My HP Discover 2013 Experience!

Thanks to the good people and HP and Ivy Worldwide I had the chance to attend this years’ HP Discover event based in Barcelona, Spain.  For those not familiar with Discover this gathering is held twice a year in different hemispheres of the world to make sure all HP fans have access to attend.  The event shows off all lines of business at HP with a heavy focus on servers, software, storage, security, and networking.  You have the chance to see some of the latest latest offering and have a sneak peak and what is in the pipeline for release.  One of the biggest values here is for the IT Professionals to have direct access to the HP teams that have actual influence into the products so now our feedback and suggestions can be heard by the people who influence the decisions on the inside.  The pic below shows a group of us closely listening to what 3Par Principal Engineer/HP Fellow – Siamak Nazari and 3PAR product manager Sandeep Singh.  We were discussing future 3PAR innovation and some talks about Federation and de-dup were amongst the chatter.  This sit down conversation was quite an unexpected eye opener to the amount of brain power these two have.

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Clock wise from 9′ o’clock: Siamak Nazari, Sandeep Singh, Phil Sellers,
Bart Heugens, Calvin Zito, and Craig Kilborn

So, lets get into the meat of the event.  People want to know how HP is doing and what is being released.  For this you go straight to the top, that is where Meg Whitman’s keynote stapled the fact that in many of these events that the consistent message across the board is that everyone want’s HP to win.  I agree with this fact not only from my standpoint of being a fan but form the fact that this HP is an amazing company started by two guys who were true pioneers and visionaries, this is a true American company that has stood the test of time.  HP is a few years into the 5 year turn around plan and measurements such as product innovations, commitments to cloud and converged infrastructure and most importantly the channel is helping to turn this big ship around.

Two quotes form Meg really stuck with me and any IT Professional will understand just how powerful these two statements are..

"IT is now more important than ever. You’re no longer down in the engine room – you’re up on the bridge with the captain, scanning the horizon."

“By 2016 some 75 percent of the IT environment will be deployed in either a private, managed or public cloud…”

Getting more into new releases at Discover, first we had Bill Veghte, head of the Enterprise Group show off a nice slide depicting the major product announcements.  I’m going to discuss a few of the ones I found most interesting.

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Bill Veghte showing off new product innovations.

PROJECT SHARKS:  Lurking in the deep waters of HP’s Converged Systems group, SVP and avid Ford Mustang fan Tom Joyce worked with his team to take a bite out of VCE’s vBlock systems.  With a very colorful introduction Tom introduced the new HP Converged Systems series who’s main goal is to address the following pain points customers told Tom when it comes to a traditional IT Infrastructure build:

-Opportunity for mistakes since too many people are touching every project.
-Standard with minimal complexity.
-The need for a really simple, efficient virtualization machine.
-Vendors pointing fingers at each other during troubleshooting time.

Internally nicknamed “Project Sharks” in 2013 the goal was clear to Tom and his team, they were to build HP’s Shark and this product had to align with a Shark’s qualities.  No one will debate that a Shark is the most efficient and focused hunting machine on the planet.  Perfectly designed to accomplish its mission it does it mission well and is relentless with effortless efficiency.
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The Converged Systems includes the full stack: Servers, storage and networking) configured, built, shipped, installed, turned on, and configured faster than ever before with minimal hands.  Tom states that Converged Systems can be configured and quoted out in a single day.  Placing an order for the 300 model can be in your data center serving your VM’s in 20 days from ordering!  Tom also preached the “one throat to choke” support model which is the ability to call one phone number for support of all components in the system.  Updates and firmware revisions are fully integrated and streamlined into one process.

Converged System configurations exist for areas such as Virtualization, Big Data, Collaboration, VDI, and Cloud.  Check out the Converged Systems HP website for more details  I was most excited to hear that one of these bad boys can start at the 150K mark which means ANY partner can have to opportunity to sell this in the right space.

As a side note I must say that Tom is one of the most down to earth executives I have met and is respected across all of the bloggers in the community, I think he could be one of the future leaders of the entire HP Enterprise Group if this initiative hits big.

HP STORAGE:

-3PAR:  The All flash array (AFA) 7450 has gotten even better and now a little cheaper with the introduction of consumer grade SSD’s and adaptive sparing.  HP says 900,000 IOPS with only 0.7 milliseconds of latency is now possible.  Adaptive sparing extends the life of flash-based media by adjusting the sparing approach to minimize impact on SSDs.  Legacy architectures generally reserve entire drives to use as spares, whereas 3PAR’simage architecture has the system reserve spare chunklets within each drive. When using flash-based media, Adaptive Sparing adjusts these policies on the fly to avoid using SSDs for sparing and therefore lengthen flash media lifespan and drive down costs.

STOREONCE:  HP is touting the new “HP Get Protected Guarantee Program” which promises a 95% Reduction in Stored Backup Capacity!  The StoreOnce 2000, 4000, and 6000 appliances have been beefed up.  The 6500 scaled up to 2.2PB at speeds of 139TB/hr which is about 4.5 times fast than EMC’s backup solution.  Modern security initiatives such as data and rest encryption and secure erase functionality has been popping up more aggressively in HP products.  VLAN tagging is also making its way into the product line with immediate availability in the 4900 followed by the rest of the product line in the near future.

VSA –
It’s also worth noting that HP really wants to keep StoreVirtual (Lefthand) ahead of the competition and is offering a free 1TB license with a purchase of a Gen8 server.


MOONSHOT:

The future superstar for HP is Moonshot, plain and simple this technology is the future of the big energy and big space savings of the future data center.  Previously, HP ran its 300 million hits a day HP.com website on 10 racks using 10kw of power.  Now after Moonshot the site is sitting on only a half of rack using 1kw of power.  Internal HP it predicts that internal data centers can now be from 6 DC’s to 4.  This number was originally at 85!

The new Moonshot based offering include the m300 Server Cartridge.  This piece, which fits in the main chassis is based off the Atom Avoton proc, running at 2.4Ghz with 8 cores, space for one HDD (up to 500GB) and 32GB ofimage RAM we are moving in the right direction here.  Think of 45 of these bad boys in a single 10u chassis doing the work of what many cabinets of power and space hungry equipment used to do.  The new m700 cartridge is based off the popular AMD Opteron which is showing that the original concern of limited processor options are being addressed.  This also shows in the m800 which is based off of ARM and eight digital signal processor cores from Texas Instrument designed specifically for use in the telco, media transcoding, oil and gas markets.

The Moonshot line puts HP back into the innovators bucket stemming from the core beliefs and DNA of the company transcribed originally from Bill Hewlett and David Packard, pay attention to Moonshot, it is the future or any data center!

THE COMMUNITY JUST GETS STRONGER

The most important thing that constantly hits home with me when attending these events is that it is all about the people.  I had a blast with the HP employees and meeting with fellow bloggers.  It is a huge workout for my brain to sit down with the group leaders at HP and have everyone fire off the tough questions.  You can see how much HP appreciates and embraces the feedback from each and every one of us.  HP looks to have “buy in” from their employees, everyone seems happy and excited, Meg Whitman seems well engaged with all areas and knows how to push her employees to innovate and look beyond the status quo.  I did a few videos but a the next event my goal is to do at least 5-8 videos with fellow bloggers.  You can check out one I did with a couple fellow bloggers here which are now even better friends than before.  PS – Check out some misc pictures below! –Justin Vashisht (3cVguy)

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