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.

Revolution causes disruption in information technology

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Most people we know are busy with all the usual stuff of daily life – unaware there is a huge revolution going on.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is right now.

The increasing fusion of the physical and digital worlds at the heart of this revolution can be seen in connected cars, smart homes, increasing types of intelligent devices, growing numbers of sensors, and so on.

This revolution is not a change, it’s a disruption.

In the midst of this disruption, data centres, although still collecting and processing more data than ever, are becoming defined not by hardware, but by software. But they must still have the right hardware. When it comes to computing power, the agile aggregation of performance is vital.

In agile aggregation, development is not linear, with one end result, but happens by advances, stage by stage, all the time. Managers and leaders also need accurate and quick information, and agile business intelligence gives them what they need.

The upshot? Today’s data centres work best with all-modular, virtualised industry-standard servers. Just as well, as new models of data storage are critical to riding out any disruption.

As all-flash arrays become the default option in IT storage, Fujitsu are launching a new era with our flash-first model, with SolidFire and Netapp.

This all-flash array is a solid state storage disk system, meaning it has multiple flash memory drives instead of spinning disk drives. It has no moving parts and can transfer data much faster than traditional electro-mechanical disk drives.

Software-defined systems meet the almost unimaginable demands of hyper-scale storage.

High density will be a feature of servers in hyper-scale setups, saving money and cutting costs. SolidFire is all-modular, so it can meet the needs of small business, yet has hyper-scale functionality, so it can deal with huge demands.

SolidFire also:

  • reduces power consumption
  • increases the dissipation of heat, and
  • offers extreme flexibility and dynamism in network connectivity.

SolidFire’s scale-out architecture, Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities and hardware compatibility-guarantee give our customers what they need. These include:

Scale out: From tens of terabytes to multiple petabytes. Non-disruptive, no downtime scaling.

Complete automation: Comprehensive application programme interfaces and cloud-based monitoring. Instant provisioning. Automatic data distribution and load balancing.

Guaranteed Quality of Service: Independent control of storage performance and capacity. Real-time performance management. Fine-grain QoS settings (faster transactions).

Data assurance: 256-bit encryption at rest. Self-healing drive and node rebuilds. Rapid, space-efficient snapshots and clones. Real-time replication.

Global efficiencies: Inline and post-process compression. Always-on de-duplication (eliminating unnecessary information). No performance impact. Global thin provisioning (total user capacity allocated only as virtual storage; actual physical disk capacity allocated as and when needed).

To learn more about using SolidFire and being ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution disruption, check out this white paper.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will test your IT systems

blogEarlier this year, the Pokémon Go smartphone game quickly captured worldwide attention. But the most compelling point about the game is that it blurred boundaries between the real and the virtual, as millions of people everywhere tried to track down virtual-world characters.

This is a sign of how the world is not just rapidly changing, but being reshaped. And the reshaping has a name: The Fourth Industrial Revolution.  The first three industrial revolutions were founded, respectively, on mechanical power, electricity, and electronics and information technology.

The fourth is characterised by a merging of technologies that blurs the boundaries between the physical, digital and biological worlds.  Billions of people are being connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented access to knowledge, processing power and storage.

In any major revolution, change is a universal constant. The sheer rate of change, or disruption, we are experiencing now is creating a world that is being reshaped faster than individuals and institutions can respond. This is why enterprises will have to be more focused than ever to keep up with developments in hardware and software, or very quickly fall behind.

Fujitsu is ready for this increased rate of change and we have a number of technologies in place to handle it.  One such technology is a platform called Solidfire, which we believe is the definitive all-flash storage system for the next-generation data centre.  Its massive scalability and inherent deep automation capabilities means this technology can predictably run thousands of mixed workload applications from a single shared system.

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, change is driven by the Cloud, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. Businesses will operate according to four design principles:

Inter-operability: Machines, devices, sensors and people will communicate with each other via the Internet of Things, or the Internet of People, and by 2020, the number of internet-connected things will exceed 50 billion.

Information transparency: Information systems will use data from sensors to create virtual copies of selected parts of the physical world.

Technical assistance: Assistance systems will collect and visualise vast quantities of information for human decision-making and problem-solving, and cyber-physical systems will carry out tasks that we find unpleasant, exhausting, or unsafe.

Decentralised decision-making: Cyber-physical systems will make decisions and perform many tasks on their own (Fourth Industrial Revolution).

