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Finance Solutions

Avoiding Risks in Manual System Operation

Security and speed through simple operations

April 2018

Addressing issues in manual system operation

In recent years, companies in finance and other industries are seeing their systems grow in scale. As their systems expand, companies must find ways to address issues such as operating mistakes and rising operating costs. While the automation of system operations has received much attention as a way to reduce costs and to prevent operating mistakes, it is still difficult to achieve the automation of all operations. In particular, operations that vary depending on the situation (such as how to respond to a failure) often need to be performed manually. Generally, the larger a system, the more flexible it must be in responding to various situations. In this column, we present some of the issues that arise in such operations, with a focus on the manual operations that cannot be entirely automated, as well as some solutions to those issues.

Examples of manual operations required during system operation
Figure 1: Examples of manual operations required during system operation

The following risks are associated with manual operations, where an operator executes a command to a target server:

  • The operator might make a mistake while entering the command.
  • The operator might execute a command that he or she is not permitted to execute.

For a system comprising multiple servers, operators must perform increasingly more operations, leading to a higher risk of typos and other operating mistakes that can bring the system to a halt. When this happens, extra work to investigate the cause and to recover the system is required, resulting in additional costs. To address such issues, Hitachi offers Hitachi System Operation, a tool that allows operators to easily perform manual operations by using a simple GUI.

Usability, security, and speed

With Hitachi System Operation, operators can execute commands and select the target servers simply by clicking menus on a GUI. Because operators do not need to enter command names or server names, you can eliminate the risk of typos. Furthermore, because all operations are performed in the same window, you do not need to worry about the platform.

Moreover, Hitachi System Operation provides the following features for resolving issues related to security and speed: To mitigate the risk of operators performing operations for which they do not have the necessary permissions, you can set, based on each operator’s privileges, the menu items that he or she can view upon logging in. The tool also provides functions for ensuring secure operations, such as a history function that logs each operation, who performed the operation, when the operation was performed, and the operation’s target servers.

For a system that includes a large number of servers, Hitachi System Operation enables operators to execute a command to multiple servers simultaneously. Especially in large-scale systems comprising a great many servers, Hitachi System Operation helps accelerate system operation.

Overview of the benefits of Hitachi System Operation
Figure 2: Overview of the benefits of Hitachi System Operation

With such features, Hitachi System Operation allows you to reduce the time needed to respond to operator mistakes and system failures, leading to lower costs.

In addition, because complex tasks that previously could only be performed by highly skilled operators can now be performed via simple operations, system operation no longer depends on a select handful of operators. For example, companies sometimes find it difficult to ensure the quality of work performed by operators at offshore sites. In such cases, Hitachi System Operation helps you achieve smooth system operation regardless of the skill level of each operator.

From the Japanese market to the global market

In Japan, Hitachi System Operation* already has a proven track record with many cases of successful implementation. In particular, in the finance industry where even a momentary system halt is a serious problem, this tool supports stable system operation by prevent operating mistakes.

As of April 2018, Hitachi System Operation is sold in Japan under the name "Ioperation."

Using the Asian market as a stepping stone, Hitachi plans to expand its target markets on a global scale.

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