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Today was the first of a 2-day HP ProLiant Gen8 Tech Day in Houston. The ten bloggers who were invited are all from the US except for me. Some of them I have met from other HP events like HP Discover in 2011 and an event in Madrid in the same year. Since I moved to Inovativ which is a 100% System Center & Hyper-V consultancy firm, hardware hasn’t been so much of an issue for me. You deal with whatever server, network or storage hardware the customer has. When I worked for a system integrator, HP was the one and only vendor we worked with, so I can say I know the product range quite well. It was surely a fantastic opportunity to come to Houston and be brought up to speed on the new HP ProLiant Gen8 server family.
We had a couple of really interesting sessions today, both from marketing and technical folks at HP. One good introductory presentation was by Gary Thorne (VP Strategy Industry Standard Servers and Software). Gary’s presentation was on Transforming the server experience with customer-inspired innovation. Most of the changes you will see in the Gen8 stem from over 100.000 customer interactions. Whenever there was a server down situation, HP would ask the customer to detail the problems so HP could learn from them. After all, the aim is to get the most amount of uptime with the least amount of effort, speed deployment of systems and deliver the desired performance. This is not something you get after just one round of interviewing customers. It is more like a multi-year project and it takes a large budget for R&D. HP spent $300M on R&D which is at least twice the amount spent on the previous generation.
Tomorrow I will fly to Houston from San Diego where I have been staying for a few days after a great TEC2012 event. HP asked me to join them for their HP ProLiant Gen8 Tech Tour. Coming all the way from Europe just for the 2 days would have been crazy, but as I was in the neighborhood (3 hour flight) HP’s invitation was a good opportunity to find out about the latest HP ProLiant server generation.
I have quite a history with HP servers, dating all the way back to the first true PC based server, the Compaq SystemPro back in 1989. The first HP ProLiant generation I remember is the ProLiant 1000 ranging to the ProLiant 5000 which supported nothing less than 4GB of memory. Without going into too much of history, many readers are more likely to remember the DL/ML/BL series which up-to-now has known seven generations. I recall the HP ProLiant G5 series was the first server to support Hyper-V as it required hardware virtualization support. The G6 introduced SLAT capable processors which made virtualized memory management a lot more efficient. The G7 arrived relatively quickly after the G6 for a reason I can’t recall.
HP has already formally announced its new HP ProLiant Gen8 server series. Hey … that sounds different! Why didn’t they call it G8? Well I might be able to find out on May 7th during the Tech Tour in Houston. If you have any questions you want me to ask, just leave a comment at the bottom of this blog.
Assuming the HP ProLiant Gen8 series will play an important part in the building of many new private and public clouds, and also the upcoming release of Microsoft Windows Server 2012, makes this a really interesting topic. I will be writing a few blogs and might publish a video or two depending on what crosses my path. I’ll keep you posted.
Blog Hans de Leenheer:
Technical Deep Dive – http://hansdeleenheer.blogspot.com/2012/03/hp-proliant-gen8-technical-deepdive.html
Tech Q&A – http://hansdeleenheer.blogspot.com/2012/02/hp-proliant-gen8-tech-q.html