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The Truth About Flash Storage

Posted on: March 2nd, 2016 by Daniella Lundsberg

Flash Storage Sizzles

You’re on a seemingly endless journey to optimize operations and squeeze every last bit of performance from your data center. You require as many 9’s of reliability as you can get. Flash storage promises application acceleration, amazing throughput, low latency and consistent performance. It all sounds great, but can you afford it?

Balancing Performance And Budget

While many factors go into calculating the total cost of ownership, you may be surprised to learn how affordable the cost of flash storage has become. Like other technologies that mature and become more widely consumed, the upfront cost of flash has gotten to the point where it is comparatively priced to spinning disks. At around $2 per GB, even if all else were equal, flash storage would be attractive.

All else is not equal. All-flash storage solutions win the high-performance battle (delivering hundreds of thousands of IOPS at under 1ms latency); they have more density so they take up less rack space with a significantly smaller footprint (less square footage needed in your data center); they run more efficiently (lower power consumption saves on energy and cooling costs); and are scalable and resilient.

Flash Arrays Are Not All Equal

When it comes to performance, flash arrays vary widely—not just in terms of performance, but in terms of consistency and predictability of performance. While you can add a flash tier to a traditional spinning disk system, you won’t realize the same highly consistent performance levels that you would with an all-flash array. All-flash arrays are exclusively made with flash memory and built on a flash-optimized architecture. This is the difference and what makes the delivery of consistent performance, resiliency, scalability, and data mobility possible.

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 All-Flash Storage

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 Storage provides the highest performance among the 3PAR 7000 StoreServ family and guarantees to double your virtual machine density. With hardware assisted thin storage it is the only platform that guarantees a 50% reduction in capacity requirements, thereby reducing the effective cost of flash media substantially. HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 adheres to the four architectural requirements for flash-based arrays:

Performance acceleration – zero bottlenecks with faster I/O and flash-optimized caching

  • Efficiency optimization – extends the life and utilization of flash media
  • System resiliency – provides constant access with low latency and no IOP degradation
  • Data Mobility – allows for seamless movement of old data and applications

And, unlike other purpose-built flash arrays, the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 doesn’t require you to introduce an entirely new architecture into your environment to achieve flash-optimized performance.

Take The Next Step

American Digital brings decades of experience in implementing enterprise storage solutions for Fortune 1000 clients. We’ll work closely with your organization to propose the best solutions to meet your needs, your budget, and your timeline.

The Transformative Impact of the Cloud

Posted on: October 16th, 2015 by Daniella Lundsberg

The cloud is having a transformative impact on business. Organizations who utilize cloud technologies will lead the way in innovation and stay ahead of the competition. With 65% of the fortune 1000 companies moving to the cloud, having a cloud implementation strategy is vital for company growth.

How the Cloud Can Transform Your Business Along with greater agility, the cloud allows organizations to leverage technology along every phase of the IT lifecycle. Building the right cloud solution for your business can help you reduce your operating costs, enhance elasticity, and simplify data analysis. Some of the ways the cloud can transform your business includes:

  • Integration of the cloud with existing architecture at lower costs
  • Faster time-to-market and ease of integration
  • Automation of application and data updates
  • New product development and innovation
  • Improve alignment with customers and partners

Cloud Adoption and Cloud Implementation Cloud adoption rates are maturing at a fast pace and early adoption is key. Based on a 2015 mid-year survey from Cowen & Company, 77% of enterprises report meaningful cloud adoption and believe many more processes will be moved to the cloud. As companies expand their digital footprint, and with the rise of cloud computing accelerating, it’s imperative that companies develop a structured cloud implementation strategy to give them a competitive advantage when it comes to business innovation.

Private, Public or Hybrid? Which cloud model is best for your business objectives and goals? According to the IDC, by the year 2020, clouds will stop being referred to as “public” or “private” and eventually, cloud models will simply evolve into the new way of doing business. There is not one simple solution and before choosing a cloud infrastructure, it’s important for companies to establish data protection strategies before moving any sensitive data into the cloud. Today, most enterprises are using a mix of cloud solutions; thus, choosing a hybrid model to take advantage of the agile public cloud, while using the private cloud to maintain security protocols and data protection.

