10 cool things about HP ProLiant servers

used with permission from HP Technology at Work

In today’s data centers, an IT manager’s life is more hectic than it should be. Error alerts, system events, installation and update issues, and calls to support desks make it hard to get anything done. But HP’s next generation of servers—HP ProLiant Gen8—revolutionalizes that experience. Allowing IT professionals to monitor networks remotely and lightening their loads via a slew of automated, intelligent features, these really are the world’s most self-sufficient servers. Here’s why:

  1. Early video. We designed in the ability to display video within 3 seconds after the server is powered on. This is in contrast to previous generation servers which could take one or more minutes to receive video, thus giving customers status and error alerts where previously they would receive a black screen no boot error.
  2. HP Intelligent Provisioning. Everything you need is pre-loaded for painless system setup and deployment. In fact, this leads to 45% fewer steps and 3 times faster deployment.
  3. HP Active Health. Your 24/7 mission control for automated monitoring, diagnostics, and alerting. The goal of HP Active Health is to log potentially useful information before any failure occurs, giving you 5 times faster problem analysis.
  4. Agentless Management. Get all core management functions for internal system components including health monitoring and alerting without ANY drivers or agents installed. Enhanced intelligence = higher performance for managed systems.
  5. HP Smart Update. Part of our new “smart movement” in Gen8 servers, this technology lets you sequence, stage and schedule consistent updates across hundreds of servers at once, resulting in 69% less admin time.
  6. HP Smart Storage. Smart drive carriers and solid state-optimized, HP Gen8 servers provide a balanced system architecture consisting of HP Smart Storage, HP SmartMemory and HP Flexible Networking technology, delivering 6 times faster solid state storage performance versus previous generations.
  7. Discovery Services. With embedded intelligence across three dimensions (location, power utilization and thermal demand), users gain a unique level of visibility and control over their data center energy efficiency.
    • HP Location Discovery Services: Enable energy-aware workload placement and automate asset management.
    • HP Thermal Discovery Services: Reduce energy usage and increase compute capacity.
    • HP Power Discovery Services: Eliminate power configuration errors and precisely track power usage by rack and server.
  8. HP Insight Online. The industry’s first cloud-based management and support portal gives you anywhere, anytime, any-device (and user-friendly) access to track server health and events and rapidly resolve issues.
  9. Elegant system design. Virtually eliminate common problems that cause downtime and data loss with designed-in quality throughout and intuitive simplicity—like a Smart Socket Guide to eliminate bent pins.
  10. FlexibleLOM. A choice of LOM gives you flexibility, cost savings, and component serviceability. In fact, you can customize your server’s networking today and change to meet future needs without overhauling server infrastructure.
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Microsoft Surface: What’s It All About?

 

Time will tell if the speculation that Microsoft’s Surface is indeed the “iPad killer”. The launch of Surface was met with mixed reviews; Microsoft’s Windows division president Steven Sinofsky’s demonstration showed Surface encountering issues surfing, playing games and smoothly playing media. Despite the frustration of a less than perfect first look, Surface still looks like it will live up to Microsoft’s hype.

At first sight Surface looks like the offspring of a laptop and a tablet. It is sleek and slim at just 9.3-millimeters thick with what Microsoft calls a “revolutionary” 3-millimeter keyboard/cover. The pressure sensitive cover magnetically attaches directly to the tablet. The integrated kickstand eliminates the need to purchase an additional cover with a stand. Built tough, Surface has a VaporMg casing that is made to protect the hardware inside and boasts a smooth finish.

At 10.6 inches the 16:9 widescreen HD display is large enough to share a viewing experience with a co-worker or friend. Surface is media friendly with auto-adjusting screen intensity and an SD card slot. Microsoft notes that Surface’s screen can be seen indoors or out. Surface is being promoted for use at home, in the office or on the go. Microsoft is calling the battery “great” but not revealing how long the battery actually lasts. Surface features a USB port for printing, charging your phone or sharing.

Surface will come in two different versions running different operating systems, one geared towards business clients and the other geared towards home users. The business version will run Windows Pro 8, and the home version will run Windows RT. RT is designed to run Metro Apps and will not be able to run full programs that Window’s users are accustomed to. However, those who have and use a Windows phone will find RT very easy to understand and use. Surface tablets that are running Windows 8 will offer a 42 W-h battery and options for 64gb or 128gb storage. The storage options for Windows 8 Pro models offer double the storage of RT models. Additionally the Windows 8 Surface is 13.5-millimeters in thickness, slightly thicker than the RT model.

Beyond tech, Surface has a fun side and has covers available in five vibrant colors. All in all, there are still many unknowns regarding Surface including ship dates and the all-important price tag What we do know is that Surface looks great and offers several standout features that may not make it the “iPad killer” but may make it a contender in the tablet market.

*Used with permission from Microsoft at Work

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Disruptive Technology

Disruptive Technology

Can you make it to the end of this article without getting distracted?

I admit, in writing an article advocating less technology, I feel as sheepish as Anheuser-Busch must feel in posting the “Enjoy Responsibly” tag at the end of one of their million dollar Super Bowl commercials. But this problem of office distractions has been gnawing at me since Outlook began popping up email notifications some 10+ years ago. Ding! Hey, there’s another one… [Read more…]

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News on HP and Hard Drive Shortage

Hitachi

Ken McClelland — Vice-President of Sales, Network Management Group, Inc.

 

There are a couple of things that have transpired in the computer industry in the last month that I believe are worthwhile to note. First, a typhoon caused massive flooding to parts of Thailand at the end of August. This flooding has covered about one-third of Thailand’s surface area. What does this have to do with technology you ask? The flooding has had serious impact on the countries manufacturing business, notably the manufacturing of computer hard drives. Thailand accounts for approximately twenty five percent of the world’s hard drive production. Supply chains for hard drive manufacturing in other countries will be disrupted as well. Factories that produce components used in over 70% of worldwide hard drives produced by Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, Toshiba and Samsung have been damaged as well. Industry analysts are noting that the reduced manufacturing capacity will cause inventory constraints and increased prices throughout the end of the year and into the first quarter of next year. Please keep this under consideration as you plan your year-end computer purchases as well as your budgeting for 2012 Q1.

On a brighter note, Meg Whitman (Hewlett Packard President and CEO) announced last week that HP will not sell off its Personal Systems Group. The Personal Systems Group (PSG) is the business unit responsible for the manufacture and sales of desktop, workstation and mobile computers. This unit was the number one manufacturer of personal computers in 2010 with worldwide revenues totaling $40.7 billion. This accounts for over one third of Hewlett Packard’s overall revenue, the number ten ranked company on America’s 2010 Fortune 500 list.

This follows former Hewlett Packard CEO Leo Apotheker shocking the technology industry on August 18th when he announced that HP was exploring “strategic alternatives” for its PSG unit. These alternatives may have included a sale or spin-off of the Personal Systems Group. In a written statement Meg Whitman states, “It’s clear after our analysis that keeping the Personal Systems Group within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees. HP is committed to PSG, and together we are stronger.” Hewlett Packard believes the PC business is too ingrained in the company’s supply chain and other key HP operations to let it go. Computers also help promote HP’s brand, and are a crucial part of the company’s “one-stop shop” services that it offers to corporate customers, HP said.

“As part of HP, PSG will continue to give customers and partners the advantages of product innovation and global scale across the industry’s broadest portfolio of PCs, workstations and more,” said Todd Bradley, head of HP’s Personal Systems unit. “We intend to make the leading PC business in the world even better.”

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