Reality Check: Server Insights
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How will the HP Data Center Smart Grid solve the #1 data center constraint?

By Steve Cumings, Director, SCI Marketing, ISS

How will the HP Center Smart Grid solve the #1 data center constraint?

As we talk to customers around the world, they continue to tell us their #1 challenge is power and cooling. The problem is this: When a power or cooling limit is reached in the data center, it can slow or halt deployment of additional IT. And that in turn can slow business growth.

In many cases though, these limits are artificial; the data center has enough power or cooling capacity, but it’s stranded in silos and isn’t actively monitored or managed for most effective use The solution is to approach the data center holistically, and integrate the data center energy elements so they can work at maximum effectiveness.  HP’s Data Center Smart Grid will do exactly that, and extend our existing portfolio to actively monitor and manage IT. 

Result?  A data center where energy capacity is understood, is flexibly architected, and is delivered where it’s needed – in exactly the amount that’s needed.  When IT and facilities are actively managed and linked, they can work in concert:  the IT working at maximum power efficiency, and the facility delivering exactly the right amount of support.  This not only adds data center capacity and thus postpone capital expense, but allows maximum energy savings – giving customers faster ROI, and the opportunity to align with utility and green initiatives. 

Now I get the HP POD. See what we are learning at the HP Tech Forum 2009 POD demos, sessions & tours

The HP POD  (Performance Optimized Datacenter) is stealing the show at the HP Tech Forum 2009. The POD is set up and you can tour the POD, talk to the experts and also see the power house running the POD. Kevin Egan & Steve Cumings from HP are informative, graciously answering all questions and helping us to all fully grasp the coolness of the HP POD.

Here is a quick overview of the HP POD in plain English by Jason Newton:

Here are the technical slides from Kevin Egan's technical break out session:

Some quick take-away points:

HP POD solves the customer challenges:

  • Capacity Limitations

  • More energy efficiency needed

  • Increased pressures on capital expenses


  • HP can ship the POD fully loaded in six weeks

  • Lower operating expenses – more efficient

  • 22 racks 50U high --- 11000U  in 40x9 container

  • POD cools the IT… closely coupled cooling. NO mixing of hot & cold air.
    Usually cool whole datacenter or certain areas.. not as efficient.

  • HP’s highest density – non proprietary too.

  • HP can cater to extreme hot or cold temperatures. Plumbing is the issue – keeping temps right.

  • The POD is powered by ActivePower Partner with HP for the power house – Flywheel, 600Lbs spinning away! They also had a very cool tour. See Jason Newton’s POD in plain English tour above for info & photos from the tours.

  • Questions on security always come up. Can someone drive away my datacenter? Someone would reaaalllly want to do this, as the POR averages 100,000 lbs. Would need 007 to pull that off. Just get the regular security in place.

  • HP is investing heavily in POD technology & structure. 20FT version coming out in Q4. At the Houston Campus, they are building out 5 in a spine. HP has a full roadmap for the POD. The PODs offer a huge opportunity to defer capital expenses

  • One customer has as a totally remote using iLO – only stepping in to make upgrades, change out any hardware.

  • TCO Comparison available. Kevin’s team would be abile to run this for customers. Contact them here.

All companies have the same problems. Who are the POD customers?

  • Capacity expansion 40%

  • Scale out 30%

  • Disaster Recovery 10%

  • Transitional 10%

  • Military & Custom  10%

Lastly: Every HP POD conversation goes to people wanting to live in it!!!


Key quotes from our Featured Bloggers at Tech Forum on the HP POD:

"I think a lot of us drool at the processing and storage capacity potential that the POD represents, but there are a lot of other factors that make the POD a serious, almost no-brainer contender when planning for a datacenter solution."

Shane Pitman , from his blog Neowin, HP Technology Forum & Expo POD tour

"Adding to the list of pluses provided by an HP POD solution are the POD's expandability and configuration options. With space for 22 50U full-depth industry standard racks, the configuration options are enormous. Want all storage? No problem. Want all blades? Can do. Already have the technology but just looking for a better housing solution? HP will ship you an empty POD with the racks, power, and cooling infrastructure in place, ready for your existing hardware, and not just HP hardware. The HP POD will support any third party technology."


Shane Pitman, from his blog Neowin, read more at HP Technology Forum & Expo POD tour



 I will post more pics in the next few days of the POD too.

Let us know your thoughts & impressions on the HP POD. Are you ready for a mobile data center?


The ROI on power savings alone makes the new HP ProLiant G6 servers worth looking at...

