Business today is faced with a constant compromise which has one foot planted in the desire to adopt exciting and business transforming technologies like big data analytics and machine learning, the other in understanding and investing in the infrastructure to support these new technologies.
The compromise is made more complex by the fact that the “shiny” new technologies are rarely implemented in isolation. Rather they are being used to modernise and augment what are referred to as High-Value Traditional Applications (HVTAs). These are the traditional applications that have underpinned business for years and still command almost half all IT spending for many companies.
The complexity comes because new types of digital experience such as analytics, business automation and online interaction, lead to a significant increase in the data load and transaction volume that these HVTAs need to handle. The impact can be that the traditional workloads that underpin the core of a business can experience performance impact. Ironically meaning that the investment in new data-driven technologies to augment your HVTAs and make your business more competitive can have the counterproductive effect of reducing rather than improving customer experience.
So when you hear companies like Dell EMC talking about their advances in SSD and NVMe, it is important that technical team stay abreast of these product developments. It’s even more important that line of business executives also understand how these technologies impact a company’s ability to successfully supplement HVTA’s with new data driven technologies.
The term that matters most in this respect is “Storage Class Memory” (SCM). For most modern data-driven applications, the “killer” in terms of performance is latency. In absolute layman’s terms this can be described as the time that applications wait for data from disk after the request for that data is made. Highly data-intensive applications such as AI or Big Data suffer massive performance degradation if latency is high. In a nutshell, SCM is the technology that reduces latency. You can read more about how SCM supports applications like machine learning here.
In the case of Dell, their partnership with Intel has enabled far-reaching advances in SCM technology. They can boast the world’s fastest storage array1 in the PowerMax series, which utilises Storage Class Memory to power machine learning and AI class applications. Companies that are pioneering in the most disruptive industries such as Boston Scientific and cloud provider Rackspace have invested in PowerMax for this reason.
For companies looking to augment HVTA’s with the new breed of data-intensive digital applications, making sure they understand the importance of building the modern and capable underlying infrastructure is vital.
1 Based on Dell EMC internal analysis of published bandwidth of the PowerMax 8000 versus competitive mainstream arrays, July 2019.