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HP TechDay 2009 Day 1: HP StorageWorks Technology

Colorado Springs is a great small town, surrounded by snow covered mountains, an a US Airforce Academy in town. Colorado Springs is also the home of the HP StorageWorks platform R&D center.

Pic 1 Colorado Springs Purple Majestic
A view of mountains from the Hotel room, the purple majestic as it’s called.

The HP Techday kicked off at around 8 AM on Monday morning with Breakfast and then a Welcome session following it.

The understandable goals HP has with this event is to promote HP products, technology and strategy with industry bloggers, which could further create a wave of discussion about HP products in the Twitter / Blogging community.

There were 11 Industry Bloggers and around 20 HP folks including Marketing, CTO’s office, R&D team and Storage Architects.

A few pictures from the Technology Session Rooms

Pic 2 Sessions

Technology Session Rooms

Pic 3 Nigel Poulton

Our friend “Nigel Poulton” – Ruptured Monkey

I will try to leave the focus of this blog post to the overview of the events at the HP Tech Day. It will be impossible to jump into all the related technologies in this post, but over the next month, please stay tuned on some technical talk around StorageWorks platform.

To read about HP Techday 2009 Day 0, click here

To read about HP Techday 2009 Updates, click here

The first technology session started at around 10:00 AM with a deep dive into the HP EVA platform. Lots of questions were asked by all of us related to this technology, the vision, the strategy and market competition. This was an NON NDA session, there were no talks about futures.

This session was presented by Kyle Fitze, Don Fraser and Ted Bruning.

Pic 4 Array Virtualization EVA

Picture of Array level virtualization with EVA platform

As part of the Enterprise Storage Virtualization, HP presented on the SVSP (SAN Virtualization Services Platform): honestly I didn’t even realize HP had this platform, but this technology somewhat compares with HDS’s USP-VM (diskless storage) for a mid tier market.  This session was very interesting.

Pic 6 Storage Virtualization

Slide showing the benefits of Storage Virtualization with the HP Platforms.

Around 11:30 AM, the Lefthand Team jumped in with the presentation. The purchase of Lefthand was done by HP back in Oct / Nov 2008. Seems the vision HP has today is to integrate HP Lefthand products with their next gen storage architecture.

The CTO and founder of Lefthand, John Spiers did the presentation. Believe it or not, he still has the same passion for the product and the value it brings to the market. Great session.

Broke out for lunch.

This was one of those times, when we had free access to all HP teams to talk about products, technology etc.

Then started the 3 hour-long sessions on HP EVA’s, SVSP and Lefthand.

So there were 3 systems for the bloggers to provision LUN along with a snapshot on EMC Clariion CX4, NetApp FAS system and HP EVA. The point of this session was to show the ease of use with HP EVA storage related functions.

Though I am not going to discuss any technology related items now, there were some discoveries I would like to talk on the blog later.

Pic 7 Robin Harris

Robin Harris configuring a CX4-120

Pic 8 NetApp LUN Provision

LUN Provisioning on NETAPP FAS2050c system

Pic 9 John Nina SImon configuring EVA

John, Nina and Simon configuring an EVA

The lefthand hands on session was great, went through the entire lab exercise to create clusters, create LUNs, present to host and perform failovers.

SVSP session was another great session, where we got some hands-on experience with configuring a SVSP and presenting LUNs to and from it to host.

We then got a tour of the HP EVA development labs in Colorado Springs, though we were not allowed to take pictures in this lab. There were surely sections of the lab, where we were not allowed.

Next session kicked off was around Unified Storage Platforms at HP. Though this was one of those sessions, where a lot of technology details were not given out, again I would think because it’s a NON NDA session. But its great to see how HP is jumping into the Unified Storage Vision as other Storage manufacturers are. This session was presented by Lee Johns the Director of Unified Storage Division at HP.

Pic 10 Unified Storage

Unified Storage at HP

Pic 11 Lee Johns on Unified Storage

Lee Johns presenting Unified Storage

Pic 12 Unified Storage Vision

Unified Storage Vision

The next session was on Data Deduplication. Quite interesting stuff happening at HP related to data Deduplication. Some slides as shared below. Also some discussions around HP’s self developed dedupe engine and the joint development of another dedupe engine with Sepaton.

Pic 13 Data Deduplication

Slide on Data Deduplication

The day comes to an end, but the networking day begins now.

Here are some key things we brought back from HP including Lefthand SANiQ free full-featured version, SVSP Interface configuration Software.

Pic 14 SVSP LeftHand StorageNerve Devang

Picture of some good things to take home and configure on test systems

Went out to dinner with all the Bloggers and HP folks at the Marigold Café and Bakery in Colorado Springs. The food was awesome, great entrees and desserts. Though being a Vegetarian, I had some good foods selections there.

During dinner had some discussions with Simon Seagrave related to his blog and how he has been able to generate thousands of visits a day. Check out his blog!! A very nice design and great information that he provides related to Virtualization.

Had some discussions with Stephen Foskett and Rich Brambley on GestaltIT and some new things we are working on.

Long discussions with George Wagner of HP Lefthand Networks about Lefthand technology.

Had an hour-long discussion on Unified Storage with Lee Johns. This guy is a smart marketing dude, really was a very valuable conversation with him.

The one thing I love about these tech days is, the undivided attention you get may be for  30 mins or 60 mins or more, to pick someone’s brain, hammer them with questions and understand the strategy.

Earlier in the day met up with Robin Harris for the first time. It was great to see an industry expert and talk to him about his visions, his involvement with the storage industry over all these years.

Also had some great discussions with Tom and Halley from Ivy Marketing that organized this entire event.

Discussions around Storage industry continued with Stephen Foskett, Greg Knieriemen and Calvin Zito at the Bar.

So some very important folks that organized this entire event are

Halley Bass: She’s done an amazing job to get everyone in and out of Colorado Springs, event management, our interface for this entire event, she deserves a big thank you from the team.

Terri Stratton: She wasn’t at the event, but all the reservations and other things were taken care by her.

Tom Augenthaler: He organized the entire event and verified all went smoothly both from an IVY Marketing and HP standpoint.

Finally from HP

Becca Taylor: She is the TSG Social Media Manager at HP and it was her event from an HP standpoint. Just amazing co-ordination of all things to make it a success.

Kathleen Moore: Kathleen verified the entire event went flawless all the way

Calvin Zito: Calvin was a big orchestrator of this event

So there are some things we didn’t hear about today, which we expect to hear tomorrow:

Networking technology

Unified Storage details

Converged Data Centers