I'm at HP Tech @
Work (#HPTAW on Twitter) this week, and I am catching a number of sessions. To
start, I'm catching Martin Fink's keynote on Mission-Critical Solutions
presentations in the hardware business, he discussed how we are now working
mission critical into the converged infrastructure. He then covered the fact
that all of our new hardware runs HP-UX 11i v3 - in other words, it doesn't
require a new operating system version, with all the testing and certification
that requires. I've covered a lot of the recent upgrades with HP-UX 11i v3
March 2010 update already.
Martin then gave
an overview of our new offerings. We start with Superdome 2, of which I will
write a little more later today. He then spoke about our new Integrity blades,
including the first 8 socket blade in the industry, the BL890c i2. He mentioned
our new entry class rack mount server, the rx2800. Finally, BladeSystem Matrix
has been available for HP BladeSystem for a while now. We have now brought out
BladeSystem Matrix for Integrity (a.k.a. Matrix operating environment).
Martin covered a
number of key topics around the servers - their Unified Blade Architecture, the
Flex Fabric, the Power On Once capabilities, and the Matrix Operating
Environment. I will likely blog about these topics a little more over the next
few days in the breakout sessions.
finished off with a demo of the Superdome 2 enclosure, which was sitting at the
side of the stage. The top of the enclosure had a standard c7000 chassis, with
8 socket BL890c i2 server. In between, it had an rx2800 server. At the bottom, it
had a Superdome 2 with 2 I/O expansion chassis.
the common components of the servers by pulling a fan out of the c7000 chassis,
and swapping it with a fan out of the Superdome 2 chassis. The then swapped a
power supply from the rx2800 i2 and the Superdome 2 I/O expansion. He also
swapped power supplies from the c7000 and Superdome 2 chassis. This
demonstrated the commonality between the systems - something that is very
important if you stock replacement parts.
There were tear
downs of a BL860c i2 and Superdome 2 blade. He explained that the big
difference between the two types of blade: more physical memory slots and the
crossbar fabric are that are in the Superdome 2 blades physically take more
space. Hence, a chassis that is 18U high for Superdome 2 versus the 10 U for
the c7000 chassis. He even showed sliding a BL860c i2 blade into a Superdome 2
chassis, although this isn't supported at first release (if you want a BL860c
i2, it does make more sense to put it into a c7000 chassis).
found two key themes from the tear down. First, the systems are hugely modular.
You can swap common components between many of the systems, including not just
HP Integrity servers, but also HP BladeSystem and HP ProLiant servers and
accessories. This greatly simplifies replacement part stocking, especially for
customers who stock parts for multiple lines of servers. The second thing that
struck me was how simple it is to service these systems. Everything plugs in,
pulls out, and is easy to change - CPUs, memory, fans, I/O cards, etc.
finished with a quick update on the Itanium business from Intel and reminder
that we are moving from one-of-everything IT to one infrastructure that does
I can't do this
session, and all the topics that were covered, justice in a short blog posting.
I will provide more in depth blogs over the next days and weeks.
Well, this is
it. The Itanium 9300 processor was announced in February, and today, HP is
announcing the new HP
We could have
just thrown a faster processor, DDR 3 memory, and a new I/O into our existing rack mount servers. But HP,
after talking to many of our customers, has decided to do something just a
HP has decided to bring mission critical systems to a bladed environment, providing customers with a modular, flexible server. Utilizing the c3000 and c7000 chassis, we can provide 2,
4, and 8 socket blades. These blades are modular. The base unit is a 2
socket, BL860c i2. Two of them linked together with our scalable BladeLink,
becomes a 4 socket, BL870c i2. Four BL860c i2 linked together becomes an 8
socket BL890c i2. This not only provides linear socket growth, but linear,
memory growth, linear hard drive growth, and linear I/O growth.
I'm very excited
about these blades, since they provide modularity and flexibility without
requiring an investment in a fairly large system. And yet, they still provide
scaling. For instance, you can put 2 BL890c i2 servers in a single 10 U, c7000
chassis. This provides 64 cores, 768 Gb of memory in 192 DIMM slots, 16 hard
drives, and if I remember correctly, 32 Virtual Connect Flex-10 connections.
This is a lot of
power in a single 10U c7000 chassis. And the nice part is, it can potentially
be configured in different ways - 2 BL890c i2 servers, 4 BL870c i2 servers, 8
BL860c i2 servers, or some combination in between. This is especially useful if
you want to start small, but want to have room to grow in the future without a
big up front investment. Or, if the workload shrinks (or is oversized), you can
potentially split a larger configuration into multiple, smaller configurations.
This is flexibility that helps businesses adapt to changing requirements.
announced the Superdome
2 server. This is a slightly larger system which basically swaps cell
boards in the original Superdome for cell blades in Superdome 2. It is a
modified c7000 chassis that has been stretched to provide a highly redundant
cross-bar fabric. I'll cover it in more detail in another post, but it is the
combination of a highly mission critical server with the flexibility of blades.
Finally, HP has
also announced a small rack mount server for those customers who don't need
larger, more flexible servers - the rx2800
i2. Once again, I will cover more about it in a later post.
with our internal training here in Frankfurt, so I'm heading across town to HP
Technology @ Work. I will post some more about these new systems and some of
the sessions I attend over the next few days.