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By Sandeep Singh
Across industries, digital transformation is a near-universal goal, but data is what’s really setting the terms — and accelerating the pace — of digitalization. Organizations are collecting unprecedented amounts of data, and they need a means of efficiently storing, accessing, and analyzing all that data in order to deliver business value. Where a typical enterprise once took in structured data from mission-critical applications and stored it away, that same business will now need to handle many new varieties of unstructured data — think sensors, video feeds, and hardware telemetry, to name just a few.
Here’s one very topical example: Demand for medical imaging was already growing rapidly before COVID-19 disrupted everyone’s lives; now, in the age of pandemic, imaging needs are surging again. That’s all unstructured data, and for it to be useful to medical staff, it needs to be safely stored, quickly searchable, and immediately accessible.
By 2025, IDC predicts the current storm of data will exceed 175 zettabytes a year globally. With dramatic data growth spread across industries — including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, public sector, media, and entertainment — every enterprise faces an enormous and urgent challenge, because the organizations that unlock data will establish market advantage into the future.
Data storage architectures need a rethink
As enterprises rush to adopt data strategies that will yield data-centric businesses, they are recognizing bottlenecks and silos in their storage infrastructure that point to three principal challenges IT teams face on the journey to digitalization:
IT planners need to avoid point solutions that handle specific enterprise workloads, but which eventually lead to siloed resources.
Admins need the tools to streamline management of vast amounts of data.
IT has to support data consumers via multiple, simultaneous application workloads such as batch processing, real-time streaming, big data, predictive analytics, and backup and disaster recovery.
Faced with this landscape of unstructured data demands, enterprises need a flexible solution that delivers an intelligent, density-optimized infrastructure to accommodate data storage at massive scale. Such an infrastructure should have flexibility in hardware configurations, compute power, and data access mechanisms. It should have AI-driven predictive analytics and holistic data security built into the platform. Moreover, this ideal storage solution should support a robust ecosystem of partner integrations that meaningfully expand the platform’s ability to deliver efficient, cost-effective storage. Finally, it would make deployment so much simpler if the infrastructure were pre-validated with a wide variety of software tools essential to the data-driven use cases of enterprises starting their digital transformation journey.
Several years ago, seeing a need in the marketplace for just this kind of storage solution, HPE engineered the HPE Apollo 4000 to meet the needs of enterprises with large amounts of unstructured data to store. The architecture was extensible in two critical ways:
HPE Apollo 4000 was engineered to deliver elastic storage that’s optimized for data-intensive analytics for workloads such as Big Data, machine learning, and deep learning, as well as orchestration for an end-to-end data pipeline. This elastic platform allows independent scale of compute and storage, accelerating deployment of data-driven applications in production.
HPE invested in tightly coupled solutions comprising HPE Apollo 4000 systems and a few key scale-out software data platforms. These scale-out data platforms are built to address the rising scale of unstructured data. Together, these joint solutions make for an important software overlay helping enterprises efficiently store and manage billions of files and objects for building new data-intensive use-cases.
These solutions are jointly validated by HPE and its partners, making their deployments seamless. Let’s take a brief look.
Deliver a limitless pool of object storage
HPE partnered with Scality RING Scalable Storage to deliver massively scalable, multi-cloud data stores that make possible an economical, virtually unlimited pool of unstructured data which is always protected, always on-line, and accessible from anywhere. Customers can achieve all the simplicity and agility of cloud with the cost benefits of a density-optimized, on-prem platform designed for storage-centric workloads.
Solve data blindness with scale-out file storage
Together with Qumulo, HPE Apollo 4000 provides an enterprise-proven, highly scalable file storage solution that runs in your data center and/or the public cloud. It’s more economical than legacy NAS storage and able to scale and manage billions of files with instant control and industry-leading performance.
Unify secondary data management
HPE Apollo 4000 partnered with Cohesity Data Platform to enable consolidation of non-latency sensitive data silos — for example, backup and recovery, archive, file and object test/dev, and analytics — and associated management functions with a single scale-out, software-defined platform that efficiently protects, stores, and manages fast-growing data stores.
Get all this goodness as-a-service
How do you further improve on the intelligence, massive scale, and ecosystem support that enable HPE Apollo 4000 systems to accelerate data storage-centric workloads across your environment? By offering that power — including the above-mentioned software-defined scale-out solutions from partners — on demand and as-a-service via HPE GreenLake. This is a consumption-based deployment model that delivers on-demand capacity and planning, combining the agility and economics of the public cloud with the security and control of on-prem.
Finally unlock the value of your unstructured data
The above-mentioned capabilities make the HPE Apollo 4000 Systems a foundational building block for storing large amounts of data in a dense hardware solution and help to manage unstructured data efficiently using scale-out data platforms. HPE Apollo 4000 is a versatile foundation that, together with scale-out data platforms from strategic partners, solves the most significant data storage challenges organizations face on their journey to digital transformation. It can eliminate the silos and complexity that are otherwise the hallmark of enterprise data centers trying to cope with a deluge of data; it can accelerate the AI and analytics initiatives that will likely determine a company’s future; and — for the ultimate in simplicity — the Apollo 4000 platform and its partner integrations can be consumed as a cloud service.
Sandeep is Vice President of Storage Marketing at HPE. He is a 15-year veteran of the storage industry with first-hand experience in driving innovation in data storage. Sandeep joined HPE from Pure Storage, where he led product marketing from pre-IPO $100M run rate to a public company with greater than $1B in revenue. Prior to Pure, Sandeep led product management & strategy for 3PAR from pre-revenue to greater than $1B in revenue – including four-year tenure at HP post-3PAR acquisition. Sandeep holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from UC, San Diego and an MBA from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.