Archive for October, 2009

HP Techday 2009: The Final Thoughts!

October 2nd, 2009 4 comments

This is my 5th consecutive post on HP TechDay in Colorado Springs.

HP Techday 2009 Updates

HP TechDay 2009 Day 0

HP TechDay 2009 Day 1

HP TechDay 2009 Day 2

Screen shot 2009-10-01 at 8.05.25 PM

HP facilities in Colorado Springs, a Satellite view



This event was a very smart move by HP and as far as I can see they have exceeded their expectations with this event. It was truly a fireworks of hash tag #hptechday both Monday and Tuesday which dominated twitter. The after discussions have taken over the blogging, twitter and the Internet press by surprise with the number of twits, blogs and press articles written about this event.

Clearly for me this was a good platform to learn, understand and share some visions and technologies related to HP Storage products. An Event like this helps understand and connect the dots together with future products and emerging technologies.

The R&D and Engineering teams gave us a good background of the inter-workings of the storage technology not necessarily the intra-workings of all technologies messed together. There were some awkward moments, but overall they pulled it together really well. The marketing folks spoke about some strategy related to these technologies and painted an overall picture. The mix of people involved with the presentations and demos seem to accomplish the agenda, where marketing pitches came in with engineering details.

HP really left competition out of all the discussions except for the hands-on lab. No mentions of EMC, NetApp, IBM, Cisco or HDS. The hands-on lab did have an exercise on NetApp FAS2050C and an EMC Clariion CX4-120 for LUN provisioning purposes in comparison to LUN provisioning on HP EVA’s. It was a positive strategy from HP, not to compare their products to that of EMC, NetApp and others.

A lot of discussions revolved around Virtualization related to VMware, Xen and Hyper-V, but HP made it clear they were VMware’s largest revenue producing partner and would like to remain so.



Platforms like EVA, SVSP, Lefthand, IBRIX and D2D were discussed. Independently every platform looks very interesting and very compelling. But an integration vision was still lacking, a direction or a strategy on how these pieces of puzzle will be joined together to form the common storage platform.  Though HP clearly seems to be making a move towards Converged Data Centers.

HP clearly has a very big competition in the storage market with already proven Vendors and their technologies. EMC, NetApp, IBM, Cisco, VMware in storage, networking and Converged Data Centers. Also technologies that are strong and emerging would largely cause market nuisance or focus disruption for HP.

One of the biggest problems I saw was, HP has these segments of storage and technology, rather not a unified vision, or didn’t come across as one. There are pouches of storage like EVA teams, SVSP teams, Lefthand teams and so forth, not sure if there is technology sharing and again a moved towards integrating all these technologies to form a unified storage platform. Though Proliant is the chosen platform for all Lefthand and Converged Data Center products.

HP still needs a very strong storage technology in the Enterprise space that is there own and not OEM’d. The truth is, eventually the HP – Hitachi relationship has to come to an end with HP’s new product that may compete in the same market space. This strategy will enable HP to be very unique in terms of the markets they serve, which may include their own inhouse storage products for SMB, Midsize and Enterprise customers.

So other lacking things from HP were the Cloud Strategy (if they ever plan to enter that space), Unified Storage details, FCoE discussions, Procurve, Deduplication platform discussions, IBRIX technology integration details, Storage Management, Storage Optimization and XP.

It may have been very hard to cover all these platforms in a day and a half with giving all the technology details behind it. Also remember this was an NON NDA session, so we were not preview to all the future products and technologies.



Overall HP did hammer us for 2 consecutive days with HP Storage Technology. Coming out of it, I can truly say I didn’t realize HP had so much focus on Storage. Their move to hire Dave Donatelli was a smart one and hope over the next year as the Storage business moves under him; he will insert some new strategic direction.

So HP was the first OEM to arrange the HP Techday and make it open to Bloggers as an Invite Only Event. The ratio of Bloggers to HP Personnel was 1:2, giving everyone a lot of attention.

Now the question is who will be next OEM to do a similar event and what will they do to prove themselves different. Already hearing some buzz in the industry about some the effects of HP Techday and some possible events from other OEMs.

But I clearly see an advantage of an event like this and the after effects of it, Good move HP Storage – Marketing Team!

HP TechDay 2009 Day 2: HP Converged DataCenters

October 1st, 2009 2 comments

So after a long day yesterday, back to normal schedule today. We met at 8:00 AM for breakfast and then the sessions followed.

