In a world fuelled by data, businesses who can react instantly to customers’ demands are the ones that remain ahead of the curve. And the only way they can do this is ensuring they can get as many insights out of their data as possible.
Insights derived from data include customer behaviour and buying patterns, shifting demographics, and where the business is operating efficiently, and more importantly, where it is not, says Fred Saayman (pictured), the Huawei Business Unit Executive, at Pinnacle ICT, a South Africa-based ICT distributor.
“Unfortunately, data is accumulating at a more rapid rate than most organisations can cope with, and too often, they don’t have the skills to manage it effectively,” he explains. “Compounding the problem, is the slew of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cloud, as well as the skyrocketing growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) that is seeing billions of devices and sensors communicate to each other over the Web. All of these are accelerating data growth to a point where for many, it has become unmanageable.”
Data is being created and stored everywhere, which is only adding to the growing complexity. “This means that for organisations across the board, data storage needs to go a step further, and become more intelligent.”
According to Saayman, data storage has undergone a massive transformation in the past decade. “From traditional storage, to converged storage, to hyperconverged storage, to cloud, one thing is certain, and that is that AI is making storage more efficient, more cost-effective and more agile than ever before.”
He says storage is becoming intelligent enough to understand and interpret different workloads within the business, and adapting to accommodate them as needed. “Today’s systems can tweak the way data performs based on where it is located, and how much demand there is for it in real-time, allocating resources to where they are needed most. In addition, it can optimise data so that it adapts to an economic model that is best for a specific business.”
“Intelligent storage goes beyond simply delivering insights into the organisation, it also harnesses the power of data from a plethora of systems and sources, essentially heralding a new age of autonomous storage, that is truly context and self-aware, in that it can self-optimise, self-manage, self-heal,” adds Saayman.
The introduction of AI enables intelligent storage systems to observe and learn from telemetry data to pinpoint run-of-the-mill data problems and deal with them, he explains. “And it takes it a step further, by predicting where problems might arise, for example, whether a particular system will run out of the capacity it needs to manage a particular load.”
The level of automation we are seeing today, goes beyond data storage, right to the organisation’s network as well. Integration across the full stack enables intelligent storage to bring real insights on challenges including server performance, interconnections, latency and a host of other crucial issues that might impact on the smooth running of the full IT environment.
This, says Saayman, means that organisations can manage risk more appropriately, gear themselves up for data growth, reduce data loss, as well as reduce the expense associated with these. “In essence, it enables organisations to manage their data performance far more effectively, ensuring they get the most value from their data and IT investments. It helps businesses be more innovative, creates new revenue streams, and ensures they can deliver top customer experience to boost their bottom line.”
The good news, he says, it that intelligent storage need not break the bank. “Due to its ability to scale, intelligent storage can grow and shrink in line with the organisation’s needs, without any manual intervention or disruption to the business. Users can add storage as and when needed, as intelligent systems will alert the business if there are instances where more storage will be needed well ahead of time.”
If an organisation’s data isn’t working for the business, to help it achieve its goals in terms of growth and efficiency, it is a waste of time, Saayman adds. “The OceanStor Dorado V6 All-Flash Storage Systems by Huawei do all of this and more. They are designed for mission-critical services, and employ a next-generation hardware platform, reliable SmartMatrix architecture, five intelligent chips, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) and Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) Solid State Drives (SSDs), as well as the FlashLink intelligent algorithm.”
He says the Dorado V6 is the first full series storage that supports end-to-end NVMe architecture, delivering best-in-class performance of up to 20 million Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS). The solution also provides leading reliability, as it effectively prevents any service interruptions, offering fault detection systems that never affect services, and ensure that there is no waiting time during upgrades.
Moreover, the Dorado V6 features customised intelligent device training and an eService platform to achieve truly intelligent lifecycle management, from resource provisioning to fault locating. “It supports intelligent and elastic architecture to build an industry-leading intelligent operations and maintenance system too.”
In essence, the Huawei OceanStor Dorado V6 all-flash storage system was designed to satisfy even the most data-hungry storage requirements of large databases, specifically in the carrier, finance, government, and manufacturing industries, Saayman concludes.