Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) pushed artificial intelligence (AI) further into the data center by extending HPE InfoSight, its cloud-based AI management tool, to some servers.
Specifically, InfoSight now supports HPE’s ProLiant servers, HPE Apollo systems for high-performance computing and big data analytics workloads, and Synergy compute modules. Synergy is HPE’s composable infrastructure.
InfoSight collects operational intelligence from this infrastructure by analyzing millions of sensors across a global installed base. It then provides trend insights, forecasting, and recommendations to help predict and prevent problems.
HPE acquired the InfoSight technology from Nimble Storage, which it bought for $1 billion last year. In January, it added an AI recommendation engine to the platform and expanded InfoSight across its 3PAR storage portfolio. At the time HPE executives said they planned to extend the machine learning capabilities beyond storage and across the company’s entire data center portfolio.
“This is the next step of that evolution,” said Bill Philbin, senior vice president and global CTO of Hybrid IT at HPE. “The server is the basic building block for a lot of our solutions at HPE, whether SimpliVity [hyperconverged infrastructure] or our converged appliances. It made the most sense to start plumbing the basic building block and then we’re starting to talk about solutions on top of that.”
Philbin won’t say exactly what products are next. “But you can imagine we’re talking about Synergy [composable infrastructure] and over time we’re going to talk about SimpliVity,” he said. “You can imagine anything that uses a server infrastructure is probably in line for the next set of actions with InfoSight and AI in the data center.”
Closer to Autonomous
These AI and machine-learning capabilities set HPE apart from other data center product vendors, he said, adding: “The corpus of data really matters.”
For example, the average Nimble Storage product ships with 5,000 sensors. “In the case of Nimble alone that’s 300 trillion data points we compare our data against,” Philbin said. The company ships about 100 time more servers than it does Nimble storage boxes — HPE is consistently one of the top three data center server vendors globally by revenue according to IHS Markit’s quarterly reports. “So it won’t take us very long to see this corpus of data from our servers,” Philbin.
InfoSight’s predictive capabilities also move the needle closer to enabling autonomous data centers. To get to full autonomy the technology needs to move from a recommendation engine to a command that feeds the operation.
It’s close, Philbin said. “Today we recommend changes. We want to act on changes.”