With Gartner just releasing their latest Magic Quadrant for blades, it seems appropriate to write a bit more on BladeSystem. We are both pleased and proud that Gartner placed HP in the Leaders Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Blade servers, for both completeness of vision and ability to execute.
Extend the life of your Data Center with new HP technologies that bridge IT and Facilities.
I know a lot of you think technology marketing is full of crap <<or insert your own colorful descriptor>>. I know we can sound that way. It's one of my pet-peeves too.
I also know that some of you may hear a term like "Thermal Logic" and your "marketing-crap' sirens start to go off. So today I wanted to take a moment to explain in plain English the concept of Thermal Logic technology and to show you that it's not a make-believe idea, but a practical approach that HP is taking to address your bigger power and cooling issues in the data center.
It's a very simple idea really. Make the data denter more energy efficient, simply by making it more intelligent.
That's it. No green-ovation, grandious claims or a high brow vision, just a statement of how the power and cooling problem must, and will be addressed by HP.
Here's where that came from. Back in 2003-2006 (even earlier in the mind of Chandrakan Patel in HP Labs), when a lot of our current power and cooling technology was being created in the lab, intelligence was a common theme. Whether it was smarter fans, smarter power supplies, smarter drives, smarter CRACs, smarter reporting and metering, or smarter whatever; putting intelligence behind the problem of power usage came up again and again.
We described the problem as "you can't manage what you can't measure". If every component, system and data center understands its need for energy as well as the total supply of energy, it could take action to conserve every watt of power and every gram of cold air. What we find is that in most cases, every component, system and data center allocates more energy that what it really needs and often wastes energy that isn't being used to do effective work.
Now, back to today.
Every, I repeat EVERY, technology vendor in the world today is building systems with more efficient parts. Big deal. This is basic 'bread and water' today and quite honestly, if your vendor isn't doing everything they can to squeeze every watt out of the basic components, you need to look elsewhere. HP, IBM and Dell all have access to the latest chips, drives, DIMMs, etc. I imagine Cisco is even figuring out who to call these days.
Every vendor is also able to show power savings with virtual machines. Big deal. Taking applications off of a bunch of out dated power hog servers and putting them on fewer, more efficient ones saves a bunch of energy. Again, is there a vendor that can't do that too?
99% of the claims that vendors make to differentiate themselves and claim "power efficiency" superiority are based on these 2 concepts: the lastest systems with the latest, most efficient components versus last years' model and comparisons based on using virtual machines. Even worse, it's done with a straight face and backed up with claims with based on stacked benchmarks comparing today's lab queen design versus the last generation just isn't helpful to anyone.
The data center power problem is so much bigger than a benchmark at any one point in time. Power consumption is happening every second of every day over years. I know that's a lot of variables to consider: tempurature, humidity, workload, usage and growth. That's why intelligence is so darn important. It's a big, complex problem. I only wish I had a magic benchmark with a magic number that could prove my claim definitively in every circumstance. It can't. Nor can anyone else.
Only HP, I repeat ONLY HP, is inventing energy-aware components, systems and data centers. And yes, we call it Thermal Logic technology. Last week, the ProLiant team announced their next generation servers and talked a lot about the concept of a 'sea of sensors'. Those sensors are the starting point to collect the data need.
Here's another example to make this real for you: Dynamic Power Capping. I shared with you in the past a demonstration. Now that you're getting our unique point of view, I'd like to share with you the technology details behind it in this new whitepaper "HP Power Capping and HP Dynamic Power Capping for ProLiant servers"
Read this and you'll quickly see that Thermal Logic isn't IT marketing crap. It's a real answer to the real challenges every datacenter in the world is facing - the rising demand and cost for power and cooling.
ComputerWorld took a tour recently of HP Labs to check out some of the things we're working on from the desktop to the datacenter. We are really fortunate that we have these folks behind us. What's even more fortunate for our customers is that these innovations find their way into real world products today.
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.