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Daniel Bowers On Day 2 of HP Blades Tech Day

Day #2 of the Infrastructure Software and Blades Tech Days got off to an early start, with an 8AM Q&A session (hosted in a room with working wireless, whew).   No zinger questions from the bloggers in the session (I'm very  disappointed, Kevin!!)    Yesterday's Tolly Report did come up, though.


Next was a discussion on client virtualization.  As a server guy,  I sometimes feel pained to think that my precious server CPU cycles are being used to power client OS's, but HP's Joseph George convinced me that the economics of VDI override my server-centric concerns.


We stepped out of the meeting room for a quick tour of one of the blade labs, and I got a chance to catch up with John Obeto.  Did you know that, in addition to all his clients here in the US, John also does IT work in Nigeria?   I don't think I've ever met as good an advocate for WIndows as John.  Despite his outrage at me for admitting that my only experience with Windows 7 was on a VM running on top of Ubuntu, John was kind enough to spend  a few minutes on video talking about training IT staff, and the rack server-versus-blade server debate, so I'll post that soon.


The tour of the factory was probably the high point of the event.  We had to hike a bit to get from the building where blades are engineered to the building where they're built and integrated, but most of the guys had their cameras out as we came onto the factory floor.  Actually it was two different buildings: One where servers are assembled, and a second where rack configurations with custom configs get integrated and tested.


In the first building, Simon Seagrave tried his hand at assembly, slapping a server hood label sticker onto Greg Knieriemen's jacket. 



As we were led through the aisles of servers and racks in various stages of assembly & integration, one of the things that impressed me (and others) was the awesome cable routing the factory guys do inside the integrated racks.


Next, Jean Brandau of HP led us outsite to the HP POD final test area, a pair of covered bays that are used for run-in tests of the 20' and 40' Performance Optimized Datacenters (aka data center in a shipping container).  The bays held up to 7 PODs, and today, there were three; a 20' POD (holding up to 10 racks) and two 40' PODs (each with up to 22 racks).   Kevin asked Jean what the primary use case was for PODs, and she said that rapid capacity expansion was the main reason customers installed PODs.  She gave the example of a company needing to quickly ramp up capabilities to take advantage of the rise from a recovering economy.


Tex-Mex food for lunch.  Frank Owen somehow convinced me to try the "special red sauce" on my chips...I guess I'll know in a couple of hours whether that was a good idea. Martin MacLoeod gave me some insightful anecdotes that pointed to the need for simple inventory survey tools.  (He gave me some other ideas, too, which I plan on stealing -- I mean leveraging -- soon.)


A big thanks to all the guys below for spending the last couple of days with us...looking forward to the next one!


The ISB Blades Tech Day attendees:


Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat http://blog.fosketts.net/
Simon Seagrave, Tech Head http://www.techhead.co.uk/
Martin MacLoeod, Blade Watch http://www.bladewatch.com/
Rich Brambley, VM/ETC http://vmetc.com/
Frank Owen, Tech Virtuoso  http://techvirtuoso.com/
Greg Knieriemen, Storage Monkey http://www.storagemonkeys.com
John Obeto, Absolutely Windows http://absolutelywindows.com/
Chris M. Evans, Storage Architect http://www.thestoragearchitect.com/
Devang Panchigar, StorageNerve http://storagenerve.com/
Kevin Houston, Blades Made Simple  http://bladesmadesimple.com/

1 rack of blades. In 1 box. In 48 seconds flat.

I've been meaning to share this with you for awhile.  My bud Mike Krodel put this great video together showing off how we integrate and ship an entire rack of blades, complete with networking, server, storage and power a whole rack at a time. 


When you see this, you'll call it cool.  We call it HP Factory Express.




PS: Dude!  Not only can we ship an enclosure of blades in 1 box, we can do the rack too.

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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
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  • 20 years of marketing experience in semiconductors, networking and servers. Focused on HP BladeSystem networking supporting Virtual Connect, interconnects and network adapters.
  • 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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