In addition to completing the full integration of the analytics capabilities HPE acquired last year with Nimble, HPE also expanded their tools and integrations to automate 3PAR in the cloud, DevOps, virtualization and container environments.
Today, HPE is announcing a series of upgrades to their HPE 3PAR enterprise storage systems. The big one – and one they promised over a year ago – is the full extension of HPE InfoSight’s predictive automation capabilities to HPE 3PAR environments. However, HPE is also announcing multiple enhancements that will enhance application automation on HPE 3PAR.
The InfoSight technology came to HPE in last year’s acquisition of Nimble Storage, and had been a major differentiating factor for Nimble from the time it started up. When HPE acquired Nimble, they made it clear that the intent was to integrate this technology into their storage portfolio.
“Last November, we brought some of InfoSight onto 3PAR and put in a foundation for predictive support automation,” said Vish Mulchand, Senior Director, Product Management and Marketing at HPE. “At that time, we brought in cross-stack analytics from InfoSight. It allows you to quickly pinpoint the root cause of issues between the server virtualization and the storage stack, to pinpoint the exact nature of the problem. With the cross-stack analytics, Infosight scans telemetry data as it comes back. When we detect an anomaly in the data, our engineers go to fix the case that is created and data scientists go after it with a broader scope. When the case is resolved, we what we have learned about the case, and see who else in our install base is susceptible to this issue, and then we proactively contact and remediate these customers. Creating these signatures from the learnings from one customer lets us improve the overall health of the install base, and this will only improve further over time.”
That first stage of the InfoSight integration took about six months.
“3PAR already had a telemetry data architecture, which is a fundamental requirement for doing this,” Mulchand said. “For predictive analytics, you have to be able to have the code instrumented, accommodate code and analyze it. 3PAR had telemetry going back to 2001, so it was easier to implement InfoSight’s newer data science techniques into it. Otherwise, it would have been a three to four year journey to integrate it, not six months.”
This second stage of HPE InfoSight integration into 3PAR expands the predictive capabilities, and adds Cloud Volumes, a capability that Nimble unveiled shortly before HPE acquired them. The integration also makes Cloud Bank, a technology originally developed in HPE StoreOnce products, generally available in HPE 3PAR.
“Our strategy overall is to drive business outcomes around applications in three ways: Predictive; Cloud Ready and timeless, and today, the enhancements are focused on predictive and cloud ready,” Mulchand said.
“Last November, we talked about both HPE Cloud Volumes and HPE Cloud Bank coming to 3PAR,” he added. “HPE Cloud Volumes gives you the ability to get block storage in the cloud as a service, with all the benefits of block storage on-prem. Traditionally, elastic block storage in the cloud doesn’t match on-prem, but Cloud Volumes is able to do that.”
HPE’s Cloud Bank is a long-term data retention solution that is architected to significantly lower costs on public clouds for secondary data, reducing bandwidth requirements by over 99 per cent.
“HPE Cloud Bank lets you bring a portion of your data to the public cloud in the 3-2-1 storage principle, where it fills the ‘1’ role to have one of the two backups offsite, traditionally on tape, but now increasingly on object storage in the cloud,” Mulchand said. “Its availability leverages its deduplication efficiency to cut costs. It’s highly scalable, and it supports multiple cloud vendors to avoid vendor lock-in.”
HPE also announced multiple new integrations and expansions of existing integrations with other vendors’ tools, to increase automation capabilities and expand functionality.
“We expanded our integration with containers with new HPE 3PAR support for Kubernetes and the Red Hat OpenShift container platform, so 3PAR can be used for infrastructure for containers-as-a-service,” Mulchand said. “We have also expanded our support for Docker. Previous to this, we had a Docker Plug-in, but what is new now is support for the Docker Enterprise Edition. More capabilities are now built into our Docker drivers.”
Additional automation framework has been added to HPE 3PAR with a new plug-in for VMware vRealize Orchestrator to provide self-service storage automation through pre-built workflows, and with new pre-built blueprints for Chef, Puppet and Ansible, as well as language software development kits in Ruby and Python.
All of these new capabilities in HPE 3PAR are available to all customers with an active support contract at no additional charge.