The Data Science of Predicting Disk Drive Failures

Shiri Gaber

Shiri Gaber

Data Scientist, EMC IT
Shiri Gaber

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With the expanding volume of information in the digital universe and the increasing number of disk drives required to store that information, disk drive reliability prediction is imperative for EMC and EMC customers.

Information Expansion

Figure 1- An illustration of the information expansion in the last years and expected growth

Disk drive reliability analysis, which is a general term for the monitoring and “learning” process of disk drive prior-to-failure patterns, is a highly explored domain both in academia and in the industry. The Holy Grail for any data storage company is to be able to accurately predict drive failures based on measurable performance metrics.

Naturally, improving the logistics of drive replacements is worth big money for the business. In addition, predicting that a drive will fail long enough in advance can facilitate product maintenance, operation and reliability, dramatically improving Total Customer Experience (TCE). In the last few months, EMC’s Data Science as a Service (DSaaS) team has been developing a solution capable of predicting the imminent failures of specific drives installed at customer sites.

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Deploying an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud: A Look at EMC IT’s Ongoing Cloud Journey

Kenneth Paul

Kenneth Paul

Sr. Consulting Architect at EMC IT

For most IT organizations, deploying a successful enterprise hybrid cloud is the next step to bringing together all the efficiencies and capabilities they’ve achieved through infrastructure virtualization, standardization and consolidation, and the ongoing evolution of software automation to deliver self-service capabilities.

At EMC IT, we are in the midst of this hybrid cloud transformation, beginning with an internal hybrid cloud platform, called Atlas, which has been providing agile, on-demand infrastructure (IaaS) to our IT users over the past year.

While our enterprise hybrid cloud is continuing to evolve and grow, I wanted to share some insights with you on our project goals, as well as technology and business choices for this important leg of our IT transformation journey. (For more details check out our white paper and reference architecture, EMC IT Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.

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EMC IT Helps Drive Sustainability

David Scheffler

David Scheffler

Director, Data Center Services

EMC IT is innovating and developing new IT solutions that not only meet our internal customers’ growing data and IT demands but also help us drive improved space utilization and energy efficiencies in our modern data centers.

For example, in our regional data center in Cork, Ireland we used “hot aisle containment” technology to decrease machine energy consumption by 24 percent. In our Hopkinton Data Center, we increased space efficiency and reduced power consumption to extend the facility’s life by five years.  And leveraging IT’s own business analytics tools, we were able to apply predictive and deeper analytics into application and device power usage—to drive further efficiencies.

Read more about our Efficient Data Centers and how they further EMC’s commitment to sustainability in EMC’s 2015 Sustainability Report.

Also, check out our video for a closer look at EMC Cloud Data Center in Durham, N.C.

Simplifying Customers’ Lives with EMC MyService360

Ramesh Razdan

Ramesh Razdan

Vice President, Big Data and Analytics, EMC IT
Ramesh Razdan

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From taking charge of healthcare choices to customizing product purchases, today’s consumers are increasingly using self-service, social, and mobile digital capabilities. EMC’s new MyService360 now brings that same personalized, proactive service to our Online Support customers.

Powered by EMC data lake solution, MyService360 (launched at EMC World 2016 on May 2) gives EMC Support customers easier and faster access to real-time information at their fingertips. Using its easy-to-read visual and powerful analytics, customers can view analysis of code levels, health, and risk scoring on their installed EMC products, service activity views by site, incident management, and more.

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To DevOps or Not to DevOps? A Question of Survival

Ram Ramani

Ram Ramani

Sr. Director — EMC IT Office of Architecture
Ram Ramani

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When it comes to today’s IT, it really isn’t a matter of whether your IT operation should pursue a DevOps strategy and operating model to deliver software in the cloud. The question is how best to transition to this critical new approach. Similar to making the shift to IT as a Service, adopting DevOps is a must do in order for IT to survive and be competitive.

DevOps is a big buzzword right now, and it can mean different things to different people. At the end of the day, however, it is really about improving cooperation between IT teams that are traditionally siloed and delivering business value quicker and cheaper.

Like so many things in high tech, DevOps represents a circular evolution in IT. We spent decades siloing IT functions, focusing on segmented competencies in the name of efficiency, and now, we realize that shedding those siloes and bureaucracy, collaborating across functions, and using automation to enable individuals to more nimbly create software is the best way to deliver capabilities in the cloud.
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Architecting a Data Lake: Matching Technology with Your Harvesting Needs

Darryl Smith

Darryl Smith

Chief Database Architect, EMC IT
Darryl Smith an EMC Distinguished Engineer and the Chief Database Architect in EMC's IT organization. He is responsible for all databases at EMC, including one of the largest Oracle eBusiness Suites and Database Grid deployments in the world. He has been working with Oracle Databases since 1988 starting with version 4 and Oracle clustered databases since version 7. Over the past 7 years, he has helped EMC capture and document the best practices learned from managing a global deployment of Oracle Applications, Middleware and Database Grids and actively engage with EMC and Oracle customers to share EMC's experience and perform knowledge transfer.

