AI, all-flash and HCI to propel modern datacenter: Som Satsangi, HPE

HPE packs some serious firepower with AI-powered flexible infra that offers everything as a service and simplifies hybrid IT

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With CIOs grappling with data management in a multi-cloud environment, HPE’s roadmap for 2018 is built around providing a flexible licensing model that helps CIOs make the most out of the cloud.

 

The IT giant has set sight on harnessing new age technologies like AI, automation, and hyperconvergence to help CIOs figure out which data goes where. The company’s game plan also targets the SME sector with an affordable flexible licensing model.

 

A tête-à-tête with Som Satsangi, Managing Director at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, India, brings to light the company’s drive to embrace new tech; its channel partner strategy for 2018, and how HPE ensures its partners are well-equipped to understand and deliver precisely what a CIO wants.

 

The need for flexible infrastructure environments, and HPE’s approach to the ‘pay-per-use’ model. Do you foresee this model making an impact in the SME segment?

HPE has been the pioneer in this space and we started this journey over four years back. As more customers started considering putting some of their applications to the public cloud, they realized that the kind of resiliency, the uptime commitment and SLAs they needed weren't being met.

 

That was the time we roped in the concept of flexible capacity, where we can provide the flexibility, agility and resiliency required. In fact, we've taken a step further with GreenLake, where we offer everything-as-a-service.

 

GreenLake offers six services, including SAP HANA, Hadoop database, backup, and even edge computing as a service. And some of these services cannot be provided by existing public cloud operators. We've seen this model gaining a lot of traction in the SMB segment, and also among large enterprises.

 

We strongly believe that a lot of customers who did not consider cloud migration due to data privacy issues are now going to consider the flexible capacity model. A lot of large service providers and telco providers have taken this flexible capacity model and are now providing services to their customers.

 

HPE’s strategy in embracing emerging technologies converged infra and AI. How will it ensure that its partners possess the necessary know-how to remain competitive?

HPE's strategy is built upon three pillars – at the core, we want to make hybrid IT very simple.

 

Secondly, we see most of the workload and data moving to the edge level, and so intelligent edge is going to play a very important role and we're going to help our customers and partners to make intelligent edge simple.

 

 

“GreenLake offers six services, including SAP HANA, Hadoop database, backup, and even edge computing as a service. And some of these services cannot be provided by existing public cloud operators. We've seen this model gaining a lot of traction in the SMB segment, and also among large enterprises”

Som Satsangi

Managing Director, HPE, India

The third aims at providing a seamless interface and experience to all our customers - starting from the edge, all the way to the datacenter.

 

HPE's InfoSight defines the next wave of datacenter management. InfoSight is able to use artificial intelligence to heal itself real-time if it detects any problem in the storage system.

 

HPE's recently launched OneSphere helps a CIO manage all cloud applications and workload on a single dashboard. This gives customers an end-to-end seamless experience in a multi-cloud environment.

 

It gives IT managers the precise picture of workload allocation and suggests what goes where, thereby helping him cut storage- and compute-costs.

 

We're gearing up our partners to be able to discuss with CIOs on what should be on-premise, what can be taken to the private cloud, and where can public clouds be utilized.

 

Which technologies is HPE placing its bet on, and what competitive advantage does the company bring to the table?

 

For IoT, we've created a unique value proposition by taking the Communication Media & Solutions (CMS) portfolio and creating a universal IoT platform, so I can integrate any API on that. Additionally, HPE will work with Tata Communications to build the world’s largest IoT network in India to enhance resource utilization.

 

“There’s a concern around workloads becoming unpredictable. CIOs are making capex investments, but they're unsure about how long the investment would last for. This is where the flexible consumption model is going to make a huge difference.”

 

With respect to smart cities, the Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation has selected HPE to implement the country’s first cloud-based integrated command-and-control center in Madhya Pradesh.

 

Our Edgeline servers analyze real-time data from sensors and take action on the spot, thereby reducing latency. Most other vendors are either taking the data to the cloud first or to the datacenter, and creates the need for huge bandwidth, and this incurs a huge cost.

 

This year, we're partnering with ABB for a holistic shop-floor automation solution with our AI and machine learning capabilities.

 

In addition to this, we're putting a lot of focus on all-flash storage. Our acquisition of Nimble has made it affordable for mid-market and smaller companies to deploy all-flash storage.

 

In your opinion, which three technologies would attract the maximum investment in 2018, and what’s your takeaway for CIOs in the year ahead?

One thing every CIO is concerned about is security, because when they're putting up enterprise applications on cloud or mobile devices, it opens up the surface area for attacks and makes it more vulnerable.

 

Secondly, there's a huge debate around hybrid IT. CIOs are struggling to figure out what applications go on cloud, and what goes on-premise. With intelligent systems like OneSphere, it gives the CIO more visibility around utilization.

 

The next concern is around workloads becoming unpredictable. CIOs are making capex investments, but they're unsure about how long the investment would last for. This is where the flexible consumption model is going to make a huge difference.

 

In fact, at a recent HPE conclave involving over 70 CIOs, it was heartening to see Indian CIOs being much ahead of their global counterparts - be it in AI, machine learning, or blockchain.