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.
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.
I'll be speaking at Technology Forum along with my partner in crime Richard Brooke.
We'll be doing session number 1780 - Powering HP BladeSystem covering all the exciting technologies like rack PDUs, UPSs, power cables, plugs and the other kinds of things you need to to know to actually power a c7000 Enclosure up.
So if your attending next week (June 15th – 18th ) at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, or just happen to be in Las Vegas, we'll either be presenting or on the booth (he's the tall one) so stop by and have a chat. You might also find us after hours somewhere on the strip, but we promise not to talk about power in the evening.
If you're interested in Power and Cooling in general, there's a couple of other sessions you may be interested in as well
3156 Thermal Logic Power Management with
Insight Control Suite - with Mark Lackey and Tom Turicchi
4620 Integrity Server Power and Cooling Technologies - with Thomas Vaden