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  6. No.2 (June, 2015) Special Issue on Future Cloud Platforms for ICT Systems
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No.2 (June, 2015) Special Issue on Future Cloud Platforms for ICT Systems

By tackling solutions that contribute to a better society by ensuring the safety, security, efficiency and equality, NEC aims at reinventing itself and becoming a company focused on social value creation. Cloud platforms, SDN, Big Data and cyber security are examples of ICT that will play a vital role in supporting solutions for society that are advancing our social infrastructure. In particular, the cloud platform will play a vital role as a foundation to support such ICT. The cloud platform not only boasts flexibility and scalability but also contributes to a better society by enabling us to use them in the safe, secure, efficient and equal manner with reduced impact on the environment. NEC regards the security and stable operation as essential qualities of the cloud platform and has developed the cloud platform service “NEC Cloud IaaS” by considering the growth of diverse cloud environments.

This special issue introduces “NEC Cloud IaaS,” the lineup of products that comprise our services, the latest technology from our research laboratories and a few customer case studies.

Special Issue on Future Cloud Platforms for ICT Systems

SHIMIZU Takaaki
Executive Vice President and CMO



HASHITANI Naoki

In recent years, the employment of cloud services by ICT (Information Communications Technology) systems has been rapidly increasing. The development of ICT system-centric solutions that can exploit the convenience and flexible scalability of cloud services will be a critical piece of the answer to honing the future edge of corporate competitiveness and the creation of innovative value. We believe that the cloud platform that supports ICT systems can and should be a platform that contributes to a better society by enabling us to use them in the safe, secure, efficient and equal manner with reduced impact on the environment. In this article, NEC will provide an overview of how we are tackling the development of cloud platform solutions.



NEC C&C cloud platforms – NEC Cloud IaaS Services

HASEGAWA Takashi, HIRAI Masaki

The drastic expansion in the IaaS market has recently resulted in emergence of many cloud-based services provided by IT vendors. These cloud-based services cover a variety of configurations such as public and private services, and some services adopt several of these configurations and actively build hybrid cloud/multi-cloud environments. The issues posed for customers due to cloud system implementations now include the need for appropriate cost reductions, enhanced security and the integrated operation management of the multi-cloud environment. This paper discusses the portal services based on the NEC Cloud IaaS that are being developed in order to resolve these issues.



YAMAMOTO Daisuke, TANAKA Motoki, FUJIKAWA Yoshikazu, MASUMOTO Shigeo, WATANABE Shou

The NEC Cloud IaaS systematizes hybrid type server hosting in order to deal flexibly with the needs of the SIers (system integrators) who are providing cloud-based services. The NEC Cloud IaaS provides virtual server services with high cost efficiency (STD) and with high performance and reliability (HA) as well as physical server hosting, all of which can be linked in the same NW segment with the colocation service. This paper is intended to introduce the features of these server services.



MOMIYAMA Nanako, TAKIGUCHI Toshiyuki, ARAKUTA Hiroshi, SHIMIZU Akihiko, MIZUSHIMA Kazunori

Conventional ICT systems are often restricted by the physical conditions of the network equipment, leading to a rapid expansion in the use of virtual networks in recent years. The ability to respond quickly to fluctuating demands is critical in the world of ICT, especially in the world of cloud computing, where changes can take place very quickly. Nevertheless, the demand for actual hardware that can take maximum advantage of network systems remains deep-seated. To address both of these needs, NEC Cloud IaaS offers a wide lineup that ranges from the virtual to the physical. This paper discusses the configuration of the NEC Cloud IaaS network service, which creates a powerful and versatile network environment ideal for today’s requirements.



SHIMIZU Miou, MIYACHI Hitoshi, SAKAGAMI Takeshi, SEKI Masaki

Cloud computing, by its very nature, is exposed to a wider range of security threats than conventional enterprise systems. To ensure security, NEC Cloud IaaS features built-in controls to monitor and detect external threats at the operation center. NEC is also cooperating with security specialists to improve the safety of our systems and has obtained internal control assurance reports including SOC 2. This will help reduce the need for customers to deal with internal control audits. This paper outlines the security services used by NEC Cloud IaaS to protect our customers’ data from security breaches.



SUZUKI Atsuo, ITO Masahiro

Data centers play a key role in supporting today’s information society. Building on NEC’s 30 years of experience in data center operation, we opened NEC’s new flagship data center - the NEC Kanagawa Data Center - in January 2014. In this paper, we describe the management technology and systems incorporated in the NEC Kanagawa Data Center, which features a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) - the principal index for measuring the energy efficiency of data centers - of just 1.26, which is one of the best ratings in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In addition to its reduced energy requirements, the NEC Kanagawa Data Center is optimally located in an area less disaster-prone than elsewhere, while being easily accessible from central Tokyo. Specially designed to support the NEC Cloud IaaS cloud platform, the NEC Kanagawa Data Center accommodates 3,000 racks and is equipped with comprehensive, highly redundant security measures.