The traditional data centre wasn’t built for the Fourth Industrial Revolution so we will need a leap in orders of magnitude in IT and computing, like the SolidFire all-flash array, to give us the next-generation data centre and Fast IT. This solution:

  • can increase capacity and performance on demand, without downtime
  • delivers guaranteed performance to multiple different workloads
  • is programmable and automated
  • can continue even if something fails, without application re-configuration
  • enables better utilisation of server platforms, networks, storage protocols and people.

If pictures are your thing – download this Infographic on how to harness the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with Solidfire. 

Why Leading Companies are Going Agile

AgileBeing faster, more efficient and better equipped for the demands of business today is a philosophy that isn’t just confined to the standard arms of an organisation. It should also extend to your software development.

It’s been touted for years that agile is the go and waterfall is out, but many companies are still yet to embrace the benefits of moving to the agile side. For those enterprises, the risk of falling behind in getting products and services to market is significantly increased.

On the surface it’s easy to see why the waterfall approach is still implemented. It involves detailed plans and schedules being created before any code is written, which sounds like the logical way to plan out a project, following the adage of the five P’s – perfect planning prevents poor performance.

But the difference with software development is that it can’t be treated like your run-of-the-mill business project. It is particularly susceptible to changes because you often don’t know exactly what you want until you see it, so there is always an element of refinement and trial and error that will happen.

Agile development processes, however, embrace this constant flux and accommodate the certain change by focusing on short term plans. Like the waterfall approach, the requirements for a project are defined before the code is written and then tested, but this is done in small iterations, many times. Progress isn’t measured by how much you’ve stuck to the original outline but rather how much usable software has been created after each iteration. With development teams able to continuously align the delivered software with desired business needs, no matter the changing requirements, the risk of a project failing is drastically reduced.

Increasing Speed and Quality

One of the leading banks in northern Europe wanted to deliver new services faster so opted to implement agile development methods.

Targeted acquisitions are central to the bank’s growth strategy but their principle surrounding this was built on the idea of “one group, one system” – a method that was extremely time consuming.

In an industry that is moving and transforming at rapid speed, it became crucial for the organisation to match the changes in the market to avoid being left behind.

With agile development they saw a strong increase in the efficiency of their IT development, reducing the time to market of their services from 14 months to an average of nine months.

The quality of these services was also improved because of the testing and changes made after each iteration.

Teams are seeing the results of their work faster thanks to the short planning and development timeframes, and this is boosting employee satisfaction.

Perhaps most importantly, the business units experience closer cooperation with the IT department, meaning there is a higher degree of certainty that the right developments are taking place.

Delivering Results

This focus on utilising agile processes to speed up time to market is a common benefit organisations are seeing after going agile. A survey by VersionOne revealed that 66% of businesses say agile increases their velocity and helps them complete projects faster.

More streamlined processes ultimately help reduce development and maintenance costs and increase business value. According to a study conducted by Actuation Consulting, 86.9 percent of agile users attribute increased profits to the adoption of agile.

To fully empower your business with the benefits of agile development you have to implement a framework that will support the speed of agile, and that framework should be built on flash storage.

NetApp®’s All Flash FAS enables optimised agile development, making it easier to bring near real-time data into the development cycle and get your applications to market faster.

With All Flash FAS you can create zero-space, near-instantaneous clones of copies of anything from a single dataset to entire end-to-end environments. The reduced storage capacity requirement for these environments takes the significant infrastructure cost out of the equation and when new data is created in these zero-space development/test environments, NetApp de-duplication automatically ensures the underlying storage remains very space efficient over time.

By automating the process of constructing new end-to-end environments or refreshing existing environments, the labour effort for provisioning and maintenance is reduced as well as the time the whole process takes.

The end result is being able to test apps in real time with real data and quickly delivering applications to your users that are faster and more responsive to your business.

Fujitsu is a Platinum Partner of NetApp across Australasia, providing professionally-delivered, comprehensive support for critical NetApp® infrastructure. Our consulting expertise helps you take full advantage of all of the product features and benefits necessary for your environment. With our assistance, not only does your NetApp infrastructure run smoothly, it’s optimised for performance.

Click here to download our infographic on how NetApp® All Flash FAS is helping businesses thrive in the new business world.

The Real-Time Revolution

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We already know about Big Data and its ramifications for enabling better business decision making, but what’s really becoming a business game changer is the importance of Fast Data.

This is the emphasis on being able to process information as it comes in – in real time – so enterprises can be aware and take action immediately.

Accelerating operations in real time

One renowned German automaker has a firm focus on producing vehicles capable of reaching impressive speeds, but that philosophy didn’t always translate over to its operations.

