By Dan Bowers
Ate lunch with Martin MacLoeod (http://www.bladewatch.com/) and Kevin Houston (http://bladesmadesimple.com/). (John Obeto was just down the table from us too.) Martin talked about his experiences with BladeSystem p-class, and the advances that have happened since then. (Remember the one-blade p-class Diagnostic Station...effectively a 1-blade enclosure.)
Martin also pointed out how popular the Firmware spreadsheets (e.g. http://www.bladewatch.com/2009/11/27/updated-hp-fi
Next, the bloggers split into two groups. Half went to the Insight Control demo lab to talk management, the remainder headed to the top floor and the BladeSystem "SWAT" lab to go in-depth into blade hardware.
I tagged along with the first group, and we talked to HP's John Schmitz and Tom TerEick. John covered the management portfolio of software (and mentioned that Insight Control 6.0 release is coming out in the middle of March.)
John handed off to Tom for various demos. One theme of this conversation: How can people (through management tools) be good stewards for a data center's power budget?
Some lively discussion prompted by Simon Seagrave (http://www.techhead.co.uk/) and Chris Evans (http://www.thestoragearchitect.com/) about how much insight & control (no pun intended) vCenter has over HP server and storage hardware. This led to heavy discussion about managing servers & storage from single console. "The technology is actually not that hard to do," said Tom, "but one of the biggest problems is getting the 'password problem' solved -- getting everything in an enterprise datacenter to allow you to cross boundries with a single set of credentials.
Now going heavy into power capping and monitoring capabilities...