HPE adds recommendations to AI tech from Nimble acquisition

When HPE acquired Nimble Storage in March for a cool billion dollars, it knew it was getting some nifty flash storage technology. But it also got Nimble’s InfoSight artificial intelligence capabilities that not only monitored the underlying storage arrays, but all of the adjacent datacenter technology.

Today, the company announced it has enhanced that technology to provide recommendations based on the body of data from Nimble’s 10,000 customers.

Bill Philbin, HPE SVP and GM for storage and big data solutions, says when companies are running applications, they need to know when things are going to go wrong before it happens. It’s not unlike sensors telling a factory owner that the machine is going to break soon. It allows you to take action proactively on your terms before something breaks down.

“As customers look how to build datacenters more efficiently, one of the biggest areas they struggle with is how to provide an optimal applications experience for consumers,” he said. The InfoSight tool can give them insight into how to optimize the hardware these applications are running on.

The company is not only looking at the individual customer’s datacenter to make recommendations. It’s using the entire Nimble customer base (and eventually extending that to other HPE storage products) to understand what issues trigger problems. When it sees a similar set of issues across multiple customers, the system learns the optimal way to fix that and can make the appropriate recommendation on how to repair or prevent a potential problem.

The way it works is the company collects millions of data points from the storage arrays, hypervisors and virtual machines under its purview, then encrypts and anonymizes the data and sends it to the InfoSight cloud analytics engine, where the data gets processed in real time and presented to customers. The customers log into the InfoSight portal to see how the system is doing at any given moment and get recommendations on how to keep the system stable and running smoothly.

In addition to the recommendation enhancements, they are also announcing InfoSight for 3Par, another storage solution that HP bought in 2010. This gives 3Par customers access to a similar solution for its line of storage products.

Philbin say adding this technology to 3Par is just a starting point. The company wants to eventually have InfoSight running across the entire storage product set to provide a similarly rich set of information and recommendations for each group of storage products in the HPE family.