Cloud Enablement Assessment Let American Digital assess the best cloud strategy unique to your organization’s present and future goals. Request a Cloud Enablement Assessment today. As HP’s largest Platinum Partner in the Midwest, American Digital provides custom system integration and consulting services across HP’s complete enterprise portfolio of server, storage, and networking products.

 

Save the Gambling for Vegas- The case for BURA

Posted on: July 24th, 2015 by Daniella Lundsberg

Here’s a tip: Gamble as much as you are willing to lose. That small pearl of wisdom could be just as valuable to you in the context of your data center as it could be at the craps tables in Las Vegas. When it comes to safeguarding your data, traditional data protection and retention may no longer be enough to hedge your bet. Now is a good time to consider your backup, recovery and archive (BURA) options.

Greater dependence on data means backup alone won’t cut it

According to research reported by ESG, about half of organizations (49%) have a 15-minutes or less tolerance level for mission-critical application downtime. Their tolerance for normal business applications (not quite mission-critical) downtime didn’t differ by much1. Furthermore, according to a Gartner survey, the average cost of network downtime cited was $330K/hour. Naturally, you’d expect to see a wide range based on the business environment, but even at a low-end range of $140K/hour, we can agree that downtime is costly2. As service level agreements (SLAs) become even more stringent, expect to see tolerance drop as costs increase.

Enterprise IT managers are faced with a great deal of complexity. Protecting your business-critical applications without impacting performance is challenging. The volume and scale of data, along with its exponential growth, and the proliferation of virtualized environments just add to the complexity. Traditional hierarchical backup approaches can’t deliver the agility, affordability, and protection you demand.

The use of traditional backup software alone as a primary method of data protection has been fading (from 62% in early 2013 to 44% in 2014). At the same time, the use of array-based snapshots and replication – in conjunction with backup software – has increased from 34% to 51% among midsize and large enterprises.3

A better, more comprehensive approach

When you’re looking for a comprehensive, tiered and converged data protection architecture that balances availability and protection, combining snapshots and backup gives you the best of both worlds. The combination yields the near-instant, non-intrusive availability of snapshots with the reliable recovery and cost-effective retention of backups, delivered in an application-aware, storage-integrated data protection solution.

HP’s answer is to bring primary and backup storage closer together with a single data protection architecture that offers flexible options covering a wide spectrum of recovery scenarios. HP StoreOnce is the fastest backup on the market with federated deduplication so you can get back up and running faster when you need to recover. It provides flat backup directly from 3PAR StoreServ, and with HP StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central (RMC) software, your HP 3PAR StoreServ primary storage integrates with HP StoreOnce Backup systems. The result is application-managed data protection that speeds and simplifies data protection for virtualization data on your 3PAR array—while bypassing traditional backup server-based processes.

We can help you build a comprehensive BURA strategy

American Digital, an HP Platinum partner, is well positioned to assess your current backup and recovery strategy and coach you through the best approach to ensuring your sensitive and valuable data is protected. If you’d like to learn more about how American Digital can integrate award-winning HP BURA solutions into your IT environment, give us a call.

Sources

1 Multiple Data Protection Solutions’ Does Not Have to Mean ‘Multiple Vendors’, ESG Research, July 2014

2 The Cost of Downtime, Andrew Lerner, Gartner Blog Network, July 2014

3 Research conducted by TheInfoPro, a service of 451 Research

 

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Tackle Big Data?

Posted on: July 9th, 2015 by Daniella Lundsberg

Organizations ranging from healthcare, to education, to manufacturing, and Fortune 1000 companies across a wide swath of industries are candidates for Big Data implementations. Now is the time for information technology and line of business leaders to come together to understand when and how to tackle Big Data.

What exactly is Big Data?

