HPE Adds New AI, Machine Learning InfoSight Capabilities To Boost Nimble, 3Par Performance


Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday introduced major advancements to its InfoSight AI-based storage predictive analytics software with new machine learning capabilities aimed at proactively boosting the performance of Nimble and 3Par storage platforms.

HPE is expanding the HPE InfoSight AI Recommendation Engine – which uses machine learning to prevent storage issues – to the VMware virtualization layer in a move that for the first time ever delivers recommendations on how to "optimize" the performance of VMware on Nimble storage with specific "actions" that can be taken to address storage performance bottlenecks, said Ivan Iannaccone, vice president and general manager of HPE 3Par storage business.

[Related: HPE Launches Dedicated North America Storage Business Unit]

With the new "cross stack recommendations," InfoSight is proactively evaluating operational performance storage issues on Nimble and then issuing recommendations on how to fix them with changes such as adding more memory or moving a virtual machine to another system, said Iannaccone.

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"The recommendation engine is now being applied to performance (at the virtualization layer)," said Iannaccone. "Before we collected the data and showed the contribution of latency from all the storage stacks, now we are telling the customer what they should do about it."

HPE unveiled what it calls the "world's most intelligent storage" advancements at HPE Discover in Madrid.

Besides the Nimble AI improvements, HPE Is also adding for the first time performance insights to the 3Par enterprise storage platform. That new capability applies machine learning for self diagnosis of storage performance bottlenecks.

Prior to the machine learning performance enhancements for 3Par, HPE InfoSight was providing recommendations for best practices around zoning, operating system patches and other issues for the enterprise storage platform, said Iannaccone.

"Before this, the recommendations were more environmental than performance specific," said Iannaccone. "Now we are adding the performance component to it. The value is around how you optimize your overall operations in the data center. There is a significant amount of savings you can get from an operational standpoint."

HPE did not have specific figures on how much the new AI based InfoSight capabilities will save customers or partners in diagnosing critical storage or data center problems. But HPE has maintained that overall InfoSight is resolving 86 percent of storage problems before they become an issue with an operational cost savings of 79 percent.

For partners, the new AI-based InfoSight capabilities provides a significant competitive edge over competitor's offerings, said Iannaccone. "Partners can sell at a higher margin because there is a lot of value that this capability brings to them," he said."This is a big differentiator."

The new InfoSight capabilities are provided immediately via a services support subscription between 25-30 percent.

Dan Molina, chief technology officer at San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing, one of HPE's top enterprise partners and No. 354 on the CRN SP500, said the InfoSight intelligent storage advances accelerate HPE's lead in the AI based machine learning autonomous data center race.

The VMware virtualization layer machine learning enhancements with "cross stack recommendations" to increase performance is a dramatic improvement in customer experience, said Molina.

"HPE is leveraging millions of sensors that are collecting storage data and proactively making recommendations to make sure customer workloads are running as efficiently as possible," he said.

Molina said he expects InfoSight to drive Nimble and 3Par sales to new heights in 2019. "The traction we are seeing with Nimble is through the roof in 2018," he said. "We expect it to continue to grow rapidly for us in 2019. With the Nimble InfoSight architecture you can start small. The market size for Nimble is gigantic."

Customer interest in artificial intelligence in the data center is exploding, said Molina. "2018 was the year of AI becoming a mega trend in the data center," he said. "Customers are very interested in applying AI to their organizations. When you see something like InfoSight that is AI driven they can see how AI in a practical manner can help them better manage their data center IT operations. It is definitely resonating with customers."

Besides the Infosight improvements, HPE is adding memory driven flash- for 3Par and Nimble with next generation storage class memory (SCM) and NVMe. HPE said the addition makes HPE 3Par the first enterprise storage platform available with SCM and NVMe.

HPE said the next generation HPE Memory Driven Flash for 3Par and Nimble is up to 50 percent faster than all flash arrays with NVMe with up to two times lower latency.

HPE Memory Driven Flash will be available in December 2018 for HPE 3Par as an upgrade and is expected in the first quarter 2019 for Nimble storage.

The storage class memory is as big a leap as the evolution from hard disk drives to all flash, said Iannaccone. "This continues the evolution of media by going to storage class memory," said Iannaccone "We are the first to market. Right now there is no competition."

Nth Generation's Molina said the storage class memory breakthrough is a watershed moment for the industry. "This is going to mean a huge increase in performance for the most important applications for companies including transactional databases, data warehouses and even AI applications that require a lot of compute and IO," he said. "At the end of the day the outcome is faster response for those using the applications. Efficiency results in better bottom lines for companies."

Molina said he expects Nth Generation's storage related business – boosted by the new HPE dedicated storage business unit in North America- to grow at more than 20 percent in 2019. "What these HPE storage technology advancements mean is better customer outcomes," he said. "All these advances mean better services to their own end users. For us that is what really matters."

HPE is also adding peer persistence to HPE Nimble storage support which provides multi-site synchronous replication with automatic failover for disaster recovery at no cost; expanding a partnership with Cohesity- which is now qualified for HPE Apollo and HPE DL 380 servers – for consolidated backup and secondary data over hybrid cloud; and finally expanding HPE GreenLake for intelligent storage with consumption based backup on Veeam.