I have a podcast with Sandeep Singh, VP of HPE Storage Marketing, about the importance of intelligence in storage infrastructure. Here are some of my takeaways from our conversation. You can hear the complete podcast here, including the five areas an IT organization should focus on when they are ready to move toward an intelligent enterprise.
Digital transformation and the role of data in business
The importance of data in today’s business cannot be overstated. Data has become a strategic asset, allowing every business to rethink the way they operate. IT organizations call it ‘digital transformation’: the ability to tailor the entire customer experience, driving increased revenue and customer loyalty through intelligently managed data and applications.
An example is the financial services industry. Thanks to digital identification technology, tellers at brick and mortar banks know customers and can greet them by name as soon as they walk in the door. Mobile banking customers view accounts, transfer money, pay bills – handle virtually any transaction from mobile devices. It’s similar in retail, where the entire shopping experience is being reimagined online and in stores. The customer’s purchasing history makes transactions easier and allows store clerks and websites to make relevant suggestions and serve up meaningful browsing options.
In short, today’s businesses are powered by software applications, and data is at the heart of every one of these apps. The shift to this level of personalized service is occurring now because we only recently have acquired the power to extract value from that data. Where not too long ago a business might collect data for the sake of record-keeping, advances in technology now let you sift through and analyze mountains of data in real-time to unlock hidden insights and uncover new revenue streams and business models.
What’s driving the need for infrastructure intelligence?
There are three key challenges that IT organizations face, and intelligence can address all three.
Challenge 1: Infrastructure management is not simple
IT organizations are mired in complexity, consumed by fire fighting, troubleshooting, and daily maintenance tasks. At the same time, the business is demanding the acceleration and constant availability of mission-critical apps. To fully streamline the infrastructure, IT needs to understand systems at a detailed level, correlating hundreds of data points across the full IT stack. Those sorts of calculations are far too complex for humans to perform.
Intelligence performs these calculations and automates mundane tasks, freeing up existing IT resources for more innovative projects.
Challenge 2: Tame hybrid cloud complexity
In any given organization you will find workloads spanning mission-critical, general-purpose, and test and dev environments. IT managers are challenged with optimizing the infrastructure on-premises, placing workloads where they will perform best and not conflict with other apps. Hybrid cloud infrastructures can be comprised of hundreds of workloads and hundreds of systems across multiple clouds. Optimization calculations are, once again, far too complex for humans.
Intelligence is a game-changer in these environments.
Challenge 3: Manage massive data explosion
According to IDC there will be over 175 zettabytes of data by 2025.1 Every portion of business is now being plumbed with data sensors. It’s not enough to gather the data: every bit needs to be analyzed and correlated, if it’s going to add value to your enterprise.
Intelligence helps you derive insights and unlock new levels of competitive advantage from all that data.
The HPE Intelligent Data Platform
We’ve entered into the Intelligence Era, defined by AI-driven operations, machine learning, and improved customer experience through digital transformation. Businesses are on 24 x 7 x 365. To stay competitive, you need an intelligent data strategy, and your business needs to be built on an intelligent platform.
Our strategy at HPE Storage is to deliver an Intelligent Data Platform that keeps data always on, always fast and it’s built for agility and innovation. The platform is simple, automated, and enables an on-demand experience that many database admins and developers believe you can only get from the public cloud.
Global artificial intelligence (AI) is the driving force behind the platform. Self-managing and self-healing, HPE InfoSight not only predicts and prevents disruptions before they occur, it provides prescriptive insights designed to keep your infrastructure continually optimized. HPE InfoSight harnesses intelligence across hundreds of thousands of systems down to the virtualization layer, collecting billions of data points every day.
The Intelligent Data Platform is designed to be effortless. It lets you accelerate mission-critical workloads, embrace hybrid cloud, and it can cut the time it takes to derive data insights from months down to minutes. The platform is already having an impact on real-world deployments:
- In the oil & gas industry, one HPE customer was experiencing rogue virtual desktop workloads that caused performance variability in their mission critical systems. HPE InfoSight diagnosed and pinpointed the specific rogue workload, and purchase of new infrastructure was averted.
- In hospitals and healthcare facilities, IT downtime can impact patient treatment, delay diagnoses, and interrupt life-saving surgery. HPE Primera delivers a 100% availability guarantee that keeps systems online, and HPE InfoSight can predict and prevent system disruptions.
Rethinking hyperconverged infrastructure and mission-critical
Customers have embraced hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) because of the new levels of simplicity it brings to deployment, management and the overall ownership experience. Two challenges remain for HCI customers today: the need to move from a reactive environment to one that is automated and predictive, and the need to scale HCI efficiently to meet non-linear requirements. HPE Storage is rethinking hyperconvergence and the customer experience with the HPE SimpliVity and HPE Nimble Storage dHCI platforms.
- HPE SimpliVity: The award-winning HCI platform includes built-in backup and recovery and guaranteed data efficiency, and now includes AI-driven intelligence as well. HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure is an ideal choice for small to midsize businesses looking to consolidate and simplify management. The compact, all-in-one platform is also ideal for distributed sites that need to serve up application workloads but don’t have IT resources on-site at those locations.
- HPE Nimble dHCI: HPE’s disaggregated hyperconverged infrastructure platform delivers the simplicity of HCI with the flexibility of converged infrastructure. HPE Nimble Storage dHCI offers the most mature AI-driven intelligence in the HPE Storage portfolio. Because it’s disaggregated, it allows you to scale capacity and compute independently – and even convert existing HPE ProLiant servers to HCI.
An update on HPE Primera
Enterprises with mission critical apps are very satisfied with the end-to-end experience that HPE Primera delivers. That satisfaction is due in part to the HPE InfoSight intelligence embedded on the array – which we will continue to invest in – and the 100% data availability guarantee, which is unique in the industry. Recent data indicates that HPE Primera users have hundreds of thousands of hours of runtime with zero downtime. IT organizations want infrastructure that’s always on, always fast. It’s great to see HPE Primera delivering that for customers.
What’s ahead for HPE Storage
In line with Antonio Neri’s promise to deliver everything as-a-Service by 2022, HPE Storage solutions are already available through HPE GreenLake. That service will become even more seamless in the future through greater levels of automation and end-to-end metering. We also expect to roll out more consumable services, such as modernized data protection.
Building on the tremendous customer response to HPE InfoSight, we will continue to refine intelligence capabilities and improve predictive analytics. Through InfoSight, we’ve helped customers save over 1.5 million hours of what would have otherwise been downtime. We plan to bring that capability across all HPE products, and to elevate overall customer experience through advancements in the Intelligent Data Platform.
Want to learn more?
- Listen to the podcast to learn 5 ways you can take advantage of the Intelligent Data Platform through HPE’s intelligent storage solutions.
- Check out the Intelligent Data Platform hpe.com page.
- Watch the Intelligent Data Platform Chalk Talk.
- Watch IT Insights video with Sandeep Singh explaining the Intelligent Data Platform.
1 IDC: The Digitization of the World From Edge to Core https://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/our-story/trends/files/idc-seagate-dataage-whitepaper.pdf