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COVID-19 Is Driving ‘Dramatic’ Surge In HPE Cloud Volumes Backup: HPE Storage GM Tom Black

HPE‘s Cloud Volumes Backup service is experiencing a ‘dramatic expansion in customer accounts’ in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, says HPE Senior Vice President/Storage General Manager Tom Black.

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How do you see storage innovations around cloud progressing for HPE?

We are really keeping a focus on how we continue to augment our cloud story. You saw at us HPE Virtual Discover launch Data Protection as a Service—our Cloud Volumes Backup with the ability to build snapshots into our cloud and the ability to mount those volumes from any of the hyperscalers without having to import the data. That’s really good for heavy read analytics workloads— very, very cost-effective. Also we have containerized our StoreOnce technology and we run that in our cloud. So you have the ability to move data through the migration stages into secondary storage and ultimately into deep archive through that offer.

That actually worked really well for us. We have seen a dramatic expansion in customer accounts for that because of COVID-19. What COVID taught us is that business continuity planning is really top of mind for CIOs these days. The idea that when people are locked at home you can’t operate the physical plant just doesn’t hold anymore. Being able to flex [storage] capacity into a multi-cloud environment is key. We continue to work on and evolve our remote management capabilities.

Obviously, we are there with a very strong proof point with InfoSight. Hopefully we get over COVID-19 soon, but what happens when there is a COVID-21 or a COVID-23? People are really thinking about this idea that you had a pristine [data center] glass house, all HVAC-controlled, badge in, everything secure, you can’t get to it from an outside network. That is gone. Life is just very, very different now.

We’re looking at managing from anywhere particularly with being flexible in a multi-cloud environment.

HPE is offering 10 TiB, or Tebibytes, of Cloud Volumes storage free for 90 days. How has that impacted customer demand for Cloud Volumes?

During COVID we saw a shocking, shocking number of customer upticks. Part of it is we made it a good deal for people, and part of it is just the nature of the solution really resonates, particularly the backup offer. That has gone really well for us.

How does Cloud Volumes work in a multi-cloud environment?

Cloud Volumes is in our own colo. So the data is there. You can mount those volumes from [Microsoft] Azure or AWS without having to move them in. The ingress fee is cheap [for public cloud], but the egress is expensive. So if you have a large data set you want to spin up with a ton of video, you put it there [in HPE Cloud Volumes] and you can pick some PaaS service off AWS or Azure to run off that data set.

One of my kids in college was using some AI/ML libraries working with his professor on a project. They were analyzing tons of video in the [Lake] Tahoe region to try to identify lightning strikes and forest fires. It just so happens they needed to use the video analytics capabilities from one of the hyperscalers. So they had the ability to take those large data sets and not have to move them around and take advantage of best-of-breed PaaS services. That is something unique to the offer: that seamless flow from Primera to Nimble to Cloud Volumes Backup.

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