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HP Blades Day 2010: Friday – Day 2

March 2nd, 2010 No comments

Again an early AM start today, with a busy schedule ahead at HPBladesday.

The day kicked off with some Q&A on the topics covered from the previous day. We all had full access to the team from yesterday to see if there were any questions.

Most of the questions were around FCoE, Convergence, Blades infrastructure and the discussion on the Tolly Report.

Tolly Report

Some discussions on this report by Stephen Foskett

Some discussions on this report by Kevin Houston

After the Q&A session, Joseph George took the stage with a presentation on Client Virtualization and HP product overview; covering the VDI solutions offered my HP. This was an insightful presentation on how the HP blades and software infrastructure can be used with VDI.

Joseph George

Kevin Houston, Rich Brambley, Simon Seagrave

Martin Macleod and the HP Team

After a demo of the Client Virtualization lab, we went for the Factory Express tour.

Chris Evans

The factory express tour was presented my Denise Herdman, Jean Brandau and Wade Vinson. We all got to see how the HP systems were assembled both the Servers and Storage in different factories. How they performed quality testing, how they were all packaged, etc. This was a great tour of the facilities giving us a full access to how supply chain works within HP from a customer entering an order to how the equipment is fulfilled. Quite an operation….

Greg - www.iknerd.com

After the factory express, we were given the HP pod (performance optimized datacenter) tour; think of this as a datacenter in a trailer. Wow…. it was impressive. Here are some pictures. These HP pod datacenters are 40% more efficient than the typical conventional datacenters.

Simon Seagrave in the POD



Systems inside a POD

The day was coming to an end. We were at the last destination of the day, at a Mexican restaurant having lunch. After the lunch headed back to the hotel. It was time for the final goodbyes to the Bloggers, HP and Ivy worldwide teams. But there were about 5 of us staying back that day.

Enjoyed the rest of the day, a bit of a relax, worked out at the gym, had a quite dinner, a drink and hitting the bed early to leave back home next morning.

Though both the blog posts from today and yesterday were just an overview of the activity we did at HP, some deepdive sessions and videos from the event are forthcoming.

Disclaimer: This event is sponsored by HP and hosted in Houston, TX. The flight, living and mostly food expenses were all paid by HP. This is a bloggers – invitation only event. No products have been given by HP.

HP Blades Day 2010 – Archives of #hpbladesday (hashtag) on Twitter

March 1st, 2010 No comments

Here is the #hpbladesday (hashtag) on Twitter broken down based on activity dates. An archive of all activity on Twitter.

Archives available to download, with Pre-Event Tweets, Day 1 Tweets, Day 2 Tweets and Post Event Tweets.

HP-Blades-Day-(Post-Event)

HP-Blades-Day-(Day-2)

HP-Blades-Day-(Day-1)

HP-Blades-Day-(Pre-Event)

Feel free to download the links (in PDF Format)

Cheers
@storagenerve

HP Blades Day 2010: Thursday – Day 1

March 1st, 2010 No comments

Today’s day started early for us, with early AM breakfast and then a shuttle to the HP facilities.

As this was my second “blogger event” at HP, I sort of expected some common things between the first #hptechday and than this #hpbladesday. Though the social media folks from HP and Ivyworldwide were all there, we saw a new team of folks from HP that manage and run the Blades Division.

The blades, storage and networking products infrastructure currently falls under a corporate umbrella ESSN (Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking) headed by Dave Donatelli. Though this wasn’t a storage event, we all expected the primary theme of this event to be around Convergence.

HP Facilities

All Blogger Attending #HPBLADESDAY

The opening and the welcomes were done by Alyson Griffin (Director of Marketing for Blades and Infrastructure Software). She gave a view into where HP currently is with its blades and other business units and how different business segments were trending.

Gary Thome, the Chief Strategist and Chief Architect for the Blades platform took the stage. As expected Gary knows this business inside out and pretty much was the focal point of contact for any technical questions through out the entire event.

Gary Thome

To see all the Bloggers around the table, a video by Calvin Zito.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C3_qoRwWUQ

Our primary contact through this entire event has been Becca Taylor, Social Media Manager for HP. She was along with us at every lunch, dinner and attended all the events. Great host and really took care of all the logistics around this event.

Early morning we had a hiccup with the Internet. It seems like HP doesn’t allow or have Guest networks in the building where the bloggers were invited. They had arranged for Cradle point routers in the conference room, but as multiple people joined these cradle point routers, it just started acting bizarre and dropped everyone’s connections.

It took them a while to get the Internet situation resolved by providing us with AT&T based broadband connections. This news made it to the Twitter stream. Hope going forward with any HP events, we do not see an Internet issue.

Then HP brought in a partner Nth Generation from San Diego, CA and the President of Nth Generation Mark Gonzalez gave his opinions on how they manage to compete in the IT reseller/var market with there strong partnership with HP.

Look for the GESTALTIT's (G) in the presentation my Mark

Then Mike Kendall took the stage to talk about Virtual Connect technology and HP’s direction with it. It will be very hard to include that part of the presentation in this post; I will focus a separate blog post on where HP is going with its Virtual Connect technology.

Some highlights of the conversation were…

Network Convergence: FCoE and CEE (Lossless Ethernet).

CEE is also referenced as DCB (Data center Bridging). EVD (edge virtual bridging).

DCB + Traditional Ethernet = Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE)

EVB Standards (802.1Qbg)

Virtual Ethernet Bridge (VEB)

Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregation (VEPA)

Multichannel

Remote Replication

HP Virtual Connect Qualities: Simplified, Converged, Integrated, Reduced complexity

After lunch, Gary Thome and his team including James Singer took us to their demo lab for a presentation on HP Blade systems. This was really a hands-on-lab demo with us being able to photograph every component within the HP Blade servers.



