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

New review of HP blades for small sites


 


Recently, we shipped a BladeSystem c3000 (or 'Shorty' to those in the know), to Dave Mitchell at the IT Pro for a hands-on review.  Inside we added the latest virtualization blades, virtual storage with HP LeftHand and some other new gadgets to show off a snazzy virtual infrastructure that's drop dead simple.  Among the things Dave liked:



  • vs. IBM, built like a tank, the c3000 had better quality  

  • HP blade management sets the standard

  • Surprisingly quiet (IBM marketing must have called him)

  • LeftHand integration

  • He called Shorty "friendly during testing".  Ahhh!


>> Read what else Dave had to say.


 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 


 

TOP500 Supercomputer list for June 2009

Since last November, another five spots on this biennial list are taken by systems based on HP server blades.   On the latest list, I count  206 of the 500 fastest computer systems in the world -- over 41% -- as being powered by HP BladeSystem.


TOP500 List - June2009


 


  Some of the highlights really show how far high performance systems have come -- and how quickly they change:



  • Quad-Core processors are used in about 75% of the systems.  Only 4 systems still use single-core processors.

  • The total combined performance of all 500 systems has
    grown 33% from just 6 months ago.

  • The slowest system on this June, 2009 list would have placed right in the middle -- number 274 -- of last November's list.


 


 


 


 

From #HPTF: The future is coming into focus

And BladeSystem Matrix is your lens.  If you want to understand how the the convergence of the racked, stacked and wired world changes the rules of the game, start with Matrix. 


We've talked a lot about  convergence over the last year and how it's more than just consolidating stuff. It's the fusion of infrastructure, processes, physical with virtual, facilities . . . everything . . . to create something completely new. That's why in a converged world, things start to look differently. 


Take for instance this picture.  What is the "face of Matrix"?



Did you say the rack on the left (and the stuff inside) or did you say the screen on the right (Matrix Orchestration Environment)?


As I spoke with Esther and Brad at the Matrix booth, I was curious what customers saw.   No one wanted to see inside the server, the enclosure, the switch.  It didn't matter.  That's just the pool of resouces.  The "WOW" came from how easy it was to design the architecture, do capacity planning, combine virtual and physical, set up disaster recovery and automate provisioning of complex infrastructure.  Configuring and provisioning the network, storage, and compute "just happen" within the Matrix. Right on!  One infrastructure, any workload, on the fly.  That's is the future the private cloud delivers to your data center. 


I was thrilled to hear that so many folks get it.  Connect the dots a little further . . . in a POD, from the cloud, in the rain, on a train, in a box, with a fox - you can have your infrastructure any way you want it.


In that future, you won't care about the stuff inside; only the services delivered, what they costs and how fast you can get them.  The future I see coming into focus is the converged infrastructure (melding the best of HP: NonStop, SuperDome, XP, EVA, LeftHand, ProLiant, ProCurve, and BladeSystem) all controlled and interconnected as one. Inside that "matrix cloud".  You decide how to carve up the best resources for your workloads and data and Matrix does the rest.

From #HPTF: Pondering the HP POD

I found the HP POD to be one of the most compelling demo areas at this weeks' HP Technology Forum. Being able to emerse yourself in the POD and touch and feel what it takes to deploy and support 3000 or more systems is amazing.  Every detail has to be thought through: the airflow, the power and backup, redundancy, security of the container, the cooling, networking, serviceability and on and on.  All integrated on an impressive scale.


Here is a presentation we put together about the HP POD from the show floor.  We call it the "plain English" version.


It was interesting to see and hear the reactions of different customers to the prospect of a POD-enabled future.  My first thought was "cool!".  But, more than once I overheard the word "scary".  It turns out, that it wasn't a negative comment but more of a feeling of nostaligic dread that comes with technological change.  Kind of like when parents think of their children growing up in a Twitter-connected world.  It may or may not be bad, but the prospect is, well, "scary" but the perspective of the parent and the child are radically different.   The role of the POD in the data center of the future has some big implications.  Good or bad is a matter of perspective. 


Those that called the POD scary said the ultra-efficient, lights-out capability of the POD raises the bar for everyone.  When you see PUE's of less than 1.25, and power densities in the 20+kW range, you realize where we all are headed.  The days of racking and stacking taking up a big portion of your week are coming to an end.   One guy was even worried about spending his whole day inside of POD.  I think he was missing the point of lights-out,  you shouldn't need to go inside the POD any more than you need to crawl around inside a server all day long.  Some day, will anyone ever go inside the data center again?   Will you be at the same site as your systems? Will it be designed for humans at all?


I didn't have a chance to speak with any CIO-types, but I wonder if they'd have a different point of view, one more oriented to the macroeconomics of the data center.  The CIO's perspective on the POD would likely be of CapEx and OpEx, not wondering how you get all the cables in the rack.  At the end of the day, IT is simply a combination of services need to support and enable the business. The IT infrastructure is the simply the capacity needed to deliver those services.   When you think that way, why would you spend resources doing in yourself.  If you need the services of transportation, you buy a car.  Building your own from scratch just doesn't make good economic sense.  


Any CIO's out there today?  What are your thoughts?  We'd love to hear them.

Thoughts on #HPTF keynote

After thinking over Paul Millers' presentation last night, here's what stuck with me.


Convergence is the mega-trend



  • It's a bigger idea with bigger implications than consolidation and unification - it's transformational

  • Convergence collapses the stack. That means fewer stuff, less cost, complexity in a converged infrastructure.

  • HP is looking at processes, applications, facilities and more as part of convergence - not just server, network, storage


Everything as a Service is about economics



  • Virtual storage delivered as service is a powerful idea for virtual infrastructures.  Think a SAN at the costs of a bunch of disks over Ethernet.  Big economic shift there.

  • Private clouds are about time to market. The example of how one HP customer could go from 33 days to 108 minutes to design, deploy and go live with their infrastructure solution is not only a huge savings, but a huge competitive advantage.

  • Extreme scale brings extreme challenges.  The economics in that reality are about pennies and seconds.  You really have to think differently.


Here are Paul's presentation slides or you can check him on video - taken as a live stream from the front row.  We'll have the fancy version on video later today.


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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 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
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