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.

HP TechDay 2009 Day 1: HP StorageWorks Technology

September 30th, 2009 4 comments

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


HP TechDay 2009 Day 0: Colorado Springs

September 27th, 2009 5 comments

Officially HP TechDay kicks off tomorrow (Monday – 28th of September).

It’s a two day event focused around various HP related Storage & Virtualization Technologies. This event is an “Invitation Only” event and folks attending will be Storage & Virtualization industry bloggers including Analyst.

Agenda over the next two days include

Enterprise Storage Virtualization

HP Lefthand

Enterprise Virtual Arrays

Hands on Labs

Unified Storage and Deduplication

Topics around Convergence

Some of the Storage Bloggers attending will be

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

Some Virtualization experts include

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

HP Connect President

Nina Buik: 4th Source

And from HP

Calvin Zito: @hpstorageguy: Around the Storage Block Blog

HP is planning to bring in some of their Storage and Virtualization experts for this event. Looking forward to meeting up with some known and unknown faces from HP tomorrow.

After a long day of travel got to Denver and then drove down to Colorado Springs. The weather here is amazing, 75 degrees Fahrenheit and nice cool breeze.


Starting tonight HP has put together an aggressive agenda for all the attendees, with a kickoff Dinner tonight and then back-to-back two days of information technology and training sessions.


Had a chance to rest for a while and then decided to go to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Headed to the Phantom Canyon Micro Brewery in downtown Colorado Springs, unfortunately no pictures.

Stay tuned for a new blog post everyday during the HP TechDay 2009 Event.

See you folks tomorrow, an early AM start.