Tuesday, July 16, 2024

RWTH Aachen University and Hitachi Vantara Boost Infrastructure Transformation with 56 Petabyte Digitization Project

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New digital infrastructure consolidates 7,000 systems from 42 state universities and colleges and sets new standards for data protection

AACHEN, Germany and SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hitachi Vantara, the data storage, infrastructure, and hybrid cloud management subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), has developed a backup and recovery solution for the 42 state universities and university of applied sciences in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. Together with the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen, Hitachi Vantara provided digital infrastructure that enhances data resilience, protects against future threats, and reduces overall costs and power consumption.

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Many organisations have experienced critical data loss and permanently lost their data as a result. The most prevalent causes are human error, hardware failures, cyber-attacks (ransomware and account take over), and natural disaster. The RWTH Aachen University experienced this first hand in 2016, when a massive fire destroyed a building on the campus that also housed one of their decentralized data centers.

In a survey conducted last year with 1,288 decision-makers in large organisations across 12 countries, Hitachi Vantara found that 22% of those surveyed admitted important data isn’t protected and 68% have concerns over whether their organization’s data infrastructure is resilient enough. Only 29% are extremely confident their employees are following their security policies.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the digitization of the university landscape is being accelerated to improve efficiency and security at the state universities. A key element of this process is the consolidation of digital infrastructure services, such as backup and recovery. In the past, each university, faculty, and institute developed and operated its own backup and recovery processes and solutions.

To increase productivity, cost efficiency, and protection against cyber threats such as ransomware, the universities of the state cooperatively created a consolidated offering for all universities: Datensicherung.NRW. The project establishes a unique model for delivering IT services at scale and provides standardized services for all universities.

The high-performance and scalable solution based on the object storage solution Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) already backs up around 7,000 systems, including around 4,500 at RWTH and a further 2,500 from other universities and colleges. The current storage capacity is 56 PB. This major technical project represents significant progress in the digitization of the university infrastructure in NRW and sets new standards in the use of modern storage technologies for backing up and restoring university data.

“Data is the lifeblood of a university, and scientific data is invaluable. At the same time, we cannot completely lock up our systems like a commercial business. Hitachi Vantara’s executive management told us they would do everything they could to make this challenging project a success – and they did. This service is now a cornerstone of the state’s cyber resiliency strategy. By delivering reliable, immutable backups as a service, our Hitachi solution plays a key role in strengthening cybersecurity and minimizing the impact of security threats,” comments Prof. Dr. Matthias Müller, Head of the IT Center at RWTH Aachen University.

RWTH Aachen University implemented the HCP distributed object storage solution in six university data centers as a backup target. The geo-redundant configuration of the distributed object storage solution with 72 nodes and a total of 56 PB storage capacity uses geo-erasure coding to guarantee data integrity and resilience across multiple locations. This is one way that Hitachi Vantara offers customers and partners tools to address data protection and cyber resiliency challenges using its seven-layer, defense-in-depth strategy, while reducing the cost and complexity that is inherent when dealing with multiple vendors. 

“Even we don’t build a geo-redundant data backup of this size every day. We are extremely proud that RWTH has chosen our storage technology as the basis for the Datensicherung NRW project,” says Petra-Maria Grohs, Managing Director Germany at Hitachi Vantara. “The project is proof that there are hardly any limits to distributed data backup and that our HCP can also cover complex requirements.”

Hitachi Vantara’s HCP is part of an industry-recognized unstructured data management portfolio (UDM) that empowers organizations to manage and derive insights from their unstructured data. Recently recognized by GigaOm as being a leader and fast mover in UDM, Hitachi Vantara’s UDM portfolio, including HCP and a suite of interconnected solutions, offers hybrid cloud agility, intelligent data management and advanced AI and analytics capabilities. By prioritizing data protection and cyber resilience, businesses gain the flexibility and intelligence needed to thrive amidst evolving data.

For more information on Hitachi Content Platform, please click here.

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About Hitachi Vantara
Hitachi Vantara is transforming the way data fuels innovation. A wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., Hitachi Vantara provides the data foundation the world’s leading innovators rely on. Through data storage, infrastructure systems, cloud management and digital expertise, the company helps customers build the foundation for sustainable business growth. To learn more, visit www.hitachivantara.com.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society through the use of data and technology. We solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products. Hitachi operates under the 3 business sectors of “Digital Systems & Services” – supporting our customers’ digital transformation; “Green Energy & Mobility” – contributing to a decarbonized society through energy and railway systems, and “Connective Industries” – connecting products through digital technology to provide solutions in various industries. Driven by Digital, Green, and Innovation, we aim for growth through co-creation with our customers. The company’s revenues as 3 sectors for fiscal year 2023 (ended March 31, 2024) totaled 8,564.3 billion yen, with 573 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 270,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at https://www.hitachi.com.

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