Products and latest technologies supporting NEC C&C cloud platforms

MINEKI Tomohiro, AKIYAMA Toshiyuki, SENOO Kenichi, SHIKADA Kazunoshin, UEDA Masayoshi, SHINDO Tadashi

Enterprise IT system operation conditions have changed significantly since the cloud computing era began. In order to deal with the service style by which users access services and ICT resources as and when required, integration and centralization of IT systems have been accelerating. MasterScope is a business operation and management software suite that has been developed via NEC’s accumulated and proven expertise and advanced technologies. It implements the optimization of the entire system administration cost by automating and visualizing the IT system, which has tended to become more complicated and larger scale. This paper discusses how MasterScope implements the cost-effective integration and management with the system administration. It also introduces new functions for NEC Cloud IaaS and the NEC cloud platform services.



HASEGAWA Takashi, HIRAI Masaki

The high quality/low price provision of cloud services need not only an advanced system configuration but also require efficiency improvement and automation of the operation of the system platform itself. This paper describes an integrated operation and management platform that contributes to operations cost reductions and service quality improvements of the NEC Cloud IaaS. These improvements are achieved by means of various functions including the system platform configuration/management function, the access management function, the auto voice escalation function and the normality check function.



OCHI Ichiro, SATO Tasuku, YOKOYAMA Jun, NAKAI Yasuhiro, MOGAKI Yasuo, YAMANAKA Akira

NEC has developed a “micro-modular server” featuring high integration and power saving and a “phase change cooling unit” featuring a local cooling technology that is able to provide natural cooling without using electrical power for the data centers. Of the various newly developed technologies packaged with these products, this paper focuses on the power saving, high density and operations management technologies that contribute to a reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) of data centers. Various innovative features of the products are also discussed.



SADANO Shogo, HAGIWARA Hiroyuki, SOEDA Naoki, HONMA Kazuya, OHTANI Hiroyuki

The rapid increase in the amount of data by ICT systems is tending to focus the roles of the storage systems. It is not enough that a storage has high reliability but assuming its use in the cloud environment, it also has to achieve a stable performance in virtualized environments and in performing multiple tasks. iStorage M5000 can provide a high-reliability platform using the sophisticated reliable technologies developed from our experience gained with mainframes and the X4 (by four) architecture. Stable performances are thereby secured even in virtualized environments and when performing multiple tasks. This paper introduces new features that are developed based on the requirements of NEC Cloud IaaS.



HIRONAGA Ryuji, KAWANABE Masazumi

The Big Data era has arrived and the data volume that ICT systems now have to handle has exploded. At such a time, storage systems are required to deal competently with sudden data volume increases. HYDRAstor is a scale-out storage system that meets these needs. Adopting a revolutionary grid architecture it achieves high performance, scalability and reliability as well as operation/management labor saving and thereby guarantees a world leading performance. This paper describes the features adopted by HYDRAstor and introduces new functions that meet the NEC Cloud IaaS requirements.



HAYANO Shin-ichiro, MIYAMOTO Takeshi, YAMASHITA Atsuya

This paper introduces the SDN-compatible UNIVERGE PF Series. It highlights the enhanced functions, adopted technologies and application advantages aimed at large-scale IT system platforms. The UNIVERGE PF Series features functional enhancements such as ample scalability and improved usability. In addition to OpenFlow technology, the UNIVERGE PF Series also supports overlay technology, integrated network operation and management functions. They have been adopted by the NEC Cloud IaaS. This paper describes the product’s functions, configurations and their linkage methods. It also introduces the distributed control and integrated operation employed for virtual networks.



YOSHIKAWA Minoru, NAKAI Yasuhiro, KISHINO Tsuyoshi

The global warming issue has resulted in the social need to save electrical power in order to reduce the load on the global environment that grows daily. This paper introduces actual case studies from NEC’s unique R&D of high-efficiency rack cooling technologies for the IT equipment installed at data centers. The proposed solutions will increase the rack densities and decrease the power consumptions for cooling.



For the security and safety of critical infrastructure

ISHIZAKA Kazuhisa, TAKENAKA Takashi, MORIYOSHI Tatsuji

As cloud platforms are increasingly required to support social infrastructure services and data crunching, they need to be able to analyze large amounts of data collected from the real world, such as movies, images, audio, and sensor data at high speed and with low latency, and then feed the results back to the real world in a timely manner. Conventionally, distributed processing is performed using a large number of general-purpose servers, but there is a problem with this solution - equipment costs, power consumption, and space requirements simply become too great. In this paper, we discuss accelerator utilization technology that makes it possible to process and analyze massive volumes of data in the cloud computing, while actually lowering costs, reducing power consumption, and minimizing the platform footprint. We will also be introducing proposals for future developments in this area.



