Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
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Displaying articles for: July 2008

Why do you blade?

What is the world view of a blade owner?  Do you do it for the server or the infrastructure? 

"Show me what a people admire, and I will tell you everything about them that matters." - Maggie Tufu, The Engines of God, page 398

A knowledge of trends among your customers in
(music, hairstyle, clothing, jewelry, etc.)
(cars, bikes, computers, magazines, etc.) and
heroes (the cultural icons they admire)
will be the only clues you need.

Cook better with HP Virtual Connect

The Virtual Connect cookbook has been out for awhile, but we heard from a lot of folks that no one knew about it.  Enter the communication power of the blade blog. 

Some of our best field engineers collaborated with current customers using Virtual Connect to create this de facto, technical guide.  It's not only chock full of the expert advice to keep your planning and deployment times from boiling over, but it also includes the tips and tricks to help you add that special touch that shows your CIO you really care.

You can download the official Virtual Connect Cookbook it here.

Bon Appetite!

Top 10 Application Scalability Mistakes

John Coggeshall, Chief Technology Officer of Automotive Computer Services posted a great presentation full with a lot of advice for maximizing the scalability of your applications and for avoiding some of the most common mistakes. 

Wrong Approach: Reactive

- Write your app
- Deploy it
- Watch it blow up
- Try to fix it
- If you're lucky, you might succeed "enough"
- If you're unlucky . . .

Correct Approach: Proactive

Know your performance goals up front and make sure your application si living up to them as part of the development process

How many billions does IBM need to screw in a light bulb?

If I see one more press release from IBM announcing another one billion dollar investment, I'm going to have to start a new line of jokes.  Seriously, have you ever noticed that every time IBM wants to get in the news with something that's just barely news worthy, they add "$1 Billion" to the subhead? 

What's even funnier is it seems to be a magical marketing formula that never gets old for reporters and hasn't since the 1970's. Furthermore, has anyone ever added up all the billions of dollars spent?  Well, I did. Sort of. 

A Google search for now reveals:

1 Billion

Hey!  That's over half a million hits!  Is that newsworthy?  

Just curious.


Labels: marketing

Ghosts of marketing past

Eight years ago, we started touting blades to the masses.  Do you remember the original messages?

More servers per rack!  Save datacenter floor space!!  Introducing the Density Optimized Server!!!

Now the bell tolls for me. These messages are the wailing echos I hear from my chamber bed. 

Ghost fingers

Here's the thing.  It's 8 years later and our marketing ghosts continue to haunt the entire blade industry. 

We reviewed some customer research last week from June 2008 (yes, last month) with Forrester Research, and we asked a very simple question to people who still haven't bought a single blade system.  "Why not?"

Can you guess what they said? 

"I don't have a space problem."  "Blades = space savings.  I have lots of space, so I don't need blades. Done. End of story. Next question please."

Most of these folks took a look at early blades in 2001 and admittedly, saw a lot of holes.  My, oh my how they remember the holes!  Their mind was made up.  "Blades are too hot."  "Blades cost more."  "Blades are under-featured."  "I have a plenty of floor space."  These myths continue to live on despite a remarkable transformation over the past decade of blade technology and a lot of data and experience to the contrary. 

The fact is, no one changes their mind.  A decision made, is a decision made.  But you can give them a different perspective. In the tech world, if you get the introduction wrong - either the wrong message, the wrong product or at the wrong time, there is no turning back.  Ask Microsoft.

My point today is not really about blades, it's about first impressions (and how the wrong one can keep you up at night for years).  The beginning of every marketing discussion is all about first impressions.  They are so important because they stick like microwaved duct tape.

If you get it wrong, or take a narrow view, or don't crawl inside the skin of the customer to find and communicate the real, felt need your solution solves - you will be haunted for many, many years with the ghosts of marketing past.  Our mistake in 2001 was focusing on the product, not on the customer.  We wanted so badly to show what an engineering marvel it was that we didn't spend enough time to understand how it could really help the customer.  (I like to think we are learning.)

My advice: 

1. Don't launch half-baked.  If you think you will have a killer product in 6 months, wait 6 months.
2. Talk to as many customers as possible.  Do this well before you launch.
3. Test the message.  Then test it again.  (and I don't mean with paid analysts, but with real people in the real world)

If you nail that first impression and are crisp, clear and aimed at the root of that felt need, you'll have a great launch.  But, you never get a second chance.

The good news for this insomniac technology marketer?  There's still plenty of work to be had to help customers evaluate blades for their business and to articulate the relevant story behind blades.  (Like I said, I like to think we've learned something.)

Sweet dreams,

Will SAS be the new enterprise storage standard?

Yesterday, Lee Johns blogged about some interesting new storage solutions based on Serial Attached SCSI (SAS).  I did some digging and found some good resources if you want to learn more about SAS.

The first is our collection of white papers, articles and presentations to share with others.  You can see the full list here.

The other thing I found for you is a presentation from the SCSI Trade Association; the consortium behind the SAS standard.  It has a good overview (if a bit dated) of what SAS is and why it could become the new enterprise storage standard.

For those of you with plans Friday night, here are the cliff notes:

1. Performance – 3G serial links, wide ports

2. Effective Tiered Storage Solutions

– Mixes Performance & Capacity optimized drives

3. “Pay-as-you-grow” scalability

– Scale capacity, performance, reliability & availability

4. Effective way to Share Storage

– Legacy SCSI Boot, Low Cost, High Perf., Blade Friendly

5. Solid Infrastructure Investment

– Enclosures, Connectors, cables, testers, education, components

Do you have more reasons for SAS?  Let's hear 'em.

Labels: SAS
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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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