The Art of Intelligent Data with CBT and HPE

[Podcast] The Art of Intelligent Data with CBT & HPE


We’ve entered a new age: the age of insight, where data is more fluid than ever as it moves from the edge to the cloud. You need a flexible canvas that enables data to transform into an insightful work of art, creating something that improves the world in which we work and live. That’s the innovation delivered by CBT and HPE with intelligent data platforms.

Learn more by listening to this podcast with Lonnie Ludwig, CBT VP of Solution Services, Carl Anderson, CBT Sr. Enterprise Architect and Derek Howard, HPE Director of Ecosystem Engagement.


Derrick Howard, HPE:

Hello, and welcome to the art of intelligent data podcast series. I’m Derrick Howard. We have entered a new age, the age of insight, where more than ever data is fluid as it moves from the edge to the cloud. You need a flexible canvas that enables data to transform into an insightful work of art, creating something that improves the world in which we work and live. That’s the innovation delivered by the HPE intelligent data platform. Here in our discussion are our guests Lonnie Ludwig, Vice President of Solution Services, and Carl Anderson, Senior Enterprise Architect, both from CBT. Welcome Lonnie and Carl.

Lonnie, can you share what beautiful picture your customers are creating with their data and how HPE intelligent storage is enabling this?

Lonnie Ludwig, CBT:

The phrase a beautiful picture is an interesting concept because in my mind the beautiful pictures that evokes other thoughts or emotions are outside the exact context of the picture. As you highlighted, it’s much the same way with data and the needs for data storage. Utilizing HPE intelligent storage and the ability to store more data, doing so more efficiently allows customers to analyze that data and deliver unexpected and valuable outcomes. I was recently talking to the head of the computer science department at Texas A&M, and he relayed a story to me where they did a project analyzed over a year long timeframe, the mood rating of music on public radio in Saudi Arabia. And what they found was a direct correlation to the ebbs and flows of the gross domestic product in Saudi Arabia over that same timeframe. It had aligned perfectly with the mood rating of music. So in other words, they were able to unlock hidden insights that you wouldn’t expect by analyzing the data.

We have a customer, a petrochemical facility down in Texas, where we delivered a video as a sensor solution deployed on HPE Edgeline and Nimble. And that infrastructure is where the inferencing for the video as a sensor solution was done. The solution was developed to detect the anomalies in the environment. Think about an animal, a coyote or a person who shouldn’t be in the environment and then alarming the customer. What happened is this model evolved and was alarming on things that were invisible to the naked eye. When train cars were loaded and there a leak was happening, the solution was able to detect a leak because of pixelation caused by fumes escaping from the connection. And so it created a benefit that was not intended for the solution originally. The alarm that attributes of Nimble contributed to the overall value of the solution. The flash optimization, the self-managing capabilities, and the predictive support automation were key to delivering the full value of the solution.

DH: Carl, predictive analytics is a very hot topic today. How does HPE storage provide this capability? And how does that benefit your customers?

Carl Anderson, CBT:

HPE storage provides that capability through an application called InfoSight, which was native to the Nimble platform. HPE then acquired and integrated it into their full stack of storage products. As an old storage administrator, I’ve come to realize that 90% of the problems that are attributed to storage actually aren’t caused by the storage itself. Look above the storage layer, and you have the servers and the applications and everything else that’s involved, which introduces hundreds of variables that can all appear as though maybe the storage is unresponsive. So what HPE InfoSight does is it takes the the telemetry information from the storage platforms and pools it together with the entire install base. And back in the cloud, HPE will run analytics on there in order to predict issues that may arise on our customers’ storage platform. What we have seen over time is that approximately 86% of the issues that would normally require a service call are actually solved without the customer even knowing. And a majority of those times where a call is required, it is actually the HPE support desk that is calling our customer, informing them of a problem.

Now they’ve also expanded their InfoSight into more of a full stack tool with their cross stack analytics, where it will actually look into the operating systems, primarily VMware. Most of our customers are running their storage platforms to just support virtualization, so there are hooks into vcenter. It will gather the performance information from individual VMs, understand the applications and workloads that are running on those VMs and be able to predict issues that may arise due to misconfigured VMs. For example, is there a noisy neighbor in my environment where a VM is taking up more resources than it should. All that can be relayed back to the customer proactively. One of the other benefits of HPE InfoSight is when it’s time for a firmware upgrade. If your storage system is running applications or configured in such a way where there is a known issue, your array will be blacklisted from a software update, thereby ensuring that you have time to resolve the issue and maintain your uptime. We’ve seen from our customers that they’re getting up to about six nines of uptime on their storage systems if they’re properly configured with HPE InfoSight.

DH: Thanks, Carl. Sounds like the AI powered operations really helped customers simplify management. Lonnie, many organizations are concerned about unpredictable demands and managing cash flow right now. How are you helping to address that?

LL: CIOs, COOs, and CFOs are all talking about consumption. And it’s really on their annual list of priorities and initiatives. Our customers see the benefits of consumption and working with CBT and HPE, who’s really an industry innovator in this space with GreenLake. GreenLake allows customers to avoid a heavy upfront cost and reinvest those funds back into the business. They get the benefits of better utilization, including a reduction in costs such as power and cooling support, data footprint charges due to over provisioning, and software license costs. Also, GreenLake helps to reduce the time to market by instantly using a buffer, so customers are only charged for capacity when they use it. This means customers are able to bring products and market products to market more quickly, therefore gaining a real competitive advantage. Customers can see a 30% savings by eliminating over provisioning and up to 50% less time spent keeping the lights on. Ultimately, this leads to more time innovating.

DH: That sounds pretty compelling. Here’s a question for both of you. What makes your solutions at CBT unique in the market?

LL: Here at CBT, and this is what makes our relationship with HPE so important and valuable is that, we take a data centric approach versus a capacity centric approach to enterprise storage solution. We’re not just talking about speeds and feeds and the latest disk drive available. We’re not just looking at capacity and performance metrics. But, what is the value of the data? How can the storage platform help a customer leverage that data? Then we approach the problem utilizing a design thinking methodology, really taking the time to collaborate with the customer to understand and deliver the solution that has true business value, and outcomes that contribute to the success of the customer, delivering a faster ROI. Coupled that with how HPE’s AI driven approach allows customers to innovate and not just get mired down in never ending administration tasks. Ultimately, the value of CBT and helping our customers design and deploy the most effective enterprise storage solution, whether it’s Nimble, Primera, or storage as part of Simplicity or an Edgeline solution. The value really is in our people and our solutions centric approach. Carl, is there anything you want to add to that?

CA: No, I think that is a really good explanation of what we bring, you covered the business aspects. So I don’t think I have anything else to add.

LL: I’d like to ask you take the time to have a conversation with CBT. And we can schedule a discussion and demo that highlights many of the benefits would discuss. Thank you.

DH: Thank you Lonnie and Carl, this has been a great summary. A virtual demo is a great way to experience the benefits of the solutions we discussed. Drop your information into the landing page where this podcast is hosted and the CBT team will get right back to you on the schedule. Thank you very much.