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Displaying articles for: June 2008

Q&A on blades and storage

With the blade server market growing in leaps and bounds, I constantly get asked about storage options and how people use them today.  The first thing I always say is that everybody uses storage for blades.  100%.  Whether it’s the hard drives inside, NAS or SAN – every blade needs storage of some kind.  But any move to a bladed infrastructure raises some other common questions about storage: 



Q: Can I maintain the same server/storage configuration as I move to blades? 
A: This one really depends on the applications and your server.  Most blades have 2 to 4 internal drives, but all connect to multiple types of shared storage


Q: Can I maintain my hot plug drives in the server?
A: With most HP blade models, yes.


Q: Do I require shared storage and if so how will I connect to a SAN?
A: It's not required, but it has huge upside, plus connecting is actually easier than you may be used to.


Q: What is my company policy on shared storage?  Do I need to connect to our existing SANs or should I purchase a new option?
A: Great questions. Also great reasons to have a chat and a cup of coffee with your SAN team!


Q: What about File Serving?  Can I deploy File Servers and gateways in my bladed infrastructure.  What interconnect options are available to me with Blades?

A: Even more great questions. Also great reasons to have a chat and a cup of coffee with us.


The good news behind all these questions: HP's strategy is to give you all the same choices with traditional servers – no compromise.


The even better news: There is a big upside to combining blades and shared storage.

  • Blade Infrastructure lowers the cost of connection to a SAN, significantly

  • Blade infrastructure provides a lower cost and more power efficient infrastructure up front.  Plus it’s easier to manage from a SAN and server perspective. 

  • Blades with Virtual Connect provide a wire-once connection to external storage that makes adding, moving or recovering a server easier and faster.

  • That also means you can replace a server and have it reconnect back to its allocated storage without hassling the SAN team.
“But what about Storage in the enclosure,” I hear you say?  “Can I use the infrastructure to build a more integrated solution than simply improving what I have today?”  “What are the new opportunities?”  


A: There’s a lot of untapped potential.   If you have some time next week, come back and we’ll explore this some more.   


Best regards, Lee

    Scratch pad

    VC cookbook

    The long tail of power savings

    Green servers and ham

    I didn't know what I would eat for breakfast today, so thanks to Larry Dignan for the V8 slap up against the head this morning.  After watching his video blog, "green servers and ham" doesn't sound so good anymore.

    We know a lot of businesses wrestle with mandates to be "green".  But at the same time many more are struggling to find any way to lower energy costs and to eek out more capacity from their facilities.

    We agree with Larry that energy efficiency should not be an exercise in marketing.  It's a serious business concern with a real-world engineering answer.  That’s why we build Thermal Logic technology into every HP blade server to save power and cooling. That means energy efficient design married with energy efficient control - across the board. No special models, no “plant a tree” promotions, just common sense energy design + control with savings that you see on your electric bill every month and in the long life of your data center.

    You decide if you want to take it to the bank or plant a tree with it.


    Clouds have ceilings! Who knew?

    John Allspaw, Operations Engineer at Flickr posted a great presentation yesterday about the unique capacity planning and management needs of web operations. My favorite quip was, "Clouds need planning too". 

    He argues that you must know with certainty your infrastructure ceilings - the preverbial "out of gas" signal where work starts to degrade or fail.  Forget benchmarks according to John. Instead, he offers a few "Stupid Capacity Tricks" (which are actually quite cleaver) to get rid of wandering bottlenecks and to keep the cloud running.

    John has a lot more to say on the topic in his blog, the Kitchen Soap, so check him out.


    PS: I have to also tip my hat to John for showing the big savings from replacing 26 Dell PE860 servers with 8 ProLiant DL140's.  Wait until he gets a load of the ProLiant BL2x220c 2-in-1 server blade!

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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 am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
    • I work within EMEA HP Servers Central Team as a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA HP Server specific information. I also tweet @ServerSavvyElla
    • 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.
    • 20 years of marketing experience in semiconductors, networking and servers. Focused on HP BladeSystem networking supporting Virtual Connect, interconnects and network adapters.
    • Working with HP BladeSystem.
    • 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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