The new data storage model for radical IT innovation

Solidfire_251116You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Internet of Things (IoT), in which almost every device or appliance is connected to the Internet. The collective intelligence that can be gained from these devices will forever change the activities and lives of businesses and consumers everywhere.

It is probable that IoT will impact not just connected devices, but many devices that are unconnected yet still have a current running through them.

We’re not going to get into the details of that in this article, but the point is simply this: everything you’ve heard about the Fourth Industrial Revolution – like the explosion in IoT, cloud computing and Big Data – is likely to prove an understatement.

Recent research from Gartner shows that almost 50 percent of businesses have invested in Big Data initiatives, but most are not getting the best out of their expenditure. The reason: insufficient planning or structure around how to find what they need from the data, and how to best use it.

Given the pace and scale of technological change, that’s understandable. But what can you do about it?

Some traditional companies are now getting advice on how to revamp their IT systems and workplaces so they can leverage the vast computing resources of the Cloud – so they have a chance to keep up with newer, faster-moving businesses.

Businesses struggling to find what they need from huge information flows may take some encouragement from Google. The company has announced the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that it says represents the biggest shift in computing since the appearance of the smartphone.

The company says its massive search database, which now holds about 17 billion facts, will help its AI engine answer queries.

But even when that kind of technology filters down to more general use, it will still be a poor idea to let AI deal with a random assortment of information. A modern, versatile storage system will be needed to provide the dedicated, blistering performance requirement to get the most benefit from any kind of search in an acceptable time frame – whether AI or something else.

Solidfire is a storage system ideal for businesses wanting to ease the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s an all-flash array system, meaning it has no spinning disks. This offers a number of major advantages:

  • Install only the capacity you need and expand at any time with no downtime and no reconfiguration
  • Ensure rapid data access: Input-output per second (IOPS) can range from terabytes to multiple petabytes
  • Have mixed node and protocol clusters.

In addition, Solidfire provides complete automation, guaranteed quality of service, data assurance (including self-healing drive and node rebuilds) and global efficiency.

Solidfire provides a solid foundation for manipulating and processing the data now being generated in the digital age. And when that foundation is solid, you can make good decisions with confidence – and gain an edge on those who continue to operate in a new world using outdated technology.

Make sure your business is ready. See the infographic here.

My journey from the frontline in Defence to one in IT.

Peter Traynor (2)

Peter Traynor, Service Desk Team Leader, ACT is the next employee in a short series of interviews where he tells us about his varied career history prior to joining the business, making the transition from life in the armed forces to one as a civilian and how working at Fujitsu has had a positive impact on both his working and personal life. Read his story below:

I have been working at Fujitsu for just over 13 months, starting off as a Service Desk Analyst and recently being promoted to Service Desk Team Leader. I am based at the ICT customer service desk in Mitchell, ACT. My typical day to day duties consist of managing my 12 person team, ensuring that they are adhering to their allotted time constraints and collectively that we are meeting our service level agreements.

Prior to making the move to Fujitsu, I have had an exciting and extremely varied career history, I worked in several industries including security and warehousing, before joining the defence forces when I was 27 as a Rifleman, where I served for six and a half years. I am still an active reservist.

I have to admit that I didn’t find the transition from military life to one as a civilian that difficult. The hardest part of the process was adjusting my expectations to suit the situation. My manager and the training team at Fujitsu were pivotal in helping me have a smooth transition, adjust to an IT environment and succeed in the role I’m currently in.

I love working for Fujitsu. What the company offers with regards to career development and training is unmatched across the industry. The people are another major contributing factor, overall a fantastic and extremely rewarding organisation to work for. I personally love being given the opportunity to recruit and train my team, watch them grow and move on to be successful in their relevant fields within the business.

Outside of work, I love to train, bike ride and bush walk. I am also an avid gamer who has dabbled in some programming. A career at Fujitsu allows me to enjoy all of these things in my personal life.

For more information on careers within Fujitsu Oceania, please visit: Fujitsu Careers.

 

The Big Data challenge has an answer in SolidFire

SolidfireIn 2014, about 35% of computer users accessed the cloud, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. That figure has since almost doubled and within three years, 86% of workloads are expected to be processed in cloud data centres.

The quantity of data is doubling every 18 months too and the forecasts are that data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009. Individuals today create 70% of all data. Enterprises store 80%.

The World Economic Forum has identified six software and services megatrends and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is under way now.

The growth in Big Data is challenging with respect to finding what information is relevant to you, and making sense of it. This is part of the disruption that Big Data is at the heart of.

However, these challenges also present opportunities. For example, data analytics is leading to insights into virtually any field you can think of.

