Day 2 started early with the first sessions beginning around 8.30am. I won’t bore you with the details of my day, but I will go through three really great new products / features I spent time learning about. Much of the info below came from slides, or discussions with product managers / engineers, so should not be taken as gospel!
I have to admit I have been a little lax in having a look at OneView as yet. I took the opportunity at the event to have a chat with some of the OneView engineers, and take the hands on lab. If you haven’t already done so, and you have any HP kit on premises, I strongly suggest you take a look at this product! I’m not going to go into any depth here, except to describe one of my favourite features.
OneView has the ability to connect into your servers, storage, and fabric, then auto-deploy, configure and manage your environment, end-to-end. An example of this might be if you are provisioning a new server. OneView can create new volumes based on specific policies, auto-configure all of your SAN zoning between your server initiator and targets (with single initiator, multiple target or single initiator, single array options only for now), then build the OS, configure and mount the storage on the server. How cool is that?
This is currently based on a specific subset of vendors, mainly only HP and Brocade AFAIK, but other vendors are being added in the future.
Having played with it in the lab, I can confirm that it is pretty easy to learn and use, with most information and configurations layed out reasonably intuitively in the BUI.
ProLiant Gen9 Features
As I understand it, one of the key strategies behind the new ProLiant range is to ensure that HP are not losing on price / value against some of their less pricey competitors (who shall of course remain nameless as you know who they are already!). The premise here is that instead of buying top of the range servers with all the wizardry built in by default (with an appropriately top of the range price!), you can start with a base unit and only add the features you actually need. A prime example of this being that you don’t need a storage controller if you just boot from USB for a hypervisor!
This strategy has led to the removal (by default, you can configure it back again) of things like 10Gb FlexibleLOM network ports, front panel fault indicators, the onboard RAID card is now a plugin module, etc. The theory being that the Gen 9 servers, though newer, should actually come in at a better price point than their Gen 8 ancestors. The marketing shpiel is that the new Gen 9 servers deliver “the right compute for the right workload at the right economics every time”.
Cheesy marketing slogan? Absolutely!
Do they seem to deliver on this? From some of the indicative pricing I’ve seen so far, I’d say yes…
Just as a quick overview of the new ranges:
- 10 Series (DL60 / DL80 Gen 9)
- The 10 series is designed to be an entry level model for SMBs. These also now come with dual PSU as a CTO option, which suddenly makes them a lot more attractive in my mind.
- 100 Series (DL160 / DL180 Gen 9)
- This is not the same as the old 100 series machines from the G7 era and before. It is effectively equivalent to a DL3x0e (entry) machine in the previous generation ranges.
- 300 Series (DL360 / DL380 Gen 9)
- This now equates to the original DL3x0p series of machines, and has the maximum scalability and performance in mind.
I suggest checking the quick specs for more info!
3PAR File Personas
As regards one of my favourite announcements from the entire event (apart from The Machine, which I will do a post on some time in the future), I was able to gather some more info on the awesome new File Personas announcement.
The first, most notable fact was that the HP are so confident in the resilience of their new arrays, that they are offering a 99.9999% Availability Guarantee! Many SLAs in the IT industry are not necessarily a guarantee of a claimed level of availability, but more a level of commercial risk accepted by the vendor or provider. That said, going with “Six Nines” definitely shows belief in your product set!
A few nuggets of info I gleaned from attending the File Personas breakout session were as follows:
- Priority Optimisation will work but is not currently certified as supported. The following technologies are inherited from block persona, and are supported from day one:
- Wide striping
- Thin Provisioning
- From a multi tenancy perspective, the initial release will only utilise up to one Active Directory source per array (not per Virtual File Server) as the controllers each have machine accounts in your domain, which is somewhat disappointing as a service provider who always asks “can it be multi-tenanted?”. It will provide up to 4 IPs per virtual file server, and these can be on separate VLANs and trusts may be used, so there is some scope for flexibility.
- Licensing and configuration of virtual file servers is always based on multiples of 1TiB (note TiB not TB), but you can then use quotas to subdivide your file store allocations below this.
- The $129 per TiB is based on the amount allocated to a virtual file server, irrespective of the back end storage or thin provisioning utilisation. You will not be forced to license the entire array. For example:
- You have an array with say 100 TiB of usable space
- 10TiB allocation to a virtual file server
- 5TiB in use by end user files
- 10TiB of license required
The price point seems genuinely good value to me. Compared to the cost of purchasing, powering and managing something like a Windows File Server Cluster, it’s really a no-brainer!
That should just about do it for today! Final day tomorrow will be mainly comprised of a few more sessions followed by a looooong wait for my flight home…
Disclaimer: As an HP customer, HP kindly provided my accommodation and entry to the HP discover event, but there was no expectation or request for me to write about their products or services.