The market for third-party data centers is exploding. Today, roughly one in three businesses is outsourcing IT solutions to a hosted service provider, according to research compiled by Channel Partner.  By 2015, the number of organizations using third-party data centers is expected to hit 35 percent.

As an increasing number of businesses outsource their IT, hosted service providers are rapidly evolving their business models to accommodate the growing demand. One such company is Hitachi Systems, Ltd., which provides comprehensive IT services to a wide range of enterprises.

Hitachi Systems’ goal is to boost its sale of cloud services to 100 billion yen (about $1 billion U.S.)—or 20 percent of its total sales—by the end of 2015. To do that, the company built a virtualized private cloud infrastructure service called Business Stage Resource On Demand. Yet to boost its competitiveness, it needed to provide the best performance and availability, while at the same time reducing costs.

The company had been using Windows Server 2008 R2, but it needed an operating system and hypervisor with greater virtual machine capacity, live workload migration capabilities, and state-of-the-art replication features.

Hitachi Systems liked what it saw when evaluating Windows Server 2012 operating system, and has since decided to use it as the operating system for its new platform.

With Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, Hitachi Systems has increased its competitiveness in a rapidly evolving hosted services market. For one, the company has been able to boost data center performance. Because Windows Server 2012 has high virtual machine capacity—up to 64 virtual processors and 1 terabyte of memory—it can now cost-effectively boost computer power for its customers.

Likewise, Hitachi Systems has been able to improve availability and data protection. With features like Hyper-V Network Virtualization and Hyper-V Replica, both of which are built into Windows Server 2012, the company can tap into advanced availability and disaster recovery features that it previously would have had to buy separately and integrate at high cost.

Hitachi Systems has also been able to lower costs.  Because its data center administrators are familiar with the Windows interface, they can easily operate Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V. And with so many management features built into the operating system, the infrastructure is now easier to maintain and support.

With Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, Hitachi Systems can now respond very quickly to customer needs. The company can create a virtual private cloud that easily connects to customer data centers. What’s more, it can tap into Windows Azure Services for Windows Server 2012 to introduce new services for customers that are simple to deploy and administer.

All of these benefits are adding up to stronger sales. “Thanks to Windows Server 2012, we’re now on track to meet our ambitious sales target,” says Hideo Tsuru, PMI Project Management Professional and Senior Chief Engineer for the company’s Cloud Computing Business Promotion Project. “And we’re better positioned to provide the performance, availability, and services our customers expect.”

To learn more, please read the full Hitachi Systems case study