Our HP engineers took a fresh look at the most prevalent challenges IT managers are facing today -- data center complexity and management costs consuming too much darn budget. That would be enough of a challenge on its own, but our Integrity engineers also need to ensure that any solutions proposed account for the fact that these types of systems strive to never go down and must always be available to handle the most challenging, mission-critical workloads. What’s a better way to deal with these problems given the extra requirements in a mission-critical environment? The engineering team took the renowned resiliency of the Superdome along with the efficiencies of blades, combined them and created Superdome 2.
In Part 1 of this Meet the Builder series, I introduced you to Arlen Roesner. Arlen provided a demonstration of the common modular infrastructure of our new Superdome 2 platform. Today I’d like to share a demonstration of the Flex Fabric and resilience innovations packed into Superdome 2, our flagship for the Integrity line of servers. Wendy Wiehardt, Hardware Design Engineer in our Enterprise Systems Lab also helped create Superdome 2. In this video, she demonstrates how easy it really is to scale up with Integrity systems. You can start with a single cell, 2 socket system and scale up to 8 cells and 16 sockets, all in a single enclosure. If you need even more processing power than that you can connect two enclosures together, and create a 32 socket complex all in a single rack – now that makes life easier. Wendy also shows you what’s inside the blades, digging into the components such as new Intel Itanium 9300 series processors, NICs, built in I/O, VPARs, DIMM slots, iLO and more. Superdome 2 is also designed to be easier to manage and more resilient than ever before with over 100 new innovations built in to ensure against downtime. Our engineers know you don’t want to deal with the hassle and risk of rebooting systems, so she explains more about the numerous resiliency enhancements, and pulls out and replaces a crossbar without having to reboot the system. Please take a few moments to check out Wendy's demo:
Let us know what you think of our new systems, and what else you’d like to hear about from our engineers. If you’d like more detailed information I encourage you to check out our main Integrity site.
I’ll share Part 3 of this series in a couple of days. Hope you find the demos informative.
Hopefully by now you will have started to pick up some basic understanding about what HP is trying to drive around it's new Converged Infrastructure strategy. You will have read that IT sprawl is taking business performance to the breaking point and that 70% of most IT budgets are being spent on operations, and that a shrinking 30% is spent on innovation. This was neatly summarized recently by David Hughes, SAS Vice President International Sales, who stated, “it is going to be increasing more important to be able to leverage complexity as opposed to becoming a victim of it, in a cost constrained environment. This is a growing trend for SAS customers.” (Reference: Technology at Work press day, in Frankfurt Germany on April 26th, 2010).
HP Converged Infrastructure strategy attacks IT sprawl head on, as it takes an holistic approach to datacenter issues, enabling business to tackle the problems of application, server, storage and network which currently inhibits today’s business agility. For more information check out www.hp.com/go/ci
This is a great approach from HP, but what would a pessimistic view look like from an industry analyst perspective. Would the HP strategy hold up against what industry analysts are predicting? I had the opportunity to hear this POV from a leading industry analyst – Andy Butler from Gartner, who presented at the Technology at Work conference in Frankfurt Germany.
Andy summarized that the current datacenter – compute, storage and management are all seen as separate stacks by design. This has created multiple islands, all gated by physical clusters, each having very different limitations. This in turn as has led to slower, more siloed and costly deployments for IT to manage.
Andy defines change happening in the follow key areas:
- Virtualization – The engine room for infrastructure transformation
- Management Tools – The emerging battle ground for control and collaboration
- Infrastructure Convergence – built upon a fabrics based architecture
This fabrics based architecture will comprise of a set of compute, storage, memory and I/O components joined through a common Fabric interconnect.
A Fabrics based architecture will enable you to:
- Only buy what you need when you need them
- Wire once and reconfigure many times
- The capability to manage from a more holistic standpoint across the fabric
A prediction into the future
Andy predicted that by 2012, 30% of global 2,000 datacenters will be equipped with some fabric based bladed architecture
- Corollary 1. 90% of these Fabric systems will employ virtualization
- Corollary 2. 15% of these Fabric systems will be utilized for cloud infrastructures and Services (a gradual trend that will move into the datacenter over the next 5 – 10 years)
- Start now and assess the number of Server platforms you currently have within your datacenters
- Know what you have so you can start to plan around and prepare for a future Fabrics based computing environment
- Multiple influences are driving the server market towards an x86 architecture, with smaller forma factors and modular fabrics