HP Blades Tech Day 1

HP Blades Tech Day 1 is now over and what a whirlwind of a day it was.  Here’s a summary of the day’s activities:

  • Overview of ISB (Infrastructure Software and Blades) from Gary Thome
  • Partner Presentation from Mark Gonzalez
  • Overview of Virtual Connect from Mike Kendall
  • BladeSystem lab (hands on overview of the hardware) from Gary Thome
  • BladeSystem Matrix & Insight Software demo from John Schmitz & Bryan Jacquot
  • Competitive discussion (hardware) with Gary Thome
  • Face-to-face discussion on strategy with Paul Perez (CTO for StorageWorks)

I can honestly say that there wasn’t a bad presentation all day.  We were given access to some senior technical people (for instance Gary is Chief Architect for ISB) and that showed — as we were all able to ask probing questions and get immediate answers.  For me, a number of things stood out for further investigation.

  • The blade chassis themselves have a huge amount of engineering in them.  I’ve taken a lot of video of the lab presentation which talks about the power supplies, fans, physical layout and so on.  It will take time for me to review and digest but expect some posts on the engineering that has gone into the blade products.
  • Power Management — this subject deserves a post in its own right as there’s some clever thinking here.
  • Virtual Connect — virtualisation of the I/O infrastructure in any blade system is a key requirement and VC had some interesting features.  I’ll be looking to compare VC to other solutions in the marketplace.
  • Software and Storage — I don’t think storage has been fully exploited in the current solutions.  Rather it is seen as a static configuration achieved separately and doesn’t form part of the workflow in the dynamic deployment of infrastructure.  Look out for a post discussing this whole issue.
  • Futures.  Although Paul Perez didn’t explicitly provide futures information, he hinted at the direction HP may take for the storage products.  Expect to see a post on memristors and the future direction of hard drives.

In summary, day 1 was a great introduction (for me at least) to HP blade technology.  HP were open and willing to discuss their technology and I can say I learned a lot, with  plenty of research required.  Now onto day 2….

Disclosure: HP have funded my flight and accommodation for this trip. Everything else is self funded. I am under no obligation to write about what I see during the Tech Day and HP have no editorial rights over the content I produce.

About the author

Chris Evans

Chris M Evans is an independent consultant with over 20 years' experience, specialising in storage infrastructure design and deployment.

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