YOSHIKAWA Takashi, KAN Masaki, TAKAHASHI Masahiko, MIYAKAWA Shinya, HIDAKA Yoichi, ABE Shinji

As usage of the cloud expands, cloud data centers will need to be able to accommodate a wide range of services including not only office applications but also on-premises services and in the future, the Internet of Things (IoT). To meet these needs, it requires the ability to simultaneously handle multiple demands for data storage, networks, numerical analysis, and image processing from various users This paper introduces a Resource Disaggregated Platform that will make it possible to perform computation by allocating devices from a resource pool at the device level and to scale up individual performance and functionality. By using standard conventional hardware and software resources to build these disaggregated computer systems, it is possible to deliver faster, more powerful, and more reliable computing solutions effectively that will meet growing customer demand for performance and flexibility.



YANOO Kazuo, FURUMAKI Kazuhisa, IZUKURA Sayaka, SAKAKI Hiroshi

Even with system integration in the cloud computing, platforms need to be designed that are customized with non-functional requirements to meet the specific needs of each customer while still providing combined infrastructure and service. The effectiveness of model-based design can be enhanced in a cloud environment as the design process can be automated using software. This paper discusses model-based platform design support technology (CARDO) targeted at system integration in the cloud computing.



NAKANO Masaki, SHIBA Hiroshi, KAWAHARA Akihiro, TABUCHI Toru, KOBAYASHI Minoru, YAGI Masahiro

With the arrival of the age of cloud computing, the system integration platforms are changing from the servers and storages of the on-premise age to become virtualized cloud platforms. This paper introduces the SI technologies of the cloud age, which is improving efficiencies in estimation, development, sizing, testing, and rollout of production environment by applying automation technologies that are taking advantage of the features of the cloud system. We focus on the overall picture, including the model-based design support technology (CARDO), configuration management technology (Alchemy) and on template based provisioning.



KATO Kiyoshi, MIYAZAKI Hiroyuki, SOMA Tomoya, TAKAGI Mayumi

The system invariant analysis technology automatically creates behavior models from various systems by extracting the relationships which are invariant in normal system operation. It enables the early detection of a system’s anomaly behavior. It helps to improve availability of information and communication technology (ICT) systems such as the cloud computing systems. Moreover, it also helps to optimize the maintenance cost by enabling failure prediction of electric power plants, structural health monitoring of bridges, etc. and improves safety and reliability of the systems performing as social infrastructures. This paper outlines the system as a big data analysis technology and considers analysis applications in the cloud.



Case Studies

 

IHI Transport Machinery operates a remote surveillance/maintenance system that monitors the company’s vertical parking lots, enabling rapid detection of malfunctions or any other signs of trouble. Because it affects safety, the system needs to operate continuously 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, because the company was operating the system on premises, there was concern about business continuity. To assure reliable, uninterrupted operation, the company migrated the system to NEC’s Cloud Infrastructure Service, “NEC Cloud IaaS.” Not only has this made it possible to ensure safety thanks to NEC’s robust data centers and thorough internal control measures, but it has also allowed IHI to take advantage of all the other benefits of cloud computing such as the ability to expand and update server resources as and when required.



 

Meiji Fresh Network Co., Ltd. (hereinafter Meiji Fresh Network) undertakes the wholesale of foodstuffs including milk and dairy products on a nationwide scale. With the objective of streamlining their operations, the company adopted cloud computing to increase the efficiency and speed of their IT systems. What they chose was NEC’s Cloud Infrastructure Service, “NEC Cloud laaS,” and the decisive factor for their decision was that NEC offered comprehensive capabilities that went beyond the mere provision of an infrastructure service (laaS) but also encompassed the revamping, transition and daily operation of the system. This phased transition project is currently underway, and in addition to requiring only a 5 person team to run, it is expected to yield a total cost reduction of approximately 20% over a period of five years after the transition is complete.



 

As threats to data security become more diverse and more frequent, businesses and organizations around the world are redoubling their efforts to protect themselves against potential risks. For Sumitomo Life Insurance Company (hereinafter referred to as Sumitomo Life), this means overhauling its entire network and fortifying IT governance. A critical aspect of this effort involves is standardizing the IT environments among the various companies that make up the Sumitomo Life Group. To achieve this goal, Sumitomo has chosen to integrate its systems in NEC’s Cloud Infrastructure Service, “NEC Cloud laaS”. By having all companies share the same standardized service, Sumitomo Life is confident it can reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO), while enhancing security measures and reducing operation/management loads, which each Group company had previously been handling separately. Underway currently is the development of groupware and terminal security services that are the initial targets of standardization, but Sumitomo Life plans to maximize the benefits of standardization by gradually expanding its scope into enterprise systems.



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