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HP Blades Day Yesterday and Today – Questions?

Wednesday night in Houston, TX was a great finish for a day of travel. By 6 PM all of the HP Blades Day attendees had made it to the hotel, checked in, and met in the lobby. After some general group socializing we ended up grabbing some pizza at a nearby restaurant called Pizza Fusion. It was a great evening with a great group of folks!

Here’s a 30 second video of some of my photos from last night.

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Today we will get down to business at HP. Here’s what our agenda looks like:

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Houston, We Have A Blogger Event. HP Blades Tech Day

offline gmail002 Feb. 23 22.55 Tomorrow I leave for Texas to attend HP’s Infrastructure Software & Blades Tech Day at the HP campus in Houston, TX. HPBladesDay is taking place on February 25th & 26th. This exclusive blogger event was outlined in the invitation email I received as follows:

“This day and a half deep dive about the blade server market, key data center trends and client virtualization will be with HP technology leaders and business executives who will discuss the company’s business advantages and technical advances.  It will also include customers’ and their own key insights and experiences and provide demos of the products.  You’ll get an insider’s tour of HP’s Lab facilities as well.”

So, for the rest of this week I’ll be tweeting, snapping photos, taking movies, and sooner or later blogging about my experiences and HP’s blades servers.

This will be my second HP blogger event. Regular readers will recall I was also lucky enough to get invited to the HP Storage Day event at the Colorado Springs HP campus last Fall.

Podcast Coverage

Greg Knieriemen, also a HPBladesday attendee and the infamous Infosmack podcast host, has asked me to record another Infosmack episode from Houston with him. GestaltIT’s fearless leader and blogger extraordinaire Stephen Foskett will also be joining us on the show as well as in Houston at HP’s event. I’m willing to bet that several other of the bloggers in attendance could end up on the podcast, so look for another great Infosmack talk next Monday when it is released.

HP’s own blogger (Around the Storage Block blog) Calvin Zito (@HPStorageGuy) will also be there. Since Zito has also recently started his own podcast, look for great coverage in all social media formats from him as well.

Twitter and Blogs

Knieriemen has already created a Twitter list.

Twitter / @Knieriemen/HP Blades Day

You can also follow HP Blade team (BladeNews) on Twitter

The official event Twitter hashtag is #HPBladesDay

Here’s a list of other bloggers attending, (but not a complete list): Continue reading

Easy Removal Of HP Server Utilities After P2V Migration

I’ve had my share of difficulties with the HP Server Utilities after a P2V migration. Granted, when you are building a new server the SmartStart CD makes life easy for completing the “Setup and installation for HP ProLiant ML and DL 300, 500 and 700 series and HP ProLiant BL Servers and supported server options”, but when that server restarts as a VM with the HP software still installed and running it is sluggish and slow. Extremely sluggish and slow in my experience.

After having to boot several VMs in Windows Safe Mode in order to prevent the various HP utilities and drivers from attempting to load I finally got a clue and made sure I disabled all HP Services before running the P2V conversion. That made the start up as a new VM better, but I still had to spend some quality time with Add/Remove Programs in the Windows Control Panel to uninstall all of those HP programs!

You may be thinking “OK. You should just uninstall all the HP Programs and Drivers before the P2V.” I could, but there goes my safety net, fall back plan. I want the physical server to remain operational exactly as it was in case something unexpected prevents the P2V from succeeding. It’s rare, but if it does happen I want to be able to power back on the physical server. Maintenance windows are short and I’m not one to make my night longer than necessary.

Looks like one of my GestaltIT Tech Field Day brothers has made my next late night date with HP server migrations a little easier. Simon Seagrave’s post VMware P2V – Easy Method to Remove HP Agents and Utilities is about the HP Proliant Support Pack Cleaner v1.1 utility available from – a site self described as full of “FREE Tools for Citrix, Microsoft and VMware Administrators and Consultants.”

I haven’t tried this utility myself yet, there doesn’t appear to be any documentation for it, and Seagrave doesn’t mention how/when he uses the utility, so I’ll have to figure out later if my process of disabling all the HP services works with this Support Pack Cleaner. I imagine it’ll work fine. I’ll just run it after I boot the migrated VM for the first time.

Sorry Windows Control Panel and Add/Remove Programs, we’ve spent a lot of time together over the years but it’s time for me to move on. Thanks Simon!

Seagrave has also previously posted about a script to do the same job. Check out both of his posts!

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HP Announces Converged Infrastructure Architecture Products

HP is announcing it’s own Converged Infrastructure Architecture with associated services and partner offerings later today which will “integrate existing silos of compute, storage, network, and facility resources with unified management to deliver a virtualized, highly automated technology environment ..”. The timing of this announcement obviously serves as a “us too” response to the VMware, Cisco, and EMC (VCE) vBlock architecture announcement, but more importantly positions HP as the provider of the only private cloud infrastructure solution under a single company logo combining HP servers, storage, and networking.

HP is also announcing availability of new storage virtualization products based on storage pooling features first introduced to me at the HP Tech Days in Colorado Springs, CO, which ultimately become pillars of the Converged Infrastructure Architecture. With HP’s new products, virtual storage pools can be created across multiple storage devices enabling high availability and dynamic adjustment for any workload.

