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.