HPE Adding AI to Data Centers Courtesy of Nimble Storage Acquisition

Scott Ferguson

Earlier this year, Hewlett Packard Enterprise went on an acquisition spree meant to help the company improve its standing in the data center market with products to address a range of issues customers faced as they moved to the cloud.

Now, one of those deals is paying off.

On November 21, the company announced a new data center offering called HPE InfoSight, which uses a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics to detect issues within the infrastructure before they become full-fledged problems.

The InfoSight technology comes from HPE's acquisition of Nimble Storge. The $1 billion deal was announced in March and the company closed the agreement a few months later. This is the first of several offering that Hewlett Packard Enterprise plans to offer. (See HPE Buying Nimble Storage for $1B.)

Smarter than your average data center
(Source: HPE)
Smarter than your average data center
(Source: HPE)

This type of offering is what CEO Meg Whitman spoke about earlier this year, especially as customers move to multicloud or hybrid cloud models and need to monitor applications that could be moving between on-premises and off-premises in different cloud infrastructures. (See Meg Whitman: HPE Will Live on the Intelligent Edge.)

It also puts HPE into the application and networking monitoring games, which includes Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which also expanded its capabilities to predict infrastructure problems with its deal for AppDynamics earlier this year. (See AppDynamics Complementing Cisco's Intent-Based Networking Vision.)

"As applications increasingly drive today's businesses, we need to help customers move toward a self-managing IT model. HPE InfoSight enables IT to spend more time on projects that add value to the business rather than on troubleshooting issues," Bill Philbin, senior vice president and general manager of HPE Storage, noted in Tuesday's announcement.

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To make HPE InfoSight work, the company is drawing in millions of data points from 10,000 Nimble Storage customers. The algorithms then use this historical data to make predictions about when and where infrastructure fails.

The notion is that the machine learning algorithm continually learns and offer better and more accurate insights into how the infrastructure is behaving and when and where failures might spring up.

In addition, HPE plans to add InfoSight into its 3PAR storage offering, which then will expand the base of customer data the algorithm can analyze.

Eventually, HPE plans to include the AI engine into more of its hardware offerings as the company builds out more of its software-defined data center capabilities.

Both the Nimble Storage and 3PAR storage products with InfoSight will start shipping in January 2018.

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— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
11/21/2017 | 1:16:21 PM
AI is the new cloud.
I've been observing a growing trend in bringing more and more tech functions in-house -- sometimes as a move away from cloud/vendor reliance, sometimes as a move to better manage increasingly complicated multivendor environments.

Either way, the story beneath the story here seems to be that the market has caught up to -- and begun to branch in different directions away from -- the hype. Solutions marketed as simplicity have introduced their own complexities, and these in turn need to be managed. Automation and AI is the new "cloud", Gartner-hypecycle-wise.
11/24/2017 | 9:16:51 PM
Re: AI is the new cloud.
The way information is migrated these days has changed. Instead of file transfers from server to server, today's environments are various cloud deployments. I can see how adding AI could perhaps help, although AI in the enterprise still feels relatively early if you ask me. 
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