Top 5 Discoveries at HP Discover 2014

HP’s flagship US customer event Discover has just wrapped up for its 4th time since it started in 2011 at the very same Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.  For the last few years HP has graciously invited me to attend the event along with many other independent industry bloggers.  Now, anytime I surround myself with these fellow bloggers it is really a rewarding and humbling experience.  Many of them are very in tune with the cutting edge and emerging technologies – listening to them ask questions and analyze trends and future technologies is a rewarding, brain filling experience.  Be sure to check out all of there posts and keep an eye on Calvin Zito’s HP Storage Blog to see the highlights.

Now, let’s get down to business.  Many of the fine details and announcements of the event are plastered between blog’s and Social Media so I’ll run through the some of the top things that peeked my interest at Discover 2014.

1.  HP Storage Marketing Strategy: This made my top spot since it was a truly an unexpected surprise I had not foreseen.  Marketing at HP (as a firm) has been known to be a very dull subject due to its lack of aggressiveness and leaning more conservative in the past.  In a world where EMC and VMware sets the standard for technical marketing I am happy to see HP starting to wake up and see the light.   EMC has been more of a Marketing company than a storage company for years.  In my opinion they aren’t the#1 for having innovative technology and a modern architecture but more so from the community that is energized from the horsepower generated from their supercharged marketing engine.  Getting back to HP – Calvin Zito @HPStorageGuy has done a tremendous job over the years with getting the message out via Social media and has helped inspire some of my work today.  I’m now happy to see that others at HP are following suit – take a look at the hilarious videos featuring the “Gloves and Boots” team below and see for yourself – heck I’m even in some of them here!  Also, I got a chance to speak to the VP of HP Storage Marketing, Craig Nunes who pretty much confirmed that they have slowly been getting others on board at HP to think more “dynamically” when it comes to their Marketing approach.  Hopefully this sets the future standards for the other divisions.


2.  3PAR ASIC Based Inline Deduplication: Well, obviously 3PAR has been a shining star for HP since the acquisition and many have asked if their is any steam left in the freight train to keep pushing forward.  The latest announcements that came out of Discover show that the train is not slowing down anytime soon.  Let’s take a look at some of the latest innovations.

Many of us have been asking for this feature since before the HP acquisition.  3PAR already had a form of deduplication thanks to its “zero detect” feature, but as we all wanted the real thing!  With the enormous amount of available R&D budget set aside for 3PAR and increased customer demand this addition was on top of the roadmap.  Hardware Based Inline Deduplication has been announced for the all flash array 7450.  The most technical details have already been laid out by Ivan Iannacone so I’ll just go over the parts that you need to know.  The important thing to know is that thanks to the specialized purpose built processor called the Gen 4 ASIC we are not asking the main x86 chip to handle all of these operations, remember, an off the shelf x86 chip was never designed to handle specialized storage operations.  I pretty much refer to the ASIC as a turbocharger.  As data (I/O) enters the system the Gen 4 ASIC will perform a process called “Express Indexing” which will accelerate the hash signature comparison, the purpose here is to detect duplicate write requests which in turn will prevent redundant data from being written.  3PAR uses the   At the end of the day this will net you more usable capacity in your array.  Some of you Exchange guys might know this as “Single Instance Storage” form the 2007 days.  The storage team obviously can’t predict the type of data in all environments but they estimate a 4:1 dedup ratio.  This also means that you can potentially have a run rate of about $2.00/GB which is way below the cost of traditional spinning disks.  Hopefully we get a tool soon that can be dropped into an environment and analyze the data to help predict your real world results.  We have yet to see performance numbers from the 7450 with dedup turned on (at CPG level btw) so when those numbers are released we should see what all of these magic ingredients cook up!.  One final note –  the dedup feature is only activated on the 7450 at this time but I’m sure we will see the feature in the rest of the lineup soon.

3.  HP Helion:  To me this was HP flagship topic of the event.  With a commitment to invest over 1 Billion Dollars in R&D funding this is sure to not by a fly by nighter.  Looking at the success of the cloud offerings from Microsoft and Amazon HP is relentless on disrupting the party.  HP’s main ammunition to grow this offering is the in house sales force army and an even bigger Channel partner program.  Who best to evangelize for HP then the partners and resellers who already have a web of relationships with their customers?  As long as HP makes this profitable for partners I’m confident that this will be a successful offering.

The HP Helion Cloud is powered by OpenStack which is an open source based public/private cloud computing platform developed originally by Rackpsace and NASA.  Now, many well known companies (over 200) such as IBM, Intel and Avaya are contributing to its development and growth.  Some of the highlights include:

  • HP Helion OpenStack: One product for both enterprises and service providers
  • Server Based Licensing: One price per server; no counting processors, cores, memory of VMs
  • Purchasing Options: Flexibility based on business need
  • Discounts: Fixed terms and discounts for volume purchases over multiple years
  • Support: 8×5 for HP Helion OpenStack Community
  • Support: 24×7 for HP Helion OpenStack
  • Simplified Contract: One agreement for service providers and enterprises

HP announced the HP Helion OpenStack Community Edition. scale private cloud deployments which includes the Linux OS as well!  This is a great for someone that wants to learn the technology and mock up a small environment with ease.  A great contribution to a community that is growing at a fast rate.  Check out Helion here.

4.  HP OneView 1.10:  OneView now includes 3PAR integration!  With this feature you can now truly manage your entire HP infrastructure with one application.  OneView is something that you just have to see for your own eyes.  Check it out here!  You will wonder how you ever managed your environment without it!

5.  Last but not least – The People!!!: 
As I’ve always said it is truly a humbling and rewarding experience when attending one of these events.  The ability to talk to many of the visionaries and hear their take on things is priceless!  Listening to fellow Bloggers discuss topics in such depth and detail opens the floodgates for friendly debate and generating new thoughts and ideas.  It was great to see many of my friends and to meet new ones.  Enjoy the pictures below!

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-Justin Vashisht (3cVguy)

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