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Calvin HPE Blogger & Storage Evangelist

Calvin Zito is a 35 year veteran in the IT industry and has worked in storage for 27 years. He’s an 8-time VMware vExpert. As an early adopter of social media and active in communities, he has blogged for 10 years.
You can find his blog at hpe.com/storage/blog

He started his “social persona” as HPStorageGuy, and after the HP separation manages an active community of storage fans on Twitter as @CalvinZito

You can also contact him via email at calvin.zito@hpe.com


 
 
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It’s been just over a year since we acquired Nimble Storage. I was thinking about it recently as we had an HPE Nimble Storage related announcement at the beginning of May. I’ll talk more about that in a bit but I wanted to share some thoughts about the last year.

No one was more surprised than me when I got an email from my manager the night before we were going to announce the acquisition. I had guessed we were going to acquire someone because he was asking me questions about how long it would take to post an article on Around the Storage Block but Nimble Storage wasn’t who I would have guessed.

In hindsight, I really didn’t understand Nimble Storage. I had heard people talk about InfoSight and Predictive Analytics but I did not take time to understand the value.

HPE InfoSight by the numbers

It’s pretty easy to understand the value of InfoSight. A few numbers tell the story:

  • 86%: That’s the number of customer cases that are opened, resolved, and closed before the customer is notified. 86%! That’s huge.
  • 79%: 79% lower storage operation costs. Enterprise Strategy Group quantified the impact HPE InfoSight has on IT costs and time spent managing storage. Research is based on an unbiased study of HPE and non-HPE customers.
  • 45 minutes: When there is a problem that needs attention from HPE Support, those issues go to a Level 3 (L3) engineer and that expert solves the issue on average in 45 minutes.

We recently announced the availability of InfoSight for 3PAR. And with many 3PAR systems taking advantage of InfoSight, we are seeing results there too:

  • A customer was going to spend nearly a million dollars on more 3PAR and compute because they were having performance issues with their VDI environment with over 1500 VMs. They started using InfoSight on 3PAR and found they had a few VMs that were hammering 3PAR with IOs after users logged off because of a virus scan issue. With InfoSight cross stack analytics, they found that they didn’t need more storage and compute and they averted spending a lot of budget on infrastructure.
  • The 3PAR InfoSight team has found a number of signatures that they can proactively address problems. With this information, 85% of over 1000 cases have been automatically opened and resolved. 
  • A customer with multiple 3PAR arrays now using InfoSight improved their performance by over 10X. InfoSight provided performance insights that allowed the customer to rebalance their workload and see the performance dramatically improve.

The foundation has been established to enable predictive support for 3PAR and I expect we’ll have more to say about our vision of autonomous infrastructure at Discover in Las Vegas.

WATCH! Bill Philbin, HPE CTO, discussing future of HPE InfoSight 

Customers speak out about InfoSight

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International Financial Data Services (IFDS) is a financial services company in Toronto, Canada. They have both HPE Nimble Storage and 3PAR in their environment. Kent Pollard is a Sr. IT Architect at IFDS. We asked him about his experience using InfoSight. He said, “At International Financial Data System, we rely on HPE InfoSight to manage and monitor all of our HPE Nimble Storage and 3PAR arrays. We are really pleased to see that HPE is doing what they said they would by bringing the power of InfoSight to 3PAR”.

I wanted to see if Kent had any tips for 3PAR customers thinking about using HPE InfoSight. Kent said, “Don't be afraid to use InfoSight. No company data is collected by InfoSight, so you do not need to worry about your data being stored offsite. It has a lot of good information and as new HPE hardware is added to it to collect data, you will have more information you will easily access about your infrastructure.”

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Wade Lahr, System Administrator from Children’s Hospital Association said, “We have greater insight into our usage and which servers and applications impact SAN performance. Having encryption on the (HPE Nimble Storage) array has been cost-saving by reducing the number of software encryption licenses needed on our SQL serves.”  Wade concluded by saying, “I would recommend HPE Nimble AF (all flash) arrays solely based on performance, ease of administration, and superior support model.” 2

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Dustin Newby, IT Director at Pratt Regional Medical Center also had very good things to say about how InfoSight has improved their infrastructure. “By simply moving our server and VDI workloads to our HPE Nimble All Flash Arrays, we were able to reduce help desk incidents by 67% including after-hours callbacks due to performance related issues. The array has paid for itself in reduced overtime as well as user and support staff satisfaction. It’s quite simply the most satisfying purchase I have ever made.”  

When Dustin was asked if he would recommend HPE Nimble Storage, he said, “Yes, it is the only array I have ever purchased that has lived up to what was sold. I was completely blown away at how easy it was to install and we saw immediate performance improvements. InfoSight offers a much better window into our environment than I have experienced from other vendors. …. I can’t say enough about support either. It is so nice talking with a knowledgeable person … that actually fixes your problem.” 2

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Brock Griffin is the IT Director at Parametric Portolio Associates and his response to if he would recommend HPE Nimble Storage was, “Absolutely. The ease of use, interoperability, and the InfoSight data makes this array a no-brainer for any company looking for an all-flash solution.” 2

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Joyce Lim, Senior Manager at ECS Pericomp sums it up nicely. “Zero management effort needed with the help of InfoSight.” 2

 

 

The HPE Nimble Storage news: Bigger, faster, better

I mentioned we had an announcement in early May. I’ll briefly summarize it and point you to Around the Storage Block where you can read all the details. There were four parts to the announcement:

  • HPE Store More Guarantee: Lots of all-flash vendors are quoting what their deduplication and compression ratios are. Honestly, everyone is going to have pretty similar numbers. What is key to getting the most capacity out of an all-flash array is minimizing overhead like the array’s OS, RAID, sparing, garbage collection, and other things that take up flash capacity before you start to load your data. With HPE Nimble Storage, we’re so confident that you’ll have more effective capacity than our competition that we guarantee it. Check out the post on ATSB that dives deeper into the HPE Store More Guarantee.
  • Storage Class Memory (or SCM) and NVMe ready: SCM and NVMe are both important technologies to the future of all-flash. And with our HPE Timeless program, the new Nimble Storage arrays can take advantage of both these technologies. For more, read the post on ATSB from the HPE Nimble Storage CTO.
  • New Nimble Storage Hardware:  There’s too much here to cover it briefly but we announced new Adaptive Flash (hybrid arrays) and All Flash hardware. I talk about the new models and some of the highlights in my latest What’s new with Nimble Storage ChalkTalk.
  • Inline always-on deduplication: The last bit of news here that I’ll share is that we now have inline always-on deduplication across the Adaptive Flash Array family, except the HF20C which is cost optimized for compressible data and doesn't support deduplication.

Get more info

Here are some links that you can check out:

You'll be able to see all of our blogs related to the news on ATSB with the label Storage News. We use this label on all of our storage news blog posts but the latest will be on the top of this link so check it out. 

2 Source: TechValidate research findings from surveys of HPE customers and users.

 

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