Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
Get HP BladeSystem news, upcoming event information, technology trends, and product information to stay up to date with what is happening in the world of blades.

Did we miss something?

Every time a competitor introduces a new product, we can't help but notice they suddenly get very interested in what HP is blogging during the weeks prior to their announcement.  Then when the competitor announces, the story is very self-congratulatory "we've figured out what the problem is with existing server and blade architectures".  The implication being that blades volume adoption is somehow being constrained by the very thing they have and everyone else is really stupid. 

HP BladeSystem growth has hardly been constrained; with quarterly growth rates of 60% or 80% and over a million BladeSystem servers sold.  So I have to wonder if maybe we already have figured out what many customers want - save time, power, and money in an integrated infrastructure that is easy to use, simple to implement changes, and can run nearly any workload.

Someone asked me today "will your strategy change?"  I guess given the success we've had, we'll keep focusing on the big problems of customers - time, cost, change and energy. It sounds boring, it doesn't get a lot of buzz and twitter traffic, but it's why customers are moving to blade architectures. 

Our platform was built and proven in a step-by-step approach: BladeSystem c-Class, Thermal Logic, Virtual Connect, Insight Dynamics, etc.  Rather than proclaim at each step that we've solved all the industry's problems or have sparked a social movement in computing; we'll continue to focus on doing our job to provide solutions that simply work for customers and tackle their biggest business and data center issues.

Server Product of the Year!


We have to pause and bow to our NonStop brethren who took home the GOLD in SearchDataCenter.com's products of the year.  Especially sweet is they knocked off the IBM z10 mainframe.

I know we tend to be a little controverstial over the years with our "Blade Everything" strategy (it really got under the rack server skin of our Dell buddies), but the NonStop BladeSystem should really bring our strategy home for you. 

The fact that the new NonStop takes advantage of a BladeSystem architecture is not what makes the product rock.  Guts are guts.  It's the brains and nervous system the NonStop team was able to build on top of it that make this solution stand out as the tops in the industry.  The fact we bladed the NonStop just adds a killer value proposition for you: 

2x the performance. 1/2 the footprint. 100% NonStop! 

You gotta love it.


When is choice not choice?

Following on the heels of our virtualization launch last week, Dell made a virtualization announcement of their own yesterday.  They announced a variety of third party products they now support and re-announced the blades servers they introduced last week, but this time referring to their virtualization design.  Curiously they compared their two-socket M805 full-height 16-DIMM blade to our four-socket blades, ignoring our two-socket half-height 16-DIMM ProLiant BL495c virtualization blade announced last week.  I guess comparing their blade against an HP blade that is half the size wouldn't have sounded as good.

But what really caught my  attention was their statement in their press release that their strategy is "grounded in choice".  I imagined how this strategy plays out with blades:

Customer "I'd like to choose a UNIX blade please."
   Dell does not offer this choice.

Customer: "I'd like to choose a storage blade please."
   Dell does not offer this choice.

Customer: "I'd like to choose a workstation blade please."
   Dell does not offer this choice.

Customer: "I'd like to choose a half-height blade with 16 DIMM sockets please."
   Dell does not offer this choice.

Customer: "I'd like to choose a two-servers-in one blade for my grid app please"
   Dell does not offer this choice.

Customer: "I'd like to choose a Non-stop blade" please.
   Okay I could go on, but you get the picture. 

As it turns out a lot of customers want these kids of choices.  Why?  Because a blade everything strategy means they can get the time, energy and cost savings BladeSystem offers for more of their IT infrastructure.  They can have a simpler, more consistent way to deploy, maintain, manage and service their infrastructure.  But here again Dell has clearly differentiated themselves, stating that "We are not blade everything".  I guess this is one choice Dell does not want to offer to customers.

Is blade a verb?

We like to think so.  In fact, we really hate the wiki definition (noun) of blade.  Basically, a "smaller server flipped on its side". 

Blades have expanded so far beyond the early days of 2000, the old definition just doesn't ring true to me any more. 

swiss army knife

You can blade just about anything to make it more efficient and convenient. A Data Warehouse, a workstationstorage, a PC desktop, a huge HPC cluster, a NonStop system, tape back-up and 10 more solutions I can think of off the top of my head. In fact, if you've met anyone on our team, you know we think you can blade just about anything.  Why?  To make it cost less, use less power, save more time and make change easier. 

The definition has grown so wide, a blade is more a verb than a noun.  'Blade' has simply become a better way build an infrastructure and a better way to get things done. A better definition might be to make modular and consolidate; to make intgrated and interconnected; to simplify IT.

Oh yeah, you can blade your servers too. 

So how do you define 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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