Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
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Displaying articles for: February 2009

7 Ways to Network on a Shoestring Budget

Sorry, this is really not about IT networking.  It's about social networking.  I thought I'd post this as a social experiment to see how many network admins opened this blog today -- and maybe get some good ideas from you folks on how to take cost out of networking.  Let's hear it!


As I wait your ideas on IT networking, here's some useful stuff to build your personal networking skills. 



Maybe I should post this again on April Fool's Day!

Aaron Delp: Traditional Expansion Options for Blades and Virtualization

Aaron continued his series, 'Blades and Virtualization Aren’t Mutually Exclusive' this week. It's a very good read, especially if you're new to virtualization on blades and trying to figure out the best configuration.




  • Part 3 covered IBM Traditional Expansion Options and discussed different options for drives, memory and network connectivity in support of virtual servers.


  • Part 4 basically did the same thing for HP BladeSystem today.  Aaron promised more analysis of our virtualization blade and Virtual Connect Flex-10 in future posts.  Those are the ones I'm most looking forward.

There are lots of great comments on both of these posts, so you have something to add check out it and share your thoughts with Aaron.

Much ado about the unknown

That's how Ashlee Vance put it in regard to all the peacocking from Cisco these days. The only thing I can say is there is very little fodder for meaty analysis other than to examine what they say and offer questions to you dear reader. That's because vision is, well, a vision.  It sounds great, but it's all in the execution. 


Here's what we hear customers asking:




  • How will you help me take cost out today?


  • How will you help me be ready for the unknown tomorrow?

I know the world loves a good fight.  Sorry to disappoint you, but I can't fight what isn't there.  


In last weeks' blog, I asked "What If a Plumber Built Your House", posing some questions that came to mind based on a recent report by the Lippis Group. 


Well, after today's article courtesy of Ashlee Vance on the NYT blog, maybe is should have talked more about peacocks.  I haven't seen this much prancing, primin and preening in quite some time  Appearently, being a peacock is catchy as Bob Beauchapmp from BMC had to shake his tail feathers too.  Some of the comments are just too ripe not to expand on.


As you can imagine, we're spending a few minutes each day watching all the peacocking going on at Cisco. 


I really can't give you an analysis of Cisco'spromised products and vision because, well it's a vision.  What I can do is the same thing you are doing, taking in all the proclamations and grandstanding. 


Bob Beauchamp said, “There is a new architecture being developed that is really revolutionary,” Bob Beauchamp, the chief executive of BMC, told me in a recent interview. “I think that represents a very significant threat to I.B.M. and H.P. who have business model issues associated with a new architecture.”


Question to BMC: What is the business model issue and are these better questions of Cisco than to IBM and HP?  




  • Revolutionary innovation?  HP BladeSystem, Insight Dynamics, and Virtual Connect Flex-10 are just a few innovations that have the attention of about 54.7% of the market and apparently it has a few other vendors spinning their wheels too.


  • End-to-end capability? Network plumbing and management tools are key elements to the next-generation datacenter architecture.  However, we know that bringing the big picture together takes a lot of heavy lifting across the entire data center stack which explains our many decades of investment in our desktop to NonStop portfolio and integration with partners from Microsoft and Oracle to Cisco and Brocade and more.


  • Growth while delivering lower cost to customers; or stated another way, growth with thin margins?  We have kept a lot of the infrastructure inline with Moore's Law, storage, networking and management costs are the next targets.  We're sure that 65% vendor margins are not what customers are looking for in their next-generation data center.

Business model is a fine discussion to have. I just wish Mark Hurd had time to weigh in because he was say it more clearly than me.  If you think that HP can compete with revolutionary innovation.  Isn't Cisco jumping into the blade market HP created with innovation.  It seems a lot of this may be a response did Virtual Connect Flex-10.  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/and-so-begins-the-next-mainframe-saga/


 


What's the revolution?  Fewer choice and less integration with what you have today and need tomorrow?

What makes a great engineer?

We are fortunate here at HP to be surrounded by the best engineers in the world.  When I ran across this presentation below, I had to share it with you.  N. Rajagopal at RDS came up with a solid list of six traits of a great engineer.


Here's a summary of the list with a blade team spin.




  1. Curiosity - Our software team stands out here.  They are always looking for a better way and questioning the status quo.  Greg on our team showed me some ideas about interfaces the other day that really turn the concept of systems management on it's head. Way cool stuff created because they wondered how it could be better.


  2. Likes to break things - Wade Vinson, HP's Fan Man turned Pod Father is my favorite 'breaker of stuff'.  Paradigms, constraints, rules - he relishes breaking stuff more than a 3 year old.  I mean that in a good way Wade.


  3. Knows how to get going - The server and infrastructure biz is all about sprinting to the next thing.  Seth Godin talked about sprinting the other day stating "When we sprint, all the internal dialogue falls away and we just go as fast as we possibly can. When you're sprinting you don't feel that sore knee and you don't worry that the ground isn't perfectly level. You just run."  I suppose a good kick in the pants from Mr. P never hurts either.


  4. Knows the art of the tradeoff - This is probably the hardest one.  Our folks HATE tradeoffs. Good ideas never die with the blade team.  They just wait for the next rev.


  5. How to think long term - Guy McSwain's team could have taken shortcuts on the power for BladeSystem c-Class for the short term, but they insisted on massive power scalability.  So far, the c7000 has taken everything that Xeon, Itanium and Opteron can throw at it. I wonder if IBM reads this . . .


  6. Never stop learning - I might add "never quit" too.  The original Compaq and HP blades were awesome learning experiences for us all.  I can promise you that even with more than 50% share of the blade market, they are still taking a lot of notes!

Enjoy the deck and share with an aspiring engineer.



What else would you add to the list?

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  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • I work within EMEA ISS Central team and a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA ISS specific information.
  • Hello! I am a social media manager for servers, so my posts will be geared towards HP server-related news & info.
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  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
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  • Greetings! I am on the HP Enterprise Group marketing team. Topics I am interested in include Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and Management, and HP BladeSystem.
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