Big Data is characterized by the four “Vs”:

Volume – the vast amount of data that is generated every second (This infographic1  illustrates where all this data comes from.)

Variety – the different forms of data, both structured–like patient health records, and unstructured–like your fitness tracker’s stats

Velocity – the speed at which data is generated and the speed at which data moves around– think skateboarding-cat viral videos

Veracity – the trustworthiness of data, especially that of unstructured data, from social media, for example

You can, and should, also add a fifth “V”:

Value – The “V” that matters most is the ability to turn all that data into business value.

How can I extract value from my Big Data?

More than ever, companies are trying to understand how Big Data can help their organizations operate more efficiently and better serve their customers. It is vitally important to determine the requirements of each line of business and develop use cases that illustrate real-world scenarios. For instance, an industry use case shows how healthcare and life sciences companies can use the HP Big Data Platform to improve patient analytics through multiple aspects of operations. The value is seen in many areas:

  • Patient outcomes can be improved by using analytics to prevent complications, increase the effectiveness of treatments, and manage predictive care.
  • Organizations can generate all the metrics they need at a moment’s notice to stay compliant with healthcare reform mandates.
  • Deep insights from real-time analyses of clinical data can help inform medical researchers.

(See use cases for Financial Services, Public Sector and other industries here.)

Where do I start?

Before you undertake a Big Data initiative, consider what kind of business value you want to derive and consult with an expert, like American Digital, who can help your organization tap into the value of your Big Data assets. We provide everything you need to profit from Big Data from assessments to strategic planning and use case development. We work with top technology partners like HP, SAP, and Hortonworks to provide custom Big Data & Analytics solutions from design to implementation and governance. As a Platinum HP partner, we are certified to support and implement Big Data solutions including HP’s Vertica, a versatile offering that allows clients access to an analytics platform that is designed to exploit a wide variety of data while enabling them to accelerate business value from simplified reporting and analysis processes.

Find out if it’s time for your organization to tackle Big Data. We’re here to help.

If you’re in Chicago on July 23, join us for our free 2015 American Digital Big Data Symposium. Tech execs from HP, SAP and Hortonworks will be in attendance. Plus, you can meet Big Data guru, Fortune 50 consultant, and rocket scientist, Chris Surdak. Register here.

1  Data Never Sleeps 2.0, DOMO

 

 

 

HP IDOL and Facial Recognition Technologies Unite To Enhance Public Safety

Posted on: June 24th, 2015 by Daniella Lundsberg

The security landscape is changing and, with it, highly secure organizations from the military to law enforcement are benefitting from behavioral recognition technology including facial recognition. Meanwhile, the explosion of big data puts a wealth of real-time information at our fingertips, giving us the ability to analyze data rapidly and expedite action. When we bring these innovations together – uniting multiple disparate data sources from various real-time surveillance videos, photos, and audio files – we can connect the dots in mere seconds. As such, we could potentially identify fraud, criminal suspects – even terrorists at a live public event – faster and easier than ever before.

Leading this space is HP Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL), which helps organizations pool together a multitude of data sources to rapidly locate relevant information, analyze that information, and act on it immediately. And IDOL provides this capability out of the box – connecting with outside information without the need for third party add-ons. With powerful extensibility, HP IDOL supports searches within massive video, photo, or audio libraries or feeds.

Even if it’s stored securely behind various user privileges and requirements, HP IDOL has brainpower to discover and index data across all of those secured sources and determine relevance in seconds. It then presents actionable analytics on one dashboard with the speed and agility required to support critical decisions.

“We’ve helped government agencies employ HP IDOL to use their data intelligence for improved efficiencies and expedited decision-making, dramatically improving public safety,” explained an American Digital consultant.

Popular applications include:

Rapid mapping of an individual’s recorded interactions
Scene recreations using various photos and videos
Personnel screenings for enhance base security
Real-time facial surveillance and monitoring for secure events
Facial features matching with security clearance databases
Expedited security response and criminal case resolution

Is IDOL the right fit for your organization, please contact your Big Data Consultant to learn more.

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