Colorado Springs

Pic 15 Pikes Peak

Pike’s Peak from HP Building, I had an opportunity to visit Pike’s Peak in Sept 2008, a gorgeous place, though they officially sell Oxygen on the top of the mountain, since many people faint due to lack of Oxygen at the top of 14K feet.

Convergence was the main topic of discussion today and the vision HP shares on its next generation products and how it will help further leverage the concept of converged data centers.

I will try to leave the focus of this blog post to really the overview of the events that were covered by HP. 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 Unified Platform and Converged Data Centers visions.

To read about HP Techday 2009 Updates

To read about HP TechDay 2009 Day 0

To read about HP TechDay 2009 Day 1

Pic 16 Storage and Server Convergence

Storage and Server Convergence

Jim Pownell from the CTO’s office was the first speaker of the day talking about Converged Data Centers.

Pic 17 Jim Pownell from CTOs office

Jim Pownell talking about Convergence, wish I had recorded this session

Though there is one change that HP should make now, is remove the HP Oracle Exadata Version 1 since the new partnership does not utilize the HP technology any more.

Pic 20 HP IBRIX Convergence

HP IBRIX and Convergence

Right before lunch, we had a presentation from Todd Mottershead, who runs the Proliant Business within HP. It was great to hear about next generation technologies that HP is designing that would compete in the Blade Market space. Things like Green power technologies including power capping, floor space consolidation, effective cooling, integrated Smart Array controllers, video optimization and other things that HP is pushing out in its new next generation technologies. Flex 10, Virtual interconnect and other networking technologies included.

Pic 22 Devang asking a question to Todd Mottershead

Devang asking a question to Todd Mottershead

pic 22 the first row

Devang, Stephen and Greg sharing the first row, staring at Nigel Poulton

Todd Mottershead’s presentation was a great one…

Then we had a photo session with all the Bloggers

There are some good versions of the same picture, though this is taken using my cell phone and may not be very clear.

Pic 21 Bloggers Picture

Starting from the back left

Frank Owen

Greg Knieriemen

Nigel Poulton

John Spiers

Ray Lucchesi

John Obeto

Rich Brambley

Starting from the left front row

Simon Seagrave

Devang Panchigar

Stephen Foskett

Nina Buik

Calvin Zito

Robin Harris couldn’t make it to this session since he had to leave early for the flight.

A list of all the folks that attended the HP Tech Day 2009 are

Storage Bloggers

Nigel Poulton: Ruptured Monkey
Stephen Foskett: Stephen Foskett’s Blog
Greg Knieriemen: Storage Monkeys Infosmack Fame
Robin Harris: StorageMojo
Ray Lucchesi: RayOnStorageBlog
and myself Devang Panchigar: StorageNerve

Virtualization experts

Rich Brambley: VM/ETC
Simon Seagrave: TechHead
Frank Owen: Tech Virtuoso
John Obeto: Absolute Windows

HP Connect President

Nina Buik: 4th Source


Calvin Zito: Around the Storage Block Blog

Becca Taylor

Kathleen Moore

and unfortunately cannot disclose everyone’s names from HP Engineering and Marketing…..

IVY Marketing

Halley Bass

Tom Augenthaler

After lunch we had a special tour of the lab and were able to take pictures and videos of the HP labs in Colorado Springs. Here is a link to YOUTUBE video of the HP labs.

This test labs have more than 500 servers and 20 Petabytes of Storage.

Tony Green, the Data Center Manager

Also we did couple of video sessions with folks at HP giving our views on this entire event and how they can make it better. Some comments and videos should be available on the HP Storage Blog in a few days.

So then Greg Knieriemen and Stephen Foskett hosted the Storage Monkeys Podcast at HP. We had quite a few folks from HP and some bloggers on it. Though I will not disclose any information on it now, please stay tuned for the next Infosmack on StorageMonkeys on Sunday or Monday of next week on HP Tech Day 2009.

In a nutshell the products and technologies to look forward from HP over the next year or two will be

Vision of Unified Storage

Integration of Lefthand products into HP portfolio of products

IBRIX Gateway

Data Deduplication



HP Converged Data Centers

Finally time to head back, made it on time to Denver airport from Colorado Springs and boarded the flight to get back home…..

Again thank you HP for inviting, thank you IVY Marketing folks, you guys have done an amazing job.

Looking forward for a similar event from other Storage Vendors.

As my friend Nigel Poulton says “HP really “GETS” storage”, it is so true.