The engines constructed by the marque are central to their high-performance reputation but in the past the way in which these were being tested was holding back efficiency, productivity and further development.

The company realised that being able to monitor the testing data in real-time could significantly speed up the process as real-time engine data could be instantly correlated with historical test data to recognise an issue as soon as it arises.

Now that the engine data is available immediately there is no need to wait for an hour-long test to be finished before analysing it and engineers can halt a test at any step in the procedure the minute it exhibits unusual behaviour. That’s led to more engine testing capacity each week, enabling engineers to focus on further refinement of the company’s high-performance engines.

Respond or relapse

This importance on being able to monitor and respond to business opportunities as they happen is quickly becoming the norm for high-performing organisations worldwide. A study of global companies by The Hackett Group found that 70 percent of leading firms had access to financial, customer, and supplier information in near real time or within one day.

Being able to respond in real time, however, requires systems capable of working at break-neck speeds and that’s a capability you can take advantage of with NetApp® All Flash FAS. This flash storage solution delivers low latency and enables your systems to operate up to 20-times faster than disk storage. That can mean the difference between taking action on the spot and winning business, or losing out to your competitors.

Fujitsu New Zealand is the premier NetApp System Services Certified Partner (SSCP) in NZ, providing professionally-delivered, comprehensive support for critical NetApp® infrastructure. Our consulting expertise helps you take full advantage of all of the product features and benefits necessary for your environment. With our assistance, not only does your NetApp infrastructure run smoothly, it’s optimised for performance.

Click here to download our ebook on how All Flash FAS can transform your enterprise

Why flash is the future of business.

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How companies operate, make decisions and serve customers is quickly moving towards a model where speed is an essential element to getting an edge on competitors. This focus on being faster, alongside the rise of big data and the cloud, is making storage a crucial factor in accelerating business.

The operations vital to keeping your enterprise humming are becoming more and more demanding, thanks to the huge growth in data and the increasing usage of this data for applications and business intelligence. That increased demand is putting more pressure on databases to perform.

When it comes to achieving better performance, forget about completely replacing or rebuilding existing systems because these options are expensive and difficult to undertake. The solution lies in smarter usage and adding to existing infrastructure: enter flash storage.

For years disk storage has been the norm for companies but now flash has been significantly enhanced to cope with the pressures of enterprise systems. Compression and deduplication features have made the cost of flash much more competitive and flash storage systems now boast failure rates below those for disk storage.

When flash is enterprise grade, it can reach its full potential, providing lower latency and higher density than traditional hard disk storage solutions, which means you’ll not only get higher speeds, you’ll also fit more capacity into a smaller footprint and save on costs. Storage options like NetApp® All Flash FAS enable you to run database applications up to 20-times faster than disk storage and accelerate the speed of your business for better overall business results.

With NetApp® All Flash FAS you can:

  • Respond to business opportunities in real time
  • Get those inefficient applications running like new again
  • Harness the power of agile development

Fujitsu New Zealand is the premier NetApp System Services Certified Partner (SSCP) in NZ, providing professionally-delivered, comprehensive support for critical NetApp® infrastructure. Our consulting expertise helps you take full advantage of all of the product features and benefits necessary for your environment. With our assistance, not only does your NetApp infrastructure run smoothly, it’s optimised for performance.

Click here to download our eBook on how NetApp® All Flash FAS can transform your enterprise.

Launch of new unified storage – ETERNUS

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Fujitsu is about to announce some exciting new developments in its ETERNUS storage range. With the benefit of over 50 years of development, the new range reduces complexity and adds seamless scalability to handle ever-increasing data volumes.

In a move to ever more business centric computing, Fujitsu’s ETERNUS storage has combined leading performance architecture with automated quality of service management. This fullfills the goals of aligning storage resources to business priorities and enabling very high system utilization. In  practice the latest ETERNUS DX S3 models enable consolidation of SAN and NAS in the same storage unit, from entry level to high-end systems – with seamless growth across the storage model family. It means great Return on Investment as nothing needs to be thrown away and planning for the future is as simple as a disk upgrade.  

More information is available at  au.fujitsu.com/eternus

Fujitsu partners and customers are welcome to attend one of two launch events:

Melbourne – Wednesday 26th Feb. 6.00pm – 9.00pm  
Sydney – Wednesday 5th March 6.00pm-9.00pm

If you are interested in attending please contact daniel.campbell@au.fujitsu.com for more information.   Please note that space is limited.