It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a business user in want of data wants it now. Not “quickly” or “rapidly” but “instantly.” Likewise, an IT engineer working with such a business user wants a system that can handle that constant, instant demand.
A system like that should be simple for users and minimize IT’s time to implement and manage by being homogeneous throughout hardware, software, and UI. Most of all, it would be inexpensive, reliable and easily maintained.
Unfortunately, instant access to data is difficult, disparate, and expensive. On the user-side, it becomes a real problem whenever there’s a delay between an attempted access of data and their actual receipt of that data. That gap between app and data (called “the app-data gap”) causes frustration, poor performance, and low productivity.
Those same delays often force users and their companies to run in a purely reactive mode. IT teams spend hours tracing potential faults in dozens of directions simply because so many parts of the system may not be speaking to each other properly. For example, an application trying to access the data might run on one platform while each server it pulls data from runs on its own platform, making the system extremely complex.
At one time, interoperability problems were solved by having an expert for each system. As technology has progressed, however, the number of experts needed in today’s world would make IT departments huge. Another problem with reactive troubleshooting is that you can’t prevent fires when you’re too busy putting them out. With no time spent on new initiatives, IT departments can start to be seen as roadblocks rather than pathfinders.
This problem exists for companies irrespective of size or industry. That’s why HPE invested $1.2 billion in the ultimate solution. Their acquisition of Nimble Storage gave them three advanced capabilities to offer their customers as a way to handle the app-data gap problem. The capability with the most wide-ranging application is called InfoSight.
From Roots to Bridges
What makes InfoSight remarkable? The delays that cause these problems are usually chalked up to bad hardware slowing things down. Because of that, companies spend more and more money upgrading systems or adding flash storage.
But according to the findings of a recent Nimble Labs report[i], only 46 percent of access delays were storage-related. The majority were spread across IT fields, from configuration to interoperability. We’ve said already that hiring experts in every field isn’t possible. So if we can’t always throw smart people at the problem, what’s to be done?
That’s where InfoSight comes in. In practical terms, the HPE systems utilizing it – beginning with 3PAR – are capable of three things:
- Downtime prediction, prevention, and resolution: Once a performance baseline is established, InfoSight is able to monitor the entire system for the smallest changes. If it determines that a change is going to have a negative impact, it can act to prevent that change. On rare occasions where it can’t stop the problem, it can fix it quickly.
- Rapid analysis: Identifying sources of problems can take traditional IT hours, days, or weeks. Using big data, past experience, and faster processing power InfoSight is able to analyze and identify problems in almost no time.
- A refreshed IT department: No more is “What does the screen say” necessary. Now when a problem comes up, it’s a real problem and the people fixing it have all the information they need. This also means that the IT department can go back to being proactive, to enhancing performance, and to refining processes.
More to Come
The full potential of InfoSight and data analytics is discussed in this report. But HPE is also pushing forward with a number of IoT initiatives as the trend continues toward a large build-up of data at the edge. The company is leveraging a strategy that offers an end-to-end solution based on its own technology and that of its partners as well.
Patrick Osborne, a senior director at HPE, recently said: “We want to provide a full stack for edge IoT, but from a data protection and availability standpoint it’s a difficult problem to solve.”
The good news is that solving difficult problems is exactly what we do here at Softchoice. To achieve this, we help clients along their Hybrid IT Journey. If you’re interested in a full Hybrid IT Journey mapping/whiteboard session OR would like to get right into it with a tour of InfoSight’s analytics dashboard, simply click here.