HPE hails 'major leap in storage' with memory-driven flash

The company also reveals InfoSight platform enhancements and an expansion to its Cloud Volumes service

HPE has announced a host of enhancements to its storage portfolio, including the introduction of memory-driven flash and an expansion to the coverage of its multi-cloud service.

The new additions come at a time when the company has all but given up on keeping pace with market leader Dell, and is instead seeking to build out its Intelligent Infrastructure range with new capabilities.

Chief among these is the introduction of Memory-Driven Flash to its 3PAR family of data centre flash storage modules and its Nimble Storage range, something that HPE described as the biggest leap in storage in 25 years. It essentially combines HPE software with storage class memory (SCM) - hybrid persistent in-memory storage - and non-volatile memory (NVMe), based on Intel's Octane hardware.

The result is a new class of storage that's designed to lower latency by 2x, and is billed as being 50% faster than all-flash arrays using non-volatile memory SSDs. This is particularly important for those latency-sensitive workloads that rely on real-time processing, or those that use AI at scale.

"Most applications can benefit from adding memory, but memory is very expensive," said Milan Shetti, GM of HPE Storage, speaking at HPE Discover in Madrid this week. "You can also have intelligent storage, but one of the key attributes of this is you need to have memory.

"[This] is the industry's first enterprise storage operating system, which will support storage-class memory," he added. "This is something we've been working on for a while. With [Memory-Driven] operating system, at the speed of memory and at the cost of flash, you're getting an entirely new way of building computing, storage and data management.

This new architecture will be available in December 2018 for 3PAR as a straightforward upgrade, and sometime in 2019 for Nimble Storage.

Another major announcement was the introduction of new tools to its InfoSight product, a management platform that is designed to predict and prevent errors across an organisation's infrastructure without user involvement, as well as predict bandwidth, capacity and performance needs.

Now the platform can also utilise more machine learning-based controls, including an enhanced recommendation engine that replaces its basic predictive analytics with an AI-based system. This drastically improves optimisation guidance across HPE Nimble Storage as a result, the company explained.

Also announced was the release of machine learning tools for its HPE 3PAR storage range, which allows for self-diagnosis of performance bottlenecks and means InfoSight can be extended to purely on-premise deployments. HPE explained this addresses the issue of being unable to provide InfoSight analytics to data centres which may have limited access to the cloud.

The company also revealed that its Cloud Volumes, a hybrid cloud storage-as-a-service platform, is now expanding into the UK and Ireland regions in 2019. Currently available for HPE Nimble Storage, the pay-as-you-use service allows customers to move their on-prem applications to the AWS or Azure cloud, only with enterprise-grade storage instead of the default storage offered by those clouds.

This platform also now includes containers-as-a-service for the provisioning of applications hosted by HPE, and compliance certifications, including SoC Type 1, HIPAA for healthcare, and GDPR.

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