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How AI-driven IT in the public sector is empowering a data-driven world


Intelligent hyperconverged infrastructure is providing the digital foundation required for municipalities to deliver needed services and capabilities—from remote work to smart cities to safeguarding data to reducing IT sprawl.

The public sector is facing some tough challenges. The pandemic has required state and local governments as well as educational institutions to shift priorities to address new remote workforce requirements, highly distributed learning environments, increased cybersecurity risks, and the need for new contactless public services.

Significant budget shortfalls are not making things any easier. Even after accounting for federal aid from the CARES Act and the newly passed American Rescue Plan (ARP), experts believe that the recent round of government layoffs and cuts in services will require some serious restructuring across state and local government agencies to get back on track.[1]

As the spotlight shines on public sector CIOs to do more with less, and as their digital ecosystems expand, it’s vital that IT teams rethink how data is being managed. Instead of manually having to keep up with disjointed, siloed workload environments, everything from storage to servers to virtualization to networking to data protection should be automated and streamlined with the goal being speed of implementation, simplicity, efficiency, and reduced cost. Advancements made in software-defined hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) over the past two decades have set the stage for making this possible by replacing disjointed hardware with a distributed infrastructure platform powered by software. HCI has provided a way for CIOs to simplify deployment, scalability, management, and support all while reducing costs of operation.

Although the convenience and simplicity of having key resources (compute, storage, networking, virtualization) in a single ‘box’ has been game-changing—especially during the pandemic when business continuity and new, fast workload deployments have been essential—managing the environment with traditional HCI remains a manual task. As digital ecosystems become increasingly complex, and with cyberattacks targeting government and education escalating,[2],[3] it’s time for AI to come in and do the heavy lifting to alleviate the stress from already-overburdened IT staff.

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HCI reimagined for the era of intelligence

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has brought the power of AI to hyperconverged infrastructure. HPE SimpliVity is an intelligent, hyper-efficient HCI solution that’s optimized for all edge, VDI, and general virtualization workloads. By adding the machine learning predictive analytics of HPE InfoSight to the hyperconverged platform, IT can streamline operations with a self-managing, self-optimizing, and self-healing infrastructure.

With HPE SimpliVity, state and local governments and education can leverage intelligent and workload-optimized systems to empower everything from remote work and learning to smart city initiatives to mission-critical edge workloads for first responders and frontline employees.

Solving complex technology problems with a simple solution

The primary advantage of AI-driven HCI is its simplicity. In an environment where IT sprawl can overtake state and local government agencies and educational institutions, simple is not just good, it’s necessary. It means IT is better able to deploy new initiatives, take advantage of new opportunities as they come, and respond better to an uncertain future.

By combining IT infrastructure, advanced data services and AI-driven operations, HPE SimpliVity can be summed up as being:

  • Simple to deploy: IT can have the system up and running in minutes.
  • Simple to scale: Scale up to 16 nodes per cluster and 96 nodes per federation with the ability to mix clusters within the same federation
  • Simple to manage: Data center and edge computing resources like IoT networks are all centrally managed from a single interface, including global federations, infrastructure, hypervisor, and data protection. IT can backup, restore, or clone a VM with as little as three clicks or update backup policies for thousands of VMs across multiple sites.
  • Simple to support: Lifecycle management is accomplished with orchestrated, one-click software, hypervisor, and firmware upgrades. Telemetry and machine learning predict and prevent infrastructure problems before they happen. The system automatically discovers new resources and upgrades as needed.

Unleash mobile productivity and enable operational continuity

According to recent studies, remote work and learning are likely to stick around for the foreseeable future—and the path forward should entail proactive strategies that optimize these work-from-anywhere environments.[4]

A good option to meet agency, school, employee and student needs for anytime-anywhere access is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It’s not a new technology, but in the wake of the pandemic, VDI’s popularity has soared across the public sector. And for good reason. It offers an unparalleled ability to deliver a seamless end user experience, maintain business and learning continuity, all while keeping costs under control.

With HPE SimpliVity, government agencies and schools can deliver simplified, intelligent VDI with the productivity and security needed for all work types including computationally-intensive applications like those used in STEM. VDI on HPE SimpliVity is lightning fast with a very low cost per desktop in a very small footprint, helping to adjust for dips and spikes in capacity. High-density, high-performance, low-cost VDI makes HPE SimpliVity a practical, responsive solution for anytime-anywhere virtual learning and remote work environments.

