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.

Pity the "Server Guy"

My brother-in-law David manages a mid-sized construction business, and owns seven or eight servers to handle the data.   But don't bother asking him how much data they hold, or what  processors they use. In fact, it's pointless to ask anyone in his office; they'll all give the same answer:  "I don't know. Ask the Server Guy."
 
Who exactly is the Server Guy?  To an SMB company like David's, Server Guy is the mysterious geek who crawls into a back-office closet clutching two cables and a USB thumbdrive, and emerges fifteen minutes later to declare that email is working again. Server Guy brings IT to the small- and mid-size businesses who either have a 1-man IT department, or depend on part-time or contractor help.


Tam Harbert notes that more and more of these Server Guys are approaching Ingram Micro and asking whether blade servers might be right for the 20-to-100 employee, server-closet crowd.  And, Tam says, increasingly the answer is "Yes."


Why?  Partly, Tam notes, it's the potential for saving money from their smaller footprint  and higher power efficiency. But Arlin Sorensen, president of Heartland Technology Solutions and a Server Guy himself, nails an even bigger reason:


"A lot of our customers aren't equipped to handle the number of servers that they end up having...When you're dealing with 15 different stand-alone servers that were bought at 15 different times, then you have to deal with 15 different experiences in how those things are going to act. The beauty of blades is that the servers all respond and react the same way."


Blades make Server Guy's job EASIER. When you have a jumble of servers, switches, and storage wired together with a rats-nest of connections, the only cross-platform, intuitive management tool that you have is the main circuit breaker on/off switch.    Blades change all that -- they give Server Guy a way to maintain servers in a quick, consistent, predicable manner.


Consider all the things Server Guy might be called upon to know.  (Martin at BladeWatch did just that recently -- and to me his list is both accurate and daunting.)  


But with tools like BladeSystem Onboard Administrator, Server Guy now has graphical, point-and-click tools that let him manage the IT hardware without two hundred hours of classroom training and three expensive industry certifications.  Intuitive tools mean Server Guy is more productive.


How?  Well, let's say my brother-in-law calls Server Guy and says "it sure seems hot in the server closest."  Since most servers have temperature sensors in them, Server Guy could download a bundle of User's Guides, drive down to the office, figure out what settings he needs on a serial cable, plug it into each system, and -- if he remembers all the login passwords -- fetch the temperature readings on each piece of equipment.  He could compare those to the tech specs on the hardware maker's web sites, then finally report to my brother-in-law that everything's OK.


Or...he could simply pull up a browser and remotely look at the Bladesystem Onboard Administrator status screen:


 


No manual needed.  The green bar  obviously means things are OK. There are little graphical orange and red hash marks -- nicely labeled with temperatures, and "Caution" and "Critical" indicators -- showing how much hotter it would need to be before there's a problem. 


The BladeSystem team spends lots of their time developing tools like this, so Server Guy only has to spend a tiny amount of time using them.


Server Guy, if you're out there, let me -- or some of our colleagues -- know what other help you need.   Also, call my brother-in-law.  He says the Internet is broken again, and the "any" key is missing from his keyboard.


 

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.


 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 


 

Shorty gets new threads

My friend and colleague Rob Cashman was at the WW Microsoft Partner Conference last week and snapped this pic of a pimped out Shorty (aka, BladeSystem c3000), complete with flames.  This was part of a special promotion for Microsoft resellers to learn more about the benefits of blades for small businesses.Pimped c3000

Have you personalized your BladeSystem infrastructure?  Send me jason.newton@hp.com a quick shot of your Shorty hookup and I'll post them. 


Jason

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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 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Network industry experience for more than 20 years - Data Center, Voice over IP, security, remote access, routing, switching and wireless, with companies such as HP, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Novell.
  • 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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