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HP’s new line of servers redefine IT administration, customer experience

(Earlier this year, HP launched the ProLiant Generation 8 (Gen8) servers, the world’s most self-sufficient line of servers. With intelligent technologies that automate tasks and significantly improve uptime, HP ProLiant Gen8 addresses the top concerns of enterprises today. In this article, Veronica A. Escalante, Category Manager, Industry Standard Servers (ISS), HP Philippines, shares details on the secret sauce in the new line of servers, the HP ProActive Insight architecture.)

The cloud era is upon us, and it’s driving insatiable demand for all things digital.

Consider these facts: Around the world, 2 billion Internet users conduct 1.6 trillion online searches each year. Facebook alone has 800 million active users. Factors like these contribute to a staggering 50 percent monthly growth rate in the volume of data.

Now consider your data center. If you have a typical 10,000 square foot data center, you can expect your storage capacity to grow by 45 percent each year—creating ever-growing management challenges. All of that data has to be stored, protected, and analyzed to create business insights.

The flood of data that washes through your data center creates a ripple effect on your server infrastructure. Every new rack of storage creates the need for an additional seven racks of servers that must be integrated into your environment, managed, powered, cooled, and supported on an ongoing basis.

And as this demand for data and content grows at a breathtaking rate, traditional server infrastructure has become a constrained resource that is impacting business growth. The volume and frequency of server management tasks, error alerts and installations are increasing expenses, resource allocation and complexity in the infrastructure, costing organizations nearly $157 billion in 2012, according to IDC.

Manual operations just to support servers can cost companies more than $24 million over three years; an average of $29 million on server energy and expenses related to facilities over three years; while unplanned downtime is estimated to cost companies as much as $10 million an hour.

Today, management expenses are three times the cost of servers, driven by the growing complexity of IT solutions. It is anticipated that these issues will be multiplied with cloud computing, leaving organizations struggling to keep pace with mounting maintenance demands.

Frankly, those are costs unsustainable in the long run. And at HP, we sent a wake-up call to the industry with multi-year initiatives. We were able to foresee ‘cloud’ and the ‘information explosion’ coming and we embarked on a three-phase plan to transform server technology and redefine data center economics:

  • In November 2011, we announced Project Moonshot, which changed how servers are built for extreme low energy computing.
  • That same month, we announced Project Odyssey, phase two of our plan, which redefined mission-critical computing by unifying the UNIX and x86 architectures on a single platform.
  • And earlier this year, we announced Project Voyageur. The culmination of our three-phase plan to transform the server industry.

A $