By Calvin Zito, aka @HPStorageGuy
I've been in the storage industry a long time - before we had RAID. I've stayed here because to me it's fascinating. And the pace of change and technology development just seems to accelerate. So you can imagine I was more than a little excited when I was able to get Paul Perez, VP and Chief Technologist of the HP StorageWorks division to come and spend some time with the bloggers at the HP BladeSystem Tech Day. I knew since so many of the bloggers are focused on storage that they'd appreciate hearing from Paul. I've captured the video and here it is in four parts:
I'm hoping to bring you more of Paul on the blog in the near future.
By Ian Selway, WW Solution Marketing Manager
So as day 5 is really only a short day, I’ve waited to send my day 4 comments and I’m combining the summary of days 4 and 5 here at TechEd Berlin. Overnight the Wednesday to the Thursday, our stand designers added a whole bunch of balloons to celebrate the 20th anniversary of HP’s ProLiant range of servers. All day we also had cupcakes on the stand that not only reminded delegates of the occasion but also helped attract folks to the stand. I’ve attached a picture of the HP stand all decked out with balloons. Of course the other big news from overnight was the announcement of HP’s intention to acquire 3Com. We had expected a lot of questions from those attending. I’m not sure what the experience of others was, but I don’t think (aside from HP folks asking) that I had a single question asked. I guess everyone is so busy focusing on the bigger things happening between Microsoft and HP.
A lot of our customers who came out with us last night stopped by to tell us what a great time they had and we even found customers who had been pure server customers who came across to the storage section to look at the MDS 600. It seems word has spread about the flexibility, scalability and cost of these units and I spent a lot of time on Thursday talking about zoned storage for HP BladeSystem. When we were talking about deploying MDS 600 for Exchange Server 2010 mailboxes at under $2/GB, customers again told us how great this would be for deploying larger mailboxes. Several customers told us that they liked the idea that HP could offer a choice of storage and that we weren’t tied to only offering DAS or SAN but could offer both. I spent a lot of time directing our visitors to our eco-friendly collateral site so they could download the whitepapers, best practice guides and sizer information. The other great thing about being here at TechEd is the ability to meet with the key developers from Microsoft. I had three really good interactions with Microsoft on Thursday and I think when I get back to the US our engineering and marketing teams can really start demonstrating why Microsoft is going to be so good deployed on HP’s Converged Infrastructure.
Day 5 at TechEd was a lot shorter, and that was very welcome given what an active week it had been so far. A number of us from the StorageWorks team again supported the Microsoft virtualization kiosk over in their hall. For anyone who’s visited these types of shows, you’ll know the last day seems spent handing out all those trinkets the vendors bring to these shows, swapping your ‘swag’ for other vendors swag, and making sure you don’t have to carry any of it back. It never ceases to amaze me what delegates want to take home or back to the office. We did a huge trade in ‘Magic 8-Ball’ key rings. As soon as they went up on the booth, they disappeared as if by magic…. That said, it did enable us to engage in conversation as we attempted to address any of those last minute questions. Just after lunch, TechEd Berlin 2009 closed and it was time to close the booth, dismantle the demonstration and take time to reflect on the past week.
Everyone I spoke with from HP agreed we had a great week. I think we managed to register well over 1,000 attendees or 13% of the total registered visitors. We took a significant number of customers through our NDA room, and most importantly, we demonstrated just how HP Converged Infrastructure comes together to be such an impressive platform for deploying and running Microsoft applications such as Exchange Server 2010 and Windows Server 2008 R2. We presented our StorageWorks integration capabilities with Hyper-V to over 600 people and demonstrated our broader storage offering to a significant number of delegates. Thanks must go to the European organizers including John Stewardson, Till Stimberg and others too numerous to mention, employees from the worldwide business groups who helped support and to De Umphry from the events team. Here’s looking forward to TechEd EMEA 2010… May it be as successful as this year.
There was great energy at HP Technology Forum on Monday night as it officially got underway. I was able to sit in the front row of the opening sessions with a number of the "new media" folks that are here. I'm not going to give a detailed review of the keynotes because I did that yesterday via Twitter as I and others gave blow by blow tweets of the keynotes. (NOTE: even if you don't use Twitter, you can go to my Twitter page and see the tweets from me). One of the new media guys streamed the keynotes as well and I believe you can watch it from his website: http://sdrnews.com.
With today's sessions starting soon, I'll be brief with this update. As I listened to the keynotes from Ann Livermore (you can see bios of all the keynote speakers here: https://www.hptechnologyforum.com/keynotes.html), Paul Miller, and Prith Banerjee, storage was a large part of each of their keynotes. One of the themes talked about frequently was convergence. This will be the theme of today's storage keynote and since it starts in around an hour - and the walk from my room here at Mandalay Bay to the conference center is a long one - I'll save talking about it for my next post.
At the end of the opening keynotes, I thought back to several years ago when it was a bit envious of the attention storage was getting from a few storage only-vendors. Obviously, HP has a deep portfolio of products that is much more than storage and as a result, I used to wonder what it would be like to work for a company that was "all storage, all the time". Well, I don't think about that any more. I actually am wondering now whether those types of companies will survive on their own as the infrastructure around us converges.
The keynotes on Monday helped really energize me and made me proud to work for HP and HP StorageWorks. I'll give a Day 2 update either later tonight or tomorrow morning.