Then we went to the HP Insight Software presentation and demo labs. Though this was quite interesting, the HP Insight software raises some very basic questions around convergence. It has one-way integration to receive alerts within Vmware Infrastructure Manager with HP blades. Other questions that we asked were around integration of Insight Software with Storage products.

As much as HP likes to talk about Convergence related to infrastructure, it almost seems at this point that HP basically lacks a single pane of glass view into these converged products. It uses Insight manager to manage server products but for storage products it uses different tools. Also the HP-HDS products do not fit into this mode today. Another observation was the Insight Software products are currently not compatible with its Enterprise Non-stop platform (S Series).

During this demo, HP spend quite a bit of time on the Power capping related to its blade systems. How HP uses power management and DPS in its products and manages efficiency with its blade systems. It was quite a good demo…

Then we were presented with the HP Matrix software demo. The above 3 demos were done my John Schmitz, Bryan Jacquot and Tom Turicchi.

Then we headed back to the Blades lab for some competitive analysis. Wow, these guys had every blade server in there from their competition. HP blades were compared to Dell Blades, Cisco UCS and IBM Blades. Quite an analysis of all different components and how these components affect the performance metrics. This presentation was done my Gary Thome and James Singer along with Mike Kendall. There were quite a few other folks that were present at this competitive analysis session. For the hands-on guys, this was one of the dream sessions to see everything upwards, backwards, inside, outside, questions, comparisons, analysis, etc….

The day was almost coming to an end, when we just found out, that Paul Perez, CTO of HP Storageworks was coming in for a 30 min talk with all the bloggers. I have to honestly say, given my background and interest in storage, this was one of the most interesting part of my day.

I should call this session Paul Perez Unplugged. Expect the video to be released on this blog sometime later this week. We had a very good session with Paul talking about HP’s storage strategy, vision, where it sees itself and where is it headed.

Paul Perez

Then we returned back to the hotel and were ready to leave for dinner sponsored my HP at the Mia Bella Restaurant in Houston. Food was good, had a nice time with other bloggers, HP and Ivyworldwide folks.

Headed back to the hotel. Someone just got an idea to go to a Karaoke bar that night. After a tired and long day, here we all hopped in a cab to head there. It was a very fun evening/night with Stephen Foskett, Greg Knieriemen, Frank Owen, Chris Evans, Halley Bass and Calvin Zito, I honestly have to say, these guys can sing.

After a long day and night, calling it off, hope we have an exciting day tomorrow.

Disclaimer: This event is sponsored by HP and hosted in Houston, TX. The flight, living and mostly food expenses were all paid by HP. This is a bloggers – invitation only event. No products have been given by HP.

HP Blades Tech Day 2010, Wednesday – Day 0

February 25th, 2010 1 comment

Day 0, full of travel and socializing with people..

So the travel started for all of us attending the HP Blades Tech Day today. As the afternoon rolled here, people from the UK arrived, people locally from the US arrived at this nice hotel in Houston, TX where HP has arranged for the Bloggers to stay.

Can’t complain about the weather in Houston, TX, though its in the 40’s, it feels so much better not to see snow on the ground. Living in NJ these days have almost become like living in the Arctic with snow covered roads and yards.., though I shouldn’t complain too much about the temperature in NJ.

After arriving here in Houston this afternoon, got to meet up with the folks attending the event and the IVY Worldwide team along with Becca Taylor, HP Social Media Manager. It was also very nice of Calvin Zito (HP Storage Blog) to travel to Houston for this event.

The fellow bloggers attending this event are..

Rich Brambley

Greg Knieriemen

Stephen Foskett

Chris Evans

Simon Seagrave

John Obeto

Frank Owen

Kevin Houston

Martin Macleod

Its always good to catch up with folks in the same industry we all are from, get to learn, talk and understand new directions and strategies that are ongoing in our market space.

I like these events, as much as they are about understanding technologies and deep dive sessions and marketing pitches, in the downtime, we all get to work and collaborate on various different topics and technologies which makes these events very unique in itself.

From the IVY Worldwide team, we have Halley Bass, Tom Augenthaler, Jeff Nielson. They are the ones that are arranging all the logistics, agenda and coordinating the entire event, amazing work guys….

Today’s dinner was at a place called Fusion Pizza. Lots of chat during the dinner hours, came back to the hotel to try some Nigerian Palm Juice that John Obeto brought in for the crew…it was great…a pungent smell to a nice tasting fermented palm juice.

Nigerian Palm Juice - Picture by Rich Brambley

Stay tuned for all the twitter activity, possibly a blog post about Day 1 later tomorrow….

As for some of the agenda tomorrow, we have key presentations from the Data Center folks regarding Virtual Connect, BladeSystem and Insight Manager Software. I would expect a mix of technology-focused discussions with some marketing presentations. There also seems to be an Infosmack Podcast scheduled for tomorrow evening, where some bloggers will be jumping on and describing their experience about HP Blades Day 2010.

As a welcome package, here are the things we received from HP this afternoon….

Welcome package from HP

I believe over the next few days, I will try to keep the blog post coming describing the daily events, but once back home, start looking at these technologies and write some deep-dive sessions on them…

After a long night of socializing with the fellow bloggers, calling off now…

Cheers

@storagenerve

Disclaimer: This event is sponsored by HP and hosted in Houston, TX. The flight, living and mostly food expenses were all paid by HP. This is a bloggers – invitation only event. No products have been given by HP.