HPE Discover is due to kick off in Madrid next week and HPE have continued their current tradition of releasing all the big news before the show.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few Discovers now and I have noticed some interesting trends in the type of announcements. Previously it was all about physical products, what were the newest models what were the hardware innovations in these products. This year all the key announcements are software based and focus on enhancing user experience.
Ironically for many years whilst storage systems stored lots of data on them, the data analytics for managing the systems was somewhat lacklustre. Data was gathered from these systems and sent back to base but it was a simple affair which alerted you to failed components such as a disk. Nimble Storage saw a unique opportunity in this area and acted upon it by developing their class leading InfoSight analytics platform.
Like other storage systems Nimble sends data home, but where things get different are in the breadth of statistics collected and what happens to them once they are sent back to base. Nimble realized that by taking the data from their entire install base and then using machine learning against this, insights could be developed to predict issues before they even occur. I have two impressive stats to back this up; 86% of issues are being detected and fixed before the customer even knows about it and 54% of issues resolved are outside of storage. This ability to diagnose issues outside of storage closed what Nimble termed the app data gap.
INFOSIGHT ADDS AI
The first major announcement from HPE Discover is that InfoSight is now able to utilise AI. We discussed previously how Nimble had built a cloud analytics platform from all the data that was being sent home. InfoSight was able to analyse and predict future patterns using machine learning. The introduction of AI allows this to be taken to the next level by enabling more complex issues to be automatically addressed.
Recommendations will go beyond simple problem prevention to include resource optimisations, ensuring you getting the most from your system. Again this is not just for the storage itself but the whole ecosystem for example it may recommend the movement of a VM to a different volume. The name of this new AI functionality “AI recommendation engine” clearly indicates its future direction for further automation.
You can see more about the AI capabilities in the video below:
INFOSIGHT COMES TO 3PAR
The second piece of InfoSight news is that it is coming to 3PAR. 3PAR has always had a rich amount of telemetry being sent home but up until now it has arguably not been fully utilised. But of course lots of data without the tools to interpret and act upon it is not much use and this is what InfoSight has enabled.
Like the Nimble system before it InfoSight on 3PAR will not just report on the storage itself but down to the application level. To benefit from InfoSight on 3PAR you need to be running 3PAR OS 3.3.1 have an active support contract and of course have your 3PAR configured to dial home.
The Nimble AI recommendations and 3PAR InfoSight are both free for customers with a active support contract and are expected in January 2018
I’m sure that the HPE engineering team are working at a furious pace to get InfoSight out across to as many products, as quickly as possible. It’s clear to see that improved analytics would not only reduce operational issues but that the introduction of AI driven resource recommendations will drive the move to an automated data centre. It seems obvious that automated resource allocation recommendations would fit in nicely with Synergy where the ability to spin up and down workloads dynamically could then be orchestrated intelligently.