Bill Philbin VP of HP Storage was one of our guests on theCube at HP Discover 2012 Frankfurt. Philbin shared his thoughts on a number of topics and led off with software-defined infrastructure. Put into its simplest form, these situations are where customers are looking to amortize their existing infrastructure in ways they want to. He shares the example of a global bank that is looking at storage virtuals as a way of providing storage to meet their VM requirements, but also provides advantages of compute requirements. Software -led infrastructure provides them with the flexibility to deliver on that.
The conversation turned to the advent of converging metadata from throughout the enterprise – Big Data. HP answers that with the announcement of StoreAll Storage Express Query, a part of its Big Data initiative. I believe this is one of the most significant announcements to come out of HP Discover 2012. The Express Query is a two-concept in one product and is expressly written for enterprise applications. Firstly, the large explosion of corporate data has been a quite impossible task for many to take on prior to this. Philbin shared the scenario where in a medical imaging environment the existing standard employs giant stores of medical imaging data, while simultaneously deploying a database alongside that. This is a costly proposition. Express Query applied in this environment is able to add meta-tag capability, making this information searchable, with meta-tag updated at the point of creation, at the use of data, or at the point of update. The second part of that leveraging of HP Labs in the development of Express Query. The algorithm allows for very quick searching, hundreds of thousands of times faster – for research in seconds. All of these amazing abilities while still scalable, in fact hyper-scalable, economic, and instant. Additionally, Autonomy plays a role in leveraging the meta-data tagging capability to know when data has changed, searching data, with the ability to search inside the object for information relevant to legal discovery.
Giving Unstructured Data Some Structure
Unstructured data is being given some structure. Express Query is ready to help ISV partners extend their own applications, such as what has happened with Autonomy. The world of Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse are staring stone cold at a major disruption. They’re not real-time, not low-latency – both of these requirements for mobility and apps. Autonomy is the piece that provides the rapid search ability from the inside the files. Express Query is about the outside of data. Altogether, the introduction of Express Query with Autonomy integration is a phenomenally capable and welcome feature on HP’s StoreAll series. The product adds a dimension of real-time intelligence to the game, and asserts the power of its R&D and market leadership in the enterprise.
Philbin discussed future and positioning, maintaining that all the existing lines from backup and all the HP brands will continue. HP is committed to maintaining simplicity and the ability to run on industry standard servers – meaning the ideas and focus of today’s needs don’t conflict with where customers are going, ending up in “rip-and-replace” propositions. Converged structure on standard components is also one of the guiding drivers into the future.