Is HPE About To Make Storage Support Redundant?

Circuit with wires coming out of it

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

With their latest storage platform Primera, HPE claims they have solved many of the reliability issues present in traditional storage arrays. By harnessing the power of AI, Primera claims that it can auto-provision storage in just 20 minutes.

More impressive still is the system’s ability to automatically optimize workloads to improve throughput and latency for database operations. And it doesn’t stop there– Primera also analyzes infrastructure beyond the array, helping to identify issues at network and VM layer. According to HPE, Primera will find, identify, and fix these problems without manual intervention.

Artificial Intelligence is running the show

Primera is the product of extensive machine learning exercises that have examined 125 trillion data points generated by storage, servers and virtual machines over the last ten years. The observations generated from this analysis form the basis of the self-managing artificial intelligence that powers Primera.

HPE is so confident in the platform’s abilities that customers are being given 100% uptime guarantees alongside their Primera purchases. This is the first time any vendor has been willing to guarantee availability above 99.999%.

Robots are coming for your jobs. Or not.

Despite the headlines, server engineers won’t be going anywhere soon. Primera can “self-heal” in the event of a component failure for instance– but only if you have enough redundant capacity. And an engineer is still going to be needed to swap parts from time to time.

It’s also worth noting that although Primera can identify issues at the network and VM level, it will only advise that a problem exists and suggest potential solutions. Engineers will still need to assess the advice provided– and to carry out the work.

It is also highly unlikely that HPE Primera solutions will be available without the usual three-year maintenance agreement, which means that even HPE will have engineers on standby to provide assistance in case the array fails.

So it seems that storage hardware engineers don't have anything to fear yet.

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