HPE Adding AI to Data Centers Courtesy of Nimble Storage Acquisition

Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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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