Finally, hidden among the infrastructure product announcements is a high level indication of EVA integration with Hyper-V Live Migration. As of this writing it is not clear to me what this technically means and I am waiting for more information. It was made clear to me that HP is not establishing a competitive stance to the VCE partnership, and HP remains as an active VMware OEM partner.

Look for the official announcements from HP and the links in this post to go live around 9:00 a.m. EST today (Wed 11/4/09). HP lifted the embargo for press, analysts and bloggers as of Thursday 11/04 at 12:01 a.m. EST so I am publishing quick information from an embargoed call I attended Tues (11/3) afternoon with Lee Johns, HP Director of Marketing – Unified Storage, and links found in draft copies of the official press releases.

HP’s Converged Infrastructure Architecture is made up of 4 technology innovations: Continue reading

HP Storage Tech Day – Other Coverage

HP-Tech-Day-CrowdNow that HP Storage Tech Day is a few days removed and all the attendees have had more time to digest what we experienced during our day and a half in Colorado Springs, several blog posts have been published worth reading. The event also picked up some mainstream coverage from sites like The Register,,, and Tech Republic.

This post lists links some of the blogs from other HPTechDay attendees that I think make some great points or cover pieces I missed regarding what we saw about storage virtualization at HP. I’m adding some of my own opinions to expand on these ideas from a server virtualization perspective.

I’ve also archived 500 of the #HPTechDay tweets into a .pdf report created by Check the end of this post for that document complete with working links to photos and urls.

First of all, HP’s Calvin Zito (@HPStorageGuy on Twitter) has a master index of all posts and articles from HPTechDay in his post StorageWorks Tech Day – in their words so far…. Check it out for just about everything written on the event.

HP StorageWorks TechDay & SMB Announcements
Simon Seagrave (@kiwi_si)
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HP Tells Storage Virtualization Future With Left Hand

I’m not a fortune teller and I don’t have a crystal ball, but during my attendance at HP Storage Tech Day I definitely received an impression that the acquisition of Left Hand Networks now plays a key role in future storage offerings at HP. Based on the discussions, presentations, and hands-on-labs I participated in, Left Hand’s storage virtualization model is obviously common strategy among other HP storage products moving forward. I predict a win/win storage scenario is “in the cards” for both HP and it’s customers.

The Left Hand Model

Left Hand Networks established itself with SMB and Mid Market customers by combining storage controllers and disk shelves into one x86 based appliance that serves iSCSI storage to ESX hosts. Linking multiple storage appliances together in a cluster, Left Hand replicates iSCSI volumes across all nodes creating a highly available SAN for virtual hosts. If one node is no longer available the remaining ones seamlessly continue to provide shared storage via the replicated data. Add to this the capability to non disruptively add additional Left Hand appliances, which then enables companies to take advantage of a pay-as-you-grow SAN. Performance improvements and tuning can also be achieved as existing volumes are automatically spread across additional disks provided with each new Left Hand appliance joining the cluster.

The acquisition press release (linked above) provides further insight into HP’s business strategy incorporating Left Hand’s products in it’s portfolio.

“With the addition of LeftHand Networks, HP will add midrange offerings to its suite of iSCSI solutions. Customer needs at the low end of the market will be met with the HP StorageWorks All-in-One Storage System (AiO) and HP StorageWorks Modular Smart Array (MSA) product lines. The high end will be addressed by the HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) line. Customers will further benefit since LeftHand Networks’ solutions are already certified to work with a wide range of HP products, including HP ProLiant servers, HP BladeSystem infrastructure, HP ProCurve Networking and HP Insight Control management software.”

Today HP offers P4000 SAN Solutions with Left Hand technologies.

Server and Storage Convergence

HP’s message from the very beginning of Storage Tech Day was that they intended to converge their server and storage infrastructure offerings. This seems to me to be creating products that by design offer similar scale out capabilities as Continue reading

HP Storage Tech Day Tweetgrid

Today I am in Colorado Springs, CO attending Storageworks Tech Day also being referred to as HP Storage Tech Day. It is a day and a half storage virtualization event hosted by HP, and I have the privilege of attending along with several other storage and virtualization bloggers.

The line up includes (with twitternames):

Calvin Zitto (@HPStorageGuy) is one of the leaders of the event, and he explains our agenda in his Around the Storage Block blog post titled Storageworks Tech Day Starting Now.

“The topics we’ll cover include:

  • Storage virtualization for enterprise customers – virtualize infrastructure, not just servers
  • Shared storage for virtual servers (SMB-focused)
  • Unified storage
  • Deduplication
  • Converged Infrastructure”

Other attendees have already posted about the event. Be sure to check these posts (along with Calvin’s above):

The official Twitter hashtag is #HPTechDay, and I’ve created a Tweetgrid after the post break if you would like to watch all tweets using the hashtage roll in live. Another option is a 3 columned Tweetgrid I’ve created for the event available here.

I’m looking forward to meeting the other bloggers and learning about HP’s storage virtualization offerings. Look for more posts on the event on VM /ETC throughout the week.

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