Realizing the promise of smart cities

A recent Forrester report indicates that digital transformation has leapfrogged ahead by several years in response to the pandemic.[5] This rapid acceleration has meant not just more technology, but as we move forward, government CIOs are having to ask the bigger questions, including how to best leverage this new technology to improve services, optimize efficiencies and continue the momentum for next-tier digital advancements. In lock step, smart city plans are moving up their priority list. Municipalities across the country are looking to leverage newly acquired technologies and the data they produce to help deliver new public services, save money through energy-efficient environments, and bolster public safety with more automated, contactless security measures.

When it comes to smart cities, 5G needs to be discussed. Most experts agree that it’s the lynchpin that will enable better, safer more widespread autonomous services. But as network speed and capacity expand, so too does the data. According to Gartner, more than three fourths of all data will be acquired at the edge by 2025.[6]

Powering all this data at the edge is a significant challenge. Autonomous data-intensive workloads require solutions that can capture, process and store massive amounts of data in near real time, delivering time-sensitive insights at the edge while seamlessly and securely transporting data sets to/from the cloud for backup and additional data analytics. That’s where intelligent HCI comes into play. HPE SimpliVity offers the modern infrastructure and automation capabilities needed to power this expanding ecosystem of connected devices and sensors. Recent advancements to the platform, including support for Kubernetes containers and cloud-native backup make it a perfect option for edge computing. Government IT can now run both container and VMware virtual machine workloads at the edge with a Kubernetes container plugin and perform cloud-native backup from multiple edge sites through HPE Cloud Volumes. According to HPE Vice President and General Manager of HCI and Primary Storage Omer Asad, these new edge enhancements provide the industry’s first edge “simplified deployment” where you can deploy, monitor and back up hundreds of edge sites from a single console.[7]

Safeguard what’s most important

Wherever the data resides, it must be protected. HPE SimpliVity intelligent HCI features built-in backup, resiliency, and disaster recovery (DR) so that government IT can better safeguard confidential information and mitigate data loss while helping to meet compliance and long-term data retention requirements. As data is stored as read only, a ransomware attack can’t overwrite an organization’s data. If ransomware does take down a VM, HPE guarantees recovery in sixty seconds or less for up to 1 TB.[8]

Move forward with intelligent HCI

Intelligent HCI should be considered by public sector CIOs to support their growing digital environments. HPE SimpliVity delivers the agility, scalability and comprehensive data protection needed to sustain business continuity during times of crisis while being equipped to handle whatever lies ahead.

In the event of staff or resource shortages, the solution can be combined with HPE GreenLake to experience intelligent HCI as a service. When demand spikes, the flexible federation strategy of HPE SimpliVity enables government agencies to easily scale up to 16 nodes/cluster and 96 nodes/federation. Still further, always-on deduplication and compression reduce capacity utilization by up to 10X to make the most of available storage. When an economic slowdown hits, the cost-efficiencies built into the system help weather the storm. A recent report, for example, revealed that during the pandemic, organizations doubled the virtual desktops supported per server with SimpliVity to provide them a 50% lower cost per remote worker.[9] And according to a report by ESG, those using HPE SimpliVity for edge compute deployments have realized up to a 55% savings compared with both traditional three-tier architectures and other hyperconverged offerings.[10]

Whether expanding remote access to workers and students or looking to optimize efficiencies or deploying smart city initiatives, intelligent HCI with HPE SimpliVity offers the simplicity, advanced data services, and AI-driven automation required to accelerate data-driven outcomes.

Learn more about intelligent HCI for the public sector.



[3] The State of Ransomware in the US: Report and Statistics 2019, December 12, 2019.





[8]HPE SimpliVity Hyperguarantee.

[9] Based on validation by LoginVSI benchmark testing


About the Author:
Scott Koehler is an experienced sales and marketing executive in the technology industry. Scott is an innovative strategic leader and has applied his skills to developing new business models, go-to-market strategies, and as a general manager of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Public Sector sales. Scott is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering. He graduated summa cum laude with an MBA from University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.