Will 2009 be a tough year for IT departments, and us tech vendors too? Duh. Will it be as bad as the article I read today, 2009 - Thomas the Tank's journey to IT Hell? We shall see. Too often, tough times inspire dark predictions, preying on our most basic fears of the unknown.
I don't think the IT Boogeyman is hiding under my bed. I didn't think so in 2001 either. The winds of change to virtualization and industry standards have been blowing for too many years now - the question is were you an Ant or a Grasshopper?
For those that never read Aesop's Fables, the lesson is the Grasshopper is screwed.
If you're well on your way with server virtualization and have been through at least one round of server consolidation, you took a good first step. Good job Ant! But if there is one truth, oh grasshopper, that I took away from the IT Hell article, it's that the status quo isn't going to cut it in 2009. I know the IT crowd is a conservative bunch and we live and die by the mantra "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The only problem is, sometimes if you don't break it yourself, someone or something will come a long and break it for you.
I'm not trying to scare you. But we can't continue to resist change.
There's more out there to do to take cost out (TCO) if you're going to be ready for the long winter of 2009. If want to be a good Ant, you better add network, storage and power consolidation to the top of your shopping list.
In the blade world, external SAS storage is the new kid on the block. We see this category growing a lot in popularity in 2009, mostly because it's cheap, familar and pretty flexible for the server administrator to carve up storage in different ways without the cost and complexity of a SAN.
We announced one of our first SAS storage products for server blades late last year, but you might of missed it while you were hunting for a Wii.
If you're looking to consider some storage alternatives for your BladeSystem, the team created some helpful technical docs to help you evaluate SAS storage for blade servers.
Solution Brief: BladeSystem SAS storage
Build a virtual blade infrastructure. Features SAS storage for blades with VMware. 'HP Solution Block' that highlights shared SAS storage for blades in a virtual environment:
For those also looking for some more traditional ways to connect blades servers to your SAN, here's a bonus: SAN gateway best practices. A sort of generic tech doc for both SB460c blade and DL380 rack NAS/SAN gateways.
Any questions about SAS storage blades? Let's hear them!
- What if you could build an integrated a self contained "datacenter in a box" for your remote sites where servers, storage and data protection were fully integrated into one box, managed locally or remotely.
- What if you could remove the drives from the servers and create a shared pool without having to use the existing SAN infrastucture which may be costly or complex?"
- How could you utilize the spare slots in your enclosure for storage infrastructure that is plug and play simple.
- What if you could build a server that has a drive capacity beyond the traditional constraints you find with rack and tower servers"
Q: Can I maintain the same server/storage configuration as I move to blades?
A: This one really depends on the applications and your server. Most blades have 2 to 4 internal drives, but all connect to multiple types of shared storage
Q: Can I maintain my hot plug drives in the server?
A: With most HP blade models, yes.
Q: Do I require shared storage and if so how will I connect to a SAN?
A: It's not required, but it has huge upside, plus connecting is actually easier than you may be used to.
Q: What is my company policy on shared storage? Do I need to connect to our existing SANs or should I purchase a new option?
A: Great questions. Also great reasons to have a chat and a cup of coffee with your SAN team!
Q: What about File Serving? Can I deploy File Servers and gateways in my bladed infrastructure. What interconnect options are available to me with Blades?
A: Even more great questions. Also great reasons to have a chat and a cup of coffee with us.
The good news behind all these questions: HP's strategy is to give you all the same choices with traditional servers – no compromise.
The even better news: There is a big upside to combining blades and shared storage.
- Blade Infrastructure lowers the cost of connection to a SAN, significantly
- Blade infrastructure provides a lower cost and more power efficient infrastructure up front. Plus it’s easier to manage from a SAN and server perspective.
- Blades with Virtual Connect provide a wire-once connection to external storage that makes adding, moving or recovering a server easier and faster.
- That also means you can replace a server and have it reconnect back to its allocated storage without hassling the SAN team.
A: There’s a lot of untapped potential. If you have some time next week, come back and we’ll explore this some more.
Best regards, Lee