the company to handle bartering
between the principals. Now, transaction-oriented Web sites have replaced brokers, providing a direct link to the
company and eliminating the buffer that once protected the company's image. Web site availability and responsiveness
have now become measures of a company's image.
To further illustrate this point, in the age of this e-obsession, infrastructure matters. Slow sites are losers,
and with users' microsecond impatience with Web sites that don't load immediately, no type of merchandise or multimedia
flash will encourage them to hang in there. The point is, just adding a Web front end to your internal system doesn't
mean you're ready for e-business. To survive in this Internet-dominated world, e-retailers must ensure the highest
availability, capacity, and surge protection in their infrastructure.
The right hardware is certainly important, but the complexity and exponential growth also demand a battery of services
specifically tailored for this brave new environment. That's why HDS offers a suite of five e-business services
known collectively as the Hitachi iSuite, which is targeted at companies striving to reach 100% continuous availability
throughout the enterprise. The iSuite is designed to help companies sustain and profit from unpredictable surges
in e-transaction volumes, reduce the complexity of deploying tightly integrated Web-enabled applications, and ameliorate
the high costs and difficulty of operating and managing many small servers.
A California-based HDS customer has reaped the business benefits of the iSuite and the Hitachi Skyline Trinium
e-commerce servers by sustaining more than two billion Web hits per day and more than 40,000 hits per second. By
executing simultaneous I/O operations in excess of 300,000 per second, the Skyline Trinium allows the company to
conduct a greater number of revenue-generating e-business transactions.
While some business solutions provide 99% availability (87 hours and 36 minutes of downtime a year), better solutions
offer 99.999% availability, which translates into only five minutes of downtime a year. HDS is providing customers
with this assurance by guaranteeing $1 million that its Trinium server will forever be 99.999% available.
Accordingly, with the Internet inundating the workplace with massive quantities of information, CIOs must also
focus on exploding storage requirements. Emerging and complex technologies, such as storage area networks, enable
data to be efficiently distributed throughout the enterprise. This calls for open, non-proprietary storage solutions
that span multiple platforms and can be centrally managed independent of the server, which avoids the need for
extensive storage device changes. When all is said and done, the storage solution – as with servers and all the
other components of a durable, efficient e-transaction processing system – must be invisible to the user while
providing unlimited access to information, from any computer, anywhere, any time.