By Nick Vanderzweep

Director of Product Management, HP Insight Software


OK, we just announced our new HP ProLiant G6 servers and I was told they use a lot less power, are a much better virtualization platform, and let you spend less money without sacrificing service levels for your customers.  These topics all strike a deep chord with most of us, especially during these tough economic times.


But is this true? Will they really make a dent in a typical ROI? I decided to put the G6 servers to the test.  I had some scenarios run though our Insight Dynamics - VSE capacity planning SW using real customer data and the results will really knock your socks off.  Here's roughly what we found: 

  • We took real utilization data that was shared with us from one of our customers on 55 of their older servers; and

  • Ran that data through Insight Dynamics - VSE's "Smart Solver" module to see how they might work when consolidated onto virtual machines running on the new G6 platforms


The results were amazing based on power consumption alone!  Here's how it broke down in terms of rough numbers:

  • We were able to predict that this customer could get a consolidation ratio of about 11:1 with G6, without compromising application horsepower or end-user service levels in any way;

  • Average power consumption went from about 12.8 kilowatts to 1 kilowattfor the new scenario; and

  • The savings on reduced power consumption alone was about $1,100 per month, without even yet considering the beneficial effect of reduced software licenses, less foot-print, and so forth.

I expected pretty good results given the "more-bang-for-less-power" message around G6, but -- WOW -- they still amazed me.  Your mileage may vary, but I recommend you run your configurations thru our Insight Dynamics - VSE software to give you a confident estimate what your savings might be. Like me, I think you will find that the new G6 servers are way "cooler" than you already imagined.


DDR3 Memory for G6 servers

Are you confused about the different kids of server memory out there and want to know more about the new DDR3 memory?  Did you know that low power memory can be part of your energy efficient environment?  Jeff Fisher explains all about DDR3 memory and different memory configurations in an easy to umderstand presentation; view the PowerPoint presentation and listen to the MP3 audio at

Energy Star for Servers - Get the scoop on who's got it and who doesn't

By Lauren Trost, Product Marketing Manager, Power Supplies 

The topic on everyone's mind is ENERGY EFFICIENCY and rightfully so.  Energy costs have reached the point that power and cooling a data center is almost as costly as the equipment inside.  IT managers can look for guidance from 80 PLUS, the EPA, and other regulatory bodies to direct them to the most efficient products.  The newest 80 PLUS program is a unique forum and regulatory body that unites electric utilities, the computer industry and consumers in an effort to bring energy efficient technology solutions to the marketplace. 

HP took leadership with the 80 PLUS program when it shipped the first 80 PLUS Gold certified, 92% efficient power supply for Blades.  In our latest launch we introduced our high efficiency power supplies for our ProLiant servers, which means that HP ships the broadest portfolio of 80 PLUS gold compatible servers in the market! 

But no other symbol is more recognizable for energy efficiency than Energy Star.  But when can we expect to see ENERGY STAR servers on the market?   The answer is very soon.  The EPA is expected to publish the specifications in mid-2009. The EPA states, "HP has been working with the EPA on developing an ENERGY STAR Computer Server specification and plans on offering models that meet the requirements when the specifications are published." 

Stay tuned to this blog for the announcement of the EPA specifications and for a list of all the HP servers that qualify to be in the elite group of energy efficient servers.  You can also visit or the ENERGY STAR website at for updates on approved platforms.

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About the Author(s)
  • I am part of the embedded software management team doing UEFI, HP RESTful API & Scripting tools (STK, PowerShell, HP RESTful Interface Tool), etc
  • I am part of ISS Product Marketing, currently managing couple of dual processor ProLiant servers.
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • Delisa Johnson currently leads successful, corporate events for HP Servers and is established as the go-to person for business unit communications regarding launches, executive meetings, wins and business updates.
  • I am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
  • 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
  • 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!
  • Lead architect for Intelligent Provisioning and related HP products.
  • 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.
  • I work in the HP Servers marketing group, managing a marketing team responsible for marketing solutions for enterprise customers who run mission-critical workloads and depend on HP to keep their business continuously running.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • I am a Senior Manager managing external content & social media for HP Servers Awareness. Stay tuned for topics on Mission Critical Solutions, Core Enterprise & SMB Solutions, Next Gen Workload Solutions, Big Data & HPC, Cloudline and HPS Options! Follow me @RubyDatHP
  • I am a member of the HP Servers Product Marketing Group blogging on topics of interest for HP Server Options and Smart Storage products.
  • Working with HP BladeSystem.
  • HP Servers, Global Product Marketing
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