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HPE Embracing AI Adoption

April 4, 2018

Last week a few members of C5 attended the HPE Technology and Solutions Summit 2018 at The Hague, to learn about new developments from HPE and to update our knowledge and skills. Targeted at partners and architects, the event was an opportunity to get the HPE technical community together to network and share experiences. With over 350 technical sessions as well as over 80 ‘hands-on’ labs, it was also a chance for C5 to learn about innovation from HPE. Of course, all of these activities took place within the context of the HPE vision for the future, which can be summed up in one word – speed.

HPE Vision

The theme of the core messages that HPE were communicating at the event were about efficiency, lowering risk, and most importantly, the acceleration of innovation to empower the customer to efficiently navigate their digital transformation. Every development in HPE technology is designed to achieve one, or all, of these objectives, to provide an enhanced customer experience and create value.

There was also a strong emphasis on the value of HPE embracing AI innovations. A key message was customers being able to better process ‘Big Data’ with HPE being at the forefront of Exascale compute power with HPE HPC offerings. HPE were very clear that AI is revolutionising computing with cognitive AI algorithms, which are more aligned with human brain function.  HPE are fully aware that cognitive AI revolution could significantly change industries across a broad spectrum, including the financial industry, with financial technology being able to leverage cognitive AI for both Big Data Analysis and improving end customer engagements.

Key Takeaways

Beyond the overarching HPE AI vision, there was a huge amount of practical learning. We focused on areas that we knew would be of most interest and benefit to our Channel Island clients, including; AI in the fintech space, Nimble Storage, and cyber security.

Our key takeaways were:

AI and HPC with HPE technology

HPE are helping to revolutionise compute power with HPE HPC offerings to aid Exascale Computing Projects with their innovative ‘Memory Driven Computing’, putting memory at the heart of the compute and not processor. HPE are offering easier AI adoptions for enterprises of all sizes with the HPE Apollo computer platforms. HPC and AI play an increasingly important role in customer digital transformation, enabling organisations to leverage modelling, simulation and deep learning to drive business innovation in areas like the Channel Islands; computer-aided design and engineering; video surveillance and text analytics. These areas require the parallel processing of large, unstructured data sets that only extreme compute solutions can deliver. In addition, the growing volume, velocity and variety of data increases the importance of efficiently storing the data and reducing application latency for parallel processing applications. The future implications of this, particularly in the fintech space in the Channel Islands, are significant. For example, when AI is applied to something like banking, it would enable interactions with clients to be much more humanlike!

Nimble storage

Another area that was very interesting to us was the innovation around Nimble Storage, which in essence, is a self-healing storage system. Effectively this type of storage system means there is no requirement for 1st or 2nd line support, as it resolves 9 out of 10 problems autonomously, so only 3rd line support is needed for serious issues. Nimble boasts proven availability figures of 99.9999%. The storage has been proven to be the top choice for virtualised environments for VDI and Virtualisation technologies as published by Gartner. The major revolution with this storage is the CASL (Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout) architecture, which puts CPU at the heart of performance and not disk. Due to the CASL architecture, the customer can gain comparable storage performance from an Adaptive Array (Hybrid of Spinning Disk and SSD). The storage also leverages InfoSight which collects data points from sensors (hardware and software) in all Nimble arrays and communicates them to Nimble in the cloud for analysis, aggregation and, if anomalies are detected, action is taken. Infosight does leverage an AI Recommendation Engine (AIRE) which improves both infrastructure management and application reliability. Infosight will also provide the customer with an effective window on the storage performance and will highlight any hotspots, that may require remediation.

Veeam backup integration with HPE

The third development we were excited about was HPE’s developments with Veeam Backup and Replication with HPE storage offering integration. This integration includes 3PAR, Nimble, StoreOnce and StoreVirtual platforms. The StoreOnce integration is particularly exciting as this can protect from Ransomware attacks as the StoreOnce has an API which sandboxes the backup repository from Ransomware, providing protection from potential malicious encryption of backup data.

3PAR and Nimble storage can leverage Veeam “Backup from Storage Snapshots” which will reduce the host impact from backup activities.  This avoids taking VMware vSphere snapshots, which can produce a serious overhead on virtual machine performance, and it can take considerable effort by administrators to overcome this technical challenge and meet the required SLAs.

Conclusion

Considering the developments with HPE, the most important aspects for Channel Islands businesses to perpend are; have you considered embracing a form of AI initiative to optimise any areas of your business processes?  Is your storage solution still right for you?  Is there an opportunity to embrace the new world of Nimble storage with better analytics and an AI self-healing engine to gain an all flash storage experience without having to invest in an all flash array upfront?

We’re one of the preferred HPE partners in the Channel Islands, so if you would like to have a chat about how any of these new developments might benefit you, please email me at jon.bishop@c5alliance.com.