It takes many different best-of-breed technologies to effectively harvest “game-changing” analytics value from the data lake. Getting the right architecture to navigate your data lake requires a deep understanding of both the needs of Big Data and the available technologies in order to match analytics use cases with the appropriate platforms to get results.

Do you need to analyze large amounts of data fast or process many queries simultaneously? Is the data you are using organized in columns and rows, customer records perhaps? Or are you searching document files?

Let’s look at the basics of data lake architecture, some of the technologies and tools you should consider, and how EMC IT is approaching this crucial process.

Data Lake: Core Architectures

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Marketing Science Lab is a Data Lake Pioneer

Mark Duncan

Mark Duncan

Sr. Manager, Business Intelligence — Data Lake

In the expanding world of Big Data, there is more and more information out there that can help your organization target the right customers with the most effective messages for the right products and services at the right time. EMC IT is using data lake technology to help our Marketing and Sales teams gain unprecedented insights into our customer behaviors, needs and sentiments to drive effective marketing.

At the center of this effort is our Marketing Science Lab, which provides advanced analytics support for Marketing using a shared Marketing and Sales workspace in the data lake. The Lab collaborates with Sales on shared data and models to deliver 360 views of customer behaviors by analyzing a vast array of data from internal and increasingly, external sources.

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Introducing the Architecture of the Future: Mapping the Way to IT Success

KK Krishnakumar

KK Krishnakumar

Senior Vice President & Chief IT Architect

At EMC, as with many companies across the globe today, we are pursuing our path to digital transformation—enabled by our internal IT Transformation. For EMC IT, digital transformation points us towards a vision of personalized products and services, real-time information and analytics smartly helping ‘pilot’ the business, and contemporary customer experiences enabled on smart devices. In other words, we are transforming EMC into a software defined enterprise (SDE). The question is what does “software defined enterprise” (SDE) really mean for IT and how do we get there. By way of an answer, our Office of Architecture and Innovation team recently came up with a game plan—appropriately called EMC IT Architecture of the Future.

We have created a comprehensive blueprint detailing the foundational architecture principles which are critical to achieving our software defined enterprise goals. While the priorities highlighted in the plan are not new, this is the first time IT has brought them together in a single vision defining how each fits to deliver SDE.  The intent is to help clearly communicate IT’s role in making the notion of SDE a reality.

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Why a Data Lake? Keeping Up with the Digital Universe

Brahma Tangella

Brahma Tangella

Sr. Manager, Service Strategy, EMC IT
Brahma Tangella

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With the digital universe expected to swell to 44 zettabytes of data by 2020, today’s enterprises need a central data repository that can process increasing volumes of all types of data faster to let business users make better, real-time decisions. In short they need a stronger backbone; they need the data lake!

Not only do traditional databases constrain real-time and shared data analytics due to their siloed nature, they also lack the technology to accommodate the skyrocketing level and types of data being created at an increasing rate. After all, according to IDC research, the growing number of smart devices that analyze everything from home heating systems to consumer information will mean that within four years there will be some 7 billion connected people using an estimated 30 billion devices.

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Moving Toward a Seamless Cloud: An OpEx, IaaS Model for the Future

Mike Harding

Mike Harding

Senior Technical Architect, EMC IT

Running everything under one cloud where we can seamlessly move workloads on and off premises as we need to and pay for IT infrastructure as we use it—that is the vision EMC IT is pursuing when it comes to its SAP mission-critical applications. As a first step toward that goal, we are in the midst of a pilot program to migrate some SAP applications to an off-premises environment operated by enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) hosting provider Virtustream. EMC acquired Virtustream, a global managed cloud services provider, in 2015.

As part of our ongoing SAP ERP journey, EMC IT will begin leveraging Virtustream’s IaaS model and its unique migration and chargeback technology in a pilot effort which will begin our methodical approach to off-premises expansion.

By the end of-April, we will have migrated our first SAP application—Sales and Operational Planning (S&OP)—to Virtustream’s off-premises hosted cloud environment. Virtusteam will then support S&OP using its unique software solution, xStream, which will also provide consumption-based chargeback capabilities, enabling us to more accurately track our utilization costs and more accurately bill business units for what they consume.
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