IT professionals spend an inordinate amount of time babysitting gear to not only keep it running but also optimize performance. The trouble is that all this maintenance work doesn’t leave a lot of time for applying all that IT expertise to drive business innovation.
The good news is that with the rise of advanced analytics we’re finally approaching the point where IT infrastructure is getting smart enough to manage itself. Case in point is Nimble Storage, a provider of Flash-optimized storage systems, which today announced it is adding additional analytics capabilities to the management tools it provides customers.
Radhika Krishnan, vice president of product marketing and alliances, says the latest version of the Nimble Storage InfoSight data collection engine now, via the cloud, continuously collects data about the overall health of storage, including performance, capacity and data protection. Using this capability, Krishnan says systems administrators can more readily identify performance issues including details specific to host or network challenges, flash to disk ratios and CPU utilization.
In an age when more organizations are making use of Flash memory to enhance application performance, making sure those storage resources are optimized is more important than ever. While Flash memory has become more affordable, it still needs to be properly allocated to the right application workloads in real time. The speed at which many of those random I/O requests are occurring, says Krishnan, means optimizing that system requires additional intervention in the form of advanced analytics delivered via the cloud.
Most performance issues have to do with the simple fact that, for one reason or another, a setting somewhere changed. It usually takes a few minutes to fix that. The truly annoying thing is that it can take days to discover where that setting was changed.
Nimble Storage is not the only vendor applying advanced analytics to their products to make them easier to service and maintain. What’s significant from an IT perspective going forward is that in addition to traditional purchasing requirements relating to price/performance, there’s a whole new attribute to consider in the form of just how smart it is. After all, every minute spent babysitting a piece of gear is another minute that could be used to find new and interesting ways to apply IT in a manner that the rest of the business actually appreciates.