Tag Archives: fiveyear

Bank opts for AI-infused data storage platform over cloud

When the Hitachi Vantara storage array used by Frost Bank approached its five-year mark, Dan King, vice president of IT operations for the San Antonio -based chain of banks, started looking at alternatives. Simply replacing the existing system with a newer version of itself would take six months of planning, cleaning out a rack and migrating the data over. King wanted to determine if newer technology might save money, boost performance or simplify operations.

He considered cloud options, including Amazon, but decided these were too slow and couldn’t give him the kinds of IT controls he was used to (see sidebar). He ended up going with a new all-flash storage array, delivered as service from Pure Storage. Data migration promised to be relatively painless. Pure Storage said that it could also replace the six-rack array with a single rack that was faster — and do so in a weekend rather than six months.

But what really moved him to make the choice, he said, was what other customers told him about the data storage platform’s management capabilities. Pure Software’s core offering, Pure1, included cloud-based management and predictive support. The company was also rolling out Pure1 Meta, which included predictive intelligence that automatically optimizes the storage array.

“The way Pure designed the storage software makes using and managing the systems much simpler,” said King, an attendee at Pure Accelerate 2018 conference in San Francisco. “The other systems are designed to sell storage.”

More than faster hard drives

Since the dawn of IT, storage has been perceived as a hardware commodity. Enterprises purchased storage as a capital expense and provisioned it across enterprise users through a complex system of rules-based software.

But enterprise storage vendors are starting to adopt the playbook of public cloud providers, selling private storage infrastructure as a service.

This in part explains the rapid rise of Pure Storage, a data storage platform provider founded in 2009. The company, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., sells against entrenched competitors like Dell EMC and Hitachi. Its focus on selling private storage as a service seems to involve more than just semantic juggling around recategorizing Capex as Opex. It has driven the company to explore better practices around upgrading, provisioning and optimizing storage at the hardware level. These are all functions that have typically been done outside of the hardware at the application level, which limits the speed at which the enterprise can make good on big initiatives like digital transformation.

“Storage has been an afterthought for most CIOs. It is not a place an executive or IT person thinks of to drive innovation for their architecture,” said Matt Burr, general manager of FlashBlade at Pure. But he said that attitude is changing; companies are being forced to digitalize their business models.

Baked-in AI, improved management

As companies look to repurpose their data for new applications, they are starting to connect legacy applications for storing the system of record to more nimble applications that have different patterns of reading and writing data, Burr explained. Not only can new data access patterns slow down performance, the interfaces between apps can break things in ways that are hard for IT organizations to diagnose.

To address this challenge, Pure’s data storage platform uses AI analytics to capture and analyze petabytes of data, with the aim of automating many of the traditional management challenges associated with keeping servers running — and doing that automation and optimization at the hardware level. This optimization at the hardware level leaves IT to innovate at the software level, with less fear of having to tweak the data management software to get good performance.

“We want to invest in technology that allows IT managers to anticipate problems before they happen,” Burr said.

Data dedupe at the hardware level

Frost Bank’s King has found Pure’s predictive approach helps identify signs of a problem early, before a failure cascades into other systems.

He said the vendor’s data storage platform has also made it much easier to migrate data. Before Frost Bank would have to get six rack spaces and develop a plan to install a unit, which would take six months. Afterward, they would have to deinstall the older storage array to make a hole for the next round of storage migrations.

Modern data stores tend to be highly redundant and reuse many of the same data structures across records. Traditional approaches to compression happen at the operating system level, which adds a lot of overhead. It also adds a bit of brittleness, making it harder to move to a better app that is more aligned with a digital transformation strategy.

But better compression and deduplication at the hardware level can dramatically shrink IT infrastructure with no overhead on the application itself.

For example, King observed that he was able to shrink at 150 TBs data storage infrastructure onto a 15 TB system on top of Pure. Same applications, same data, only Pure’s data storage platform was able to compress and deduplicate data on the fly without any additional burden on his IT team or new software to install.

Of course, vendors have experimented with deduplication at the app level, King pointed out, but he said that just added another level of complexity to manage at the software level, when the aim is to make things simpler.

Walmart establishes strategic partnership with Microsoft to further accelerate digital innovation in retail | Stories

Five-year agreement will leverage a broad base of cloud, AI and IoT solutions for enterprise-wide use

BENTONVILLE, Ark. and REDMOND, Wa. – July 17, 2018 – Today, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced it is establishing a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) to further accelerate Walmart’s digital transformation in retail, empower its associates worldwide and make shopping faster and easier for millions of customers around the world. Through this partnership, Walmart has chosen Microsoft as its preferred and strategic cloud provider tapping into the full range of Microsoft’s cloud solutions. 

“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO. “Walmart is a people led, tech empowered company, and we’re excited about what this technology partnership will bring for our customers and associates. Whether it’s combined with our agile cloud platform or leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to work smarter, we believe Microsoft will be a strong partner in driving our ability to innovate even further and faster.”

“Walmart is a pioneering retailer, committed to empowering its employees and delivering the best experience for its customers wherever they are,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and I’m thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365.”

Walmart is already using Microsoft services for critical applications and workloads and is now embarking on a broad set of cloud innovation projects that leverage Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and data platform solutions for a wide range of external customer-facing services and internal business applications. The flexible, secure and rapidly scalable global technology will significantly accelerate Walmart’s ability to execute in three key areas:

Digital transformation: The investment in Microsoft Azure is a continuation of Walmart’s cloud journey and extends across Walmart’s family of brands and international businesses – allowing them to leverage Microsoft’s public cloud to:

  • Capitalize on depth and breadth of Microsoft’s compute capacity
  • Ability to seamlessly manage workloads in an elastic environment
  • Leverage expanded access to new toolsets to innovate faster
  • Drive a more cloud native environment and therefore continue to manage cost

In a five-year agreement, Walmart has selected the full range of Microsoft cloud solutions, including Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 for enterprise-wide use to help standardize across the company’s family of brands. As part of the partnership, Walmart and Microsoft engineers will collaborate on the assessment, development, and support phase of moving hundreds of existing applications to cloud native architectures. For example, to grow and enhance the online experience, the company will migrate a significant portion of walmart.com and samsclub.com to Azure, including its cloud-powered check-out enabling Walmart to grow with rising customer demand and reach more global markets than ever before.

Innovation: Whether it’s a continued focus on site availability and speed, or the ability to quickly and seamlessly launch new features, customers will continue to see Walmart innovating to save them time and money across the shopping journey. There are also massive benefits to operating at scale as Walmart builds a global IoT platform on Azure – from connected HVAC and refrigeration units to reduce energy usage in thousands of U.S. stores or applying machine learning when routing thousands of trucks in the supply chain.

Changing how we work: Walmart continues to foster a curious, collaborative, accountable, and agile culture to position the company for further growth. To do that, it’s critical to have tools that encourage those skills and traits. Through this partnership, Walmart is investing in its people with a phased rollout of Microsoft 365 providing associates with the productivity tools to foster a culture of collaboration, creativity and communication. Microsoft’s modern workplace platform supports connected teams and breaks down silos – with access to a full range of tools including Microsoft Workplace Analytics, Microsoft Stream, and Microsoft OneDrive, Walmart associates will have access to leading collaboration, productivity and sharing tools so they can save time and work better.

About Walmart
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 270 million customers and members visit our more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by http://corporate.Walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/Walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Walmart.

About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

##

Media Contact Information

Walmart Media Relations

U.S.: 1-800-331-0085

news.walmart.com/reporter

Microsoft Media Relations

WE Communications for Microsoft

(425) 638-7777

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Wanted – High-spec 13″ – 15” laptop

My five-year old Lenovo is officially knackered (speakers dead, keys missing, HDD dying), so think its time to get a new laptop.

I’m looking for a solid 15″ or smaller laptop with a dedicated graphics card that I can take travelling for work and do some gaming on. Budget is ¬GBP 800.

EDIT: Initially I was looking for a gaming laptop with a 1060 but have revised the post as doesn’t look like there are many out there at my price point.

Location: Oxford but can pick up in London too

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Wanted – High-spec 13″ – 15” laptop

My five-year old Lenovo is officially knackered (speakers dead, keys missing, HDD dying), so think its time to get a new laptop.

I’m looking for a solid 15″ or smaller laptop with a dedicated graphics card that I can take travelling for work and do some gaming on. Budget is ¬GBP 800.

EDIT: Initially I was looking for a gaming laptop with a 1060 but have revised the post as doesn’t look like there are many out there at my price point.

Location: Oxford but can pick up in London too

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – High-spec 13″ – 15” laptop

My five-year old Lenovo is officially knackered (speakers dead, keys missing, HDD dying), so think its time to get a new laptop.

I’m looking for a solid 15″ or smaller laptop with a dedicated graphics card that I can take travelling for work and do some gaming on. Budget is ¬GBP 800.

EDIT: Initially I was looking for a gaming laptop with a 1060 but have revised the post as doesn’t look like there are many out there at my price point.

Location: Oxford but can pick up in London too

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – High-spec 15” laptop

My five-year old Lenovo is officially knackered (speakers dead, keys missing, HDD dying), so think its time to get a new laptop.

I’m looking for a solid 15″ or smaller laptop with a dedicated graphics card that I can take travelling for work and do some gaming on. Ideally would have an i7 CPU. Budget is ¬GBP 800.

EDIT: Initially I was looking for a gaming laptop with a 1060 but have revised the post as doesn’t look like there are many out there at my price point.

Location: Oxford but can pick up in London too

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – Gaming laptop for ~GBP 800

My five-year old Lenovo is officially knackered (speakers dead, keys missing, HDD dying), so think its time to get a new laptop.

I’m looking for a solid15″ laptop that can handle some gaming, and have around GBP 800 to spend, including P&P.

Ideally looking for it to have one of the newer generation 1050/1060 cards and an SSD.

Location: Oxford but can pick up in London too

______________________________________________________
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.