The Trace3 team leverages the innovation behind FlexPod to help them solve big challenges for clients, including a healthcare organization that struggled under the weight of its own data.
A little curiosity goes a long way. Trace3 makes it easy for customers to keep their fingers on the pulse of what’s new in the industry, helping IT and business leaders spark new ideas about what’s possible in a fast-changing market.
Trace3 provides advanced IT consulting for technology leaders who want to integrate, automate, and innovate their businesses. With a staff of more than 900 across the United States, not everyone at Trace3 can stay on the leading edge of everything, but their dedicated innovation team does.
The innovation team monitors the industry to track what’s new, discovering start-ups and new technologies, and augmenting Trace3’s portfolio with the top-performing solutions. They also funnel what they learn into customer-facing venture capital briefings, which is where the magic starts to happen.
Curiosity built the business
“Customers need more value from us than just integrating solutions,” says Bret MacInnes, Trace3’s practice manager of NetApp/Nvidia. “Our VC briefings connect our customers to innovative new technologies they might otherwise never hear about.”
It has turned into a symbiotic relationship with the VC community because the firms are looking for customer feedback, the founders are looking for affirmation and/or direction from CxOs, and leading Trace3 customers are always looking for an edge on their competition. With the explosive growth in fast, inexpensive storage, it’s easier for those customers to explore new and alternative ideas and get them to market quickly. And they’re keen to take advantage of it.
“SSD has taken on the world based on performance because data sets are becoming so large,” MacInnes says. “Customers can now cut their production cycles in half with fast storage and big servers, which deliver faster business results.”
Combined with cloud solutions that are quarterbacking AI and machine learning tools, Trace3 is seeing their customers’ businesses thrive.
Better, faster, cheaper: choose all three
Trace3 recently engaged with a healthcare client that was struggling to get the right data to the doctors and nurses who needed it. Understanding the business objectives, the team architected two new data centers using FlexPod as their core.
“Their old infrastructure was breaking under its own weight,” says MacInnes. “Their biggest problem was that they couldn’t figure out how often some of their data was being accessed, and they always assumed that they had to have all of their data ready to access at a moment’s notice. While that’s technically possible, with 10,000 patient records, that’s a lot of data to keep at the ready.”
To generate speed, the facility had been adding more servers, which took up increasing space and created massive heating and cooling issues. They approached Trace3 with a simple ask: stable performance with simplicity.
FlexPod is a pre-validated data center platform that provides best-in-class converged infrastructure and was the right solution to create a core that was fast enough to deliver the information where it needed to be, and it’s easy enough to manage so the client doesn’t need a huge team dedicated to it.
MacInnes is also excited to see that customers are more curious and educated than ever before, and they’re open to exploring different ways of achieving their end goals. Trace3 helps them do it, leveraging the latest tools and approaches across the product stack to bring innovation to market.
MacInnes is especially interested in watching what’s on the horizon for IT security.
You can’t keep out what you don’t know
As more customers pursue aggressive digital transformation initiatives, MacInnes finds that IT leaders are increasingly worried about protecting their digital assets from ever-more sophisticated hackers, but the security environment is changing.
“A lot of security today is not around keeping people out, because you can’t protect against what you don’t know,” he says. Instead, the focus now is on isolating and disarming attacks after they’ve happened to mitigate the damage, and he sees artificial intelligence and machine learning becoming more integral components of the security arsenal.
“AI is really good at identifying things,” he explains. “Using AI to spot anomalies and then teaching the system how to respond—for example, by identifying packets or users as someone who’s actually trying to break in—will be the next wave of everyday IT security.”
He also sees opportunities for AI to do more of the heavy lifting for system administrators.
“A lot of sys admins today are still very tactical,” he notes. “Soon, AI will be able to say ‘These applications are more compute-intensive at these times’ and move those workloads to the fastest storage and fastest servers without the sys admin having to step in. Users won’t ever know, except to notice that everything suddenly started working 50 percent faster.”
Automating more of these tasks will free up IT teams to get curious about more strategic issues that support the business, further fueling innovation.
To learn more about Trace3’s VC briefing program, visit their website.