5 Things You Need To Know About HPE's Infosight On 3Par

An Enterprise Storage Game-Changer

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday launched InfoSight on 3Par, delivering to partners a breakthrough software platform aimed at predicting and preventing midrange storage failures.

HPE Senior Vice President of Storage Bill Philbin said the platform marks the first time a major storage vendor has been able to "predict issues and proactively resolve them before a customer is even aware of the problem."

Partners, for their part, said the new platform shifts the balance of power in the intensely competitive enterprise storage market in HPE's favor.

"Nobody else has this capability," said Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., solution provider. "This is a big deal. It gives channel partners as well as storage administrators a bird's eye view of what needs to be done. Putting the AI recommendation engine behind the storage makes everyone smarter. It's going to make storage management more dynamic."

Goldstein expects to drive big midrange storage sales growth by leveraging the AI capabilities of InfoSight on 3Par. "This is the first time we have ever had a true AI application that helps us with enterprise storage optimization," he said. "This gives us the insights to keep the storage up and performance tuned."

HPE said InfoSight for 3Par will be available in January 2018 to 3Par customers on the latest OS release with an active support contract.

The First AI-Based Recommendation Engine For Midmarket Storage

HPE said InfoSight's new AI recommendation engine marks the first time a vendor has delivered software that leverages advanced machine learning to automate storage management.

Gavin Cohen, vice president of product and solution marketing for HPE, said InfoSight on 3Par provides partners with "huge" competitive differentiation. "This is the ultimate in customer experience," he said. "InfoSight completely changes the game on how the [3Par] product operates and is supported. It proactively pounces on problems before the customer hits them."

Cohen, a five-year Nimble Storage veteran who joined HPE in the wake of the $1.1 billion acquisition of Nimble earlier this year, said the recommendation engine for the first time moves Nimble from predictive to "proactive or pre-emptive" storage recommendations.

There is a lot of "noise" from competitors around AI storage capabilities, but no other vendor has the InfoSight capabilities, Cohen said. "What InfoSight brings on Nimble and 3Par is completely unique," he said.

Cross-Stack Analytics That Prevent Storage Failure Finger-Pointing

One of the biggest differentiators for InfoSight on 3Par is the cross-stack analytics capabilities, which are aimed at pinpointing hard-to-detect problems in complex storage environments.

In fact, HPE said InfoSight provides the intelligence to pinpoint the root cause of storage issues between storage and host virtual machines. Furthermore, it provides visibility to locate "noisy neighbor" virtual machines that may be causing storage problems.

Vish Mulchand, senior director for product management and marketing for HPE's Storage Division, said the cross-stack analytics capabilities are unmatched.

"This was a big pain point for customers that in the past took a lot of click-throughs and correlation of different reports to get to where the problem was," Mulchand said. "While others claim to be doing some of these analytics, they are all doing it in the box as opposed to outside the box across the entire infrastructure. That is the key differentiator."

HPE’s Cohen said the InfoSight offering completely changes the customer experience by anticipating and resolving midmarket storage issues. In the past when a customer hit a support issue, it would go through a complex escalation process with multiple vendors. "The goal of InfoSight is to automate all or as much of that as possible -- to take away the pain away from what the customer experience has been," he said.

Global Visibility Into Storage That Changes Channel Support Dynamics

HPE InfoSight on 3Par provides global visibility into big data insight around storage performance trending, capacity analytics and even health checks through a new cloud portal.

"This is all there to make it easier, faster and more effective for the channel partners that support customers to very quickly help customers and be their trusted adviser," said Mulchand. "This is going to help partners be more effective in resolving issues across the infrastructure stack."

The storage global visibility will increase over time as the InfoSight on 3Par installed base grows -- bringing new insight into the machine-learning knowledge base. "This is the first phase," said Mulchand. "We'll be adding more functionality every three to six months with more capability into the portal."

The most successful Nimble partners have been leveraging InfoSight customer portals to provide high-value data analytics around storage capacity and performance for specific application environments such as Oracle, SQL, SAP and SharePoint. That accelerated sales cycles, said Cohen. "That gave clean ammunition for the partners to get a [purchase order]," he said. "Those reports were used to get budget approval for adding upgrades."

Automating All-Flash Storage With Lower Total Cost Of Ownership

HPE President Antonio Neri (pictured) said InfoSight on 3Par delivers the best performance, uptime and lowest total cost of ownership for enterprise storage.

HPE, in fact, said InfoSight on 3Par puts the company on the path toward an autonomous data center – a utopian dream of sorts that is becoming possible with artificial intelligence.

Nimble's predictive analytics – considered years ahead of competitors – is already credited with lowering storage IT operating expenditures by 79 percent.

"We are bringing new elements to the data center with artificial intelligence and machine learning," said Neri. "So we can automate all the processes. The reason automation is key is getting people out of these operations improves performance and reduces the cost, which is ultimately what customers want."

The new platform makes 3Par even stronger in the all-flash midrange and high-end tier-one market where customers are running mission-critical applications, said Neri. "Think about all the analytics you can run and automate," he said. "This is going to empower customers to continue to optimize their storage footprint and reduce costs."

It also provides a common predictive analytics platform that is going to run across the entire HPE infrastructure stack. "Now you have a full portfolio with Nimble, 3Par, MSA [Modular Smart Array] and hyper-converged with SimpliVity that have all transitioned to all-flash with an integrated common experience with InfoSight," said Neri.

InfoSight Is An Enterprise Storage Sales Accelerator

HPE enterprise partners say they expect to drive dramatic sales gains with the new InfoSight software acting as a conversation starter for midmarket storage sales opportunities.

HPE's all-flash business powered by Nimble grew at a 30 percent clip in the most recent quarter. InfoSight on 3Par adds even more technology muscle to HPE's all-flash story in a $14 billion market that only 12 percent of the installed base had adopted.

With InfoSight providing predictive analytics across the full storage portfolio, Dasher Technologies, a Campbell, Calif.-based HPE Platinum partner, expects to drive HPE storage sales growth of 50 percent next year, said Al Chien, chief sales officer of Dasher, No. 163 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500.

"I believe HPE acquired Nimble specifically for InfoSight," he said. "It is the keys to the kingdom. To have InfoSight not only on the Nimble side but also on the 3Par side makes HPE storage incredibly relevant and powerful. This is the most robust product and solution portfolio HPE has had in a generation, whether it is through their own innovation or through acquisition."