Not long ago a biotech company used data analytics to sort through GBs of data – leading them to isolate 23 optimal genes. And that led to the first gender-specific diagnostic tests for heart disease. Technologies such as SolidFire help to make developments such as these possible. Solidfire offers specific advantages for data storage requirements both now and in the future with the following attributes:

  • Agility: With SolidFire, enterprises can support specific solutions and adapt on the go to multiple workload environments, without affecting the performance of existing applications.
  • Reliability: A key requirement for next generation data centres is repeatable, predictable performance. With SolidFire, businesses can specify and guarantee minimum, maximum, and burst IOPS (input output per second) for individual storage volumes on the fly, independent of capacity.
  • Automation: SolidFire not only has application programme interfaces (APIs) for automating storage management, but also offers automation of every storage function of the array from the API. Data availability is also highly automated.
  • Easy scalability: The Quality of Service (QoS) performance-virtualisation of resources is SolidFire patented. This technology allows businesses to manage storage performance independently from storage capacity. Because of this, SolidFire can deliver predictable storage performance to thousands of applications within a shared infrastructure. This architecture also allows linear scale-out of capacity and performance, as nodes are added. This gives scaling up to 3.4 petabytes of effective capacity and a potential 7.5 million guaranteed IOPS.
  • Redundancy: SolidFire’s architecture does away with sharing of any hardware component in the system. Connectivity between nodes is redundant, so anything in the cluster can fail, and the system will still run. If one or more nodes fail, SolidFire automatically rebuilds redundant data across the other nodes in minutes, restoring full redundancy while maintaining all guaranteed QoS settings.

Remember, without control and the ability to scale, performance is just a Band-Aid!  See a summary of what SolidFire offers by viewing this infographic.

My transition from a career in the Defence Forces to the corporate world.

Pentagon Commences Sexual Assault Awareness And Prevention MonthTransitioning from a military career to civilian life can be a daunting prospect, however people like Samantha Anderson, Services Manager at Fujitsu, can prove that career progression can continue across employers.  Samantha’s story is the first of a series of interviews we will feature showing how people have made a successful transition with positive impacts on their working and personal lives. Read Samantha’s story below:

I have been with Fujitsu for over 6 years, starting out in 2010 as a Systems Integrator, I have had several roles within the business to the one which I’m currently in, Services Manager for defence contracts. Prior to joining Fujitsu, I worked in BEA systems and served as a systems administrator within the Australian Defence Forces for 10 years. I was based in several locations during this time including Sydney, Toowoomba in Queensland and Darwin.

Moving from a career in the Defence Forces to one in ICT didn’t come without its challenges. There are stark differences between the business and military worlds. That being said, most of my transitioning was done with BEA systems, so joining Fujitsu was a much easier experience, coupled with the fact that my work involves contracting into defence makes it more comfortable for me. The thing I most enjoy about working for Fujitsu is career development and the opportunities for promotion I have been given, all within a relatively short space of time. Hard work is recognised and rewarded within the business. In my role itself, I love the variety it brings, meeting new people, travelling to various locations across ACT and working with my fantastic team of staff day and daily.

My advice for anyone considering a move from a defence career to one in Fujitsu would be to take the leap. Moving to a company who works closely, with and understands Defence makes it all a much easier and less daunting experience. It also helps when there are other employees who have made the move that you can relate to. Since joining Fujitsu my work life balance has been restored, working a normal 35-40 hour week enables me to spend quality time with my family and I’ve recently got back to the gym too.

For more information on careers within Fujitsu Oceania, please visit: Fujitsu Careers

 

Future-storage solutions must be adaptable and flexible

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Business managers used to look at data and ask, “How cheaply can we store this stuff?” Not now, though. Now the question is likely to be, “How fast can we get this processed and get the analysis back?”

There’s more data, and more pressure on making sense out of it all.

Consider that 90% of all data in existence originates from the past two years. There is a 65% growth of data a year, which equals 100% growth every 18 months. In other words, we are talking about exabytes, zettabytes of data, and even yottabytes pretty soon, and we’ve pretty much gone past recognising any real boundaries on capacity.

The vast quantities of data involved with mobile devices, smart sensors, the Internet of Things, connected vehicles and more, demand solutions that go beyond adding rows upon rows of last-generation hardware and software to crunch digits. Performance agility and flexibility now are crucial parts of platform architecture.

In 2009, all-flash storage was thought to be a niche installation that would stay like that. Disk economics was too good to be threatened by another medium.

Seven years later we see that all-flash arrays will replace Tier 1 and 2 computer architecture solutions, and (possibly) Tier 3. The future for disk is going to be archival data.

Fujitsu are there now with SolidFire. Our all-flash array can be customised – in size by scaling out, whether four nodes or 100; in capacity, from 20 terabytes to many petabytes; in speed, from 200k IOPS (input output per second), to millions.

With SolidFire and its Quality of Service (QoS) architecture, both SQL (Structured Query Language) and NoSQL (Not only SQL) database workloads run properly without unnecessary expenditure. That’s because SolidFire allows you to create your system to specifically meet your capacity and performance demands.

At the same time, SolidFire is adaptable and flexible. For example, its Quality of Service controls make it simple to mix and match almost any workload types within the shared infrastructure while maintaining predictable performance to each application.

Administrators can choose to run many instances of one type of workload or run any combination of block storage workloads without compromising performance.

Scalable databases, including read-heavy and write-heavy instances, can go onto SolidFire and be protected with QoS.

Do you need to create dozens of distributed web application instances using a rapid cloning process, and then double the number of workloads quickly and without affecting the performance and availability of the running instances?

Not a problem.

Or you might want to stage a production database to a test/development environment, while it’s running, without slowing the performance of the workload.

Easy as.

To learn more about how SolidFire is the all-rounder you need for your future storage needs, read the white paper.