Storage-as-a-service, optimised with AIOps

Issue 4 2022 Infrastructure

Organisations today have realised the relevance of adopting a hybrid cloud strategy when faced with issues such as data sovereignty, privacy, compliance and more. Traditionally, on-premises enterprise storage necessitated a capital expenditure (CAPEX) financial model which requires an upfront investment on storage that can meet current and future requirements.

Hayden Sadler.

However, the latest developments in on-premises storage have resulted in the emergence of an on-premises storage-as-a-service (STaaS) model that delivers the same, or better, financial benefits than STaaS in the cloud. This disruptive new storage technology, delivered through flexible consumption-based models, helps enterprises handle the challenges of storage up to multi-petabyte scale, while enabling seamless integration with hybrid environments. Additionally, Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) is delivering a new level of STaaS capabilities for enterprises.

Zero touch solutions are the way forward

As we increasingly move towards service-based infrastructure deployments and a higher degree of automation, there can be little doubt that the role of the storage administrator is changing. AIOps provides a framework that allows for the offloading of more mundane tasks of resource management and is also able to address the challenges that simply cannot be resolved by scaling human resources.

Leveraging AIOps to support large-volume and scalable STaaS solutions allows organisations to better manage their costs, while reducing manpower requirements, and, more importantly, centralise operations. At the same time, AIOps allows for better management of capacity and workloads through its inherent flexibility. It also provides a more active approach to simplifying IT operations, driving down admin costs and adding a predictive layer to enterprise storage infrastructure.

In simple terms, AIOps is a model that enables autonomous automation to be combined with analytics and AI, such as machine learning or even deep learning, on a multi-layered technology platform. This means that by leveraging AIOps technology, enterprises can gain access to a STaaS solution delivered via flexible consumption-based models, at petabyte scale.

Built-in intelligence is paramount

AIOps-supported STaaS solutions can also provide deep learning capabilities with built-in intelligence that optimises infrastructure and application environments on an ongoing basis. These solutions dynamically adapt to changing application, user, and performance requirements, but remove the administrative overhead and deliver a zero-touch, 'set-it-and-forget-it' experience.

The dynamic nature and rapid proliferation of data makes the introduction of tools like AIOps into storage management especially crucial. The volume of information created globally continues to grow exponentially, meaning that the data produced and, more importantly, stored within an organisation is also seeing exponential growth.

In addition, data that would previously have been discarded, or not even created in the first place, is now considered to have some perceived future value. Furthermore, the increased use of machine learning and AI by organisations is extracting data from new sources that are increasingly machine generated. All this ultimately means that enterprises are now storing several petabytes of data and need to put these massive volumes of information to practical use.

Traditional enterprise storage solutions cannot keep up

However, traditional enterprise storage solutions simply cannot keep up with theses volumes of expanding data. They cannot intelligently search through events from the tsunami of information and cannot correlate data across interdependent, but separate environments. Traditional storage also cannot deliver the predictive analysis and real-time insight that organisations need to respond to issues at speed.

Hence, many organisations have started to transition from the static, disparate on-site systems to a mix of on-premises, public cloud, private cloud, and managed cloud storage environments, where resources can be scaled and reconfigured constantly, as required.

The uptake of STaaS solutions, underpinned by AIOps technology, is central to this transition, bringing the speed and accuracy of AI to enterprise storage. As organisations continue to embrace AIOps-supported STaaS, capabilities will continue to evolve. AIOps and automation are expected to unlock many benefits for organisations. Modern enterprises are facing a host of new challenges, but at least testing the waters of AIOps capabilities holds little immediate risk and much potential reward.

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