Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
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Displaying articles for: April 2010

What are you managing and why?

There are many parameters that can be set and tweaked in the data center, but does it make sense to micro-manage our systems?  Think of the number of settings available in the Windows Registry or Linux configuration files, storage arrays or switches.  Even something as simple as a NIC can have a dozen or more configuration parameters.  (Remember when we HAD to manage IRQs?)  It’s important to understand what’s being managed and why.


Sometimes it is valuable, even important to manage some of these settings.  Thinking back to the days of 10/100 Ethernet, auto-negotiate for link speed and duplex was very unreliable, and often caused network issues.  Many shops instituted a policy that all NICs and switch ports have hard coded link speed and duplex to ensure reliable connections.  Then comes gigabit Ethernet, and the auto-negotiate issues were resolved.  Some shops kept the hard coded link policy in place, but now it causes issues when someone forgets to set a device.  So when automatic settings were unreliable it was important to manage the settings for reliability.  Now that automatic settings are reliable, manually configuration creates more work, and creates more issues than automatic settings would.  http://tinyurl.com/y42sqcm


Other times manual settings are used to manage scarce resources, network QoS is a good example.  QoS aims to improve the efficiency of a network.  When a network has adequate bandwidth, QOS is not required or even useful for most applications.  When a network is saturated, QoS won’t be effective, so it’s only useful when a network is heavily loaded, but not approaching saturation.   It’s typically the high-cost network providers that advocate for QoS to make use of scarce and expensive resources.  By deploying network designs with flatter topologies and bandwidth that is cost-effective and plentiful, you can eliminate the need for QoS with most applications.


There are many other examples of items that can be managed but shouldn’t.  As an industry we are moving away from micro-managing and towards a utility model. (You wouldn’t want to manage the volts and amps used by your toaster, or calibrate for the thickness of the bread would you?)  If we design systems to work efficiently with default settings wherever possible, we reduce opportunities for error, management workload and cost.


Here are a few things to keep in mind:


·        Keep track of what you’re managing and why


·        When something no longer has to be managed, stop


·        Design systems that minimize the requirement for custom settings

Client Virtualization: There's No Substitute for Experience

I love to grill.  More to the point, I love to grill steaks.  (Hey, I’m from Texas – it’s a requirement!)  Over time, I’ve developed my own special system, which include a specific seasoning mix, just the right temperature on the grill, and the perfect cut of meat, among other things.  And I can’t describe the satisfaction I get from taking a bite of a steak I’ve grilled to my liking, with just the right flavor.  Mmmmmm….


(Hungry anyone?  Please take this moment to grab a snack, then come right back.)


Looking back, there was a journey I had to take to getting this process right.  As with most things I get excited about, I started by consuming as much data as I could get on the subject.  I watched television programs about grilling steaks.  I read articles online.  I conferred with “grillmasters” I trusted on their tips and tricks.  When I felt I was ready, I took a stab at it (no pun intended).  And, wow -  let me tell you – that first steak?


Meh. It wasn’t that great.


It was a bit too charred for my taste.  I later learned I’d left the grill too hot the entire time.  So the next time I grilled, I made an adjustment with the temperature.  But this time, it was too dry because I left it on the grill too long.  I fixed this on my subsequent attempt, but felt the seasoning could have been better.  I learned that certain cuts of meat delivered the right flavoring I was seeking.  Then I experimented with various levels of thickness and hot / cool spots on the grill.  Every chance I had, I honed my skill with research, time, and trial and error.


Eventually, I was able to grill a steak that was perfectly tuned to my liking.   And now, grilling that “perfect” steak – well,  it’s almost second nature.  There’s something to be said for all the experiences and lessons that led me to this point.  In fact, my process now is more efficient that it used to be.  I can quickly spot if there’s a problem with the process because I’ve done it so many times.  And, my family no longer feels the need to keep the pizza delivery number nearby when I grill.


What does all this have to do with client virtualization? 


There’s something to be said for good old fashioned, roll-your-sleeves-up, hard work to hone your skills.    Sure, HP offers the best end to end client virtualization product portfolio, but we also offer the best client virtualization services portfolio as well.   HP Client Virtualization Services provide you with the best means to meet all your client virtualization needs, born from experience and steeped in expertise. We simplify the client virtualization implementation process, by designing the right solution for each customer.  And we can do the same for you. 


Learn more about HP Client Virtualizaiton Services here, including news on an announcement made last week about our exciting Client Infrastructure Services Portfolio.  It's a comprehensive set of services and solutions, built to help organizations extend the benefits from converged infrastructure to the desktop. 


Whether it’s implementing a sophisticated VDI environment, or making a killer ribeye on an open flame, there’s just no substitute for experience.  OK, that's it - I need to fire up the grill.  I knew this would happen...


(Before I sign off, check out a great blog here from our partners at Citrix, highlighting the value that HP Thin Clients can add as you begin planning for Windows 7 migration.)


Until next time,


Joseph George
HP Client Virtualization Team
www.hp.com/go/clientvirtualization

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About the Author(s)
  • 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.
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • WW responsibility for development of ROI and TCO tools for the entire ISS portfolio. Technical expertise with a financial spin to help IT show the business value of their projects.
  • I am a member of the HP BladeSystem Portfolio Marketing team, so my posts will focus on all things blades and blade infrastructure. Enjoy!
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • Network industry experience for more than 20 years - Data Center, Voice over IP, security, remote access, routing, switching and wireless, with companies such as HP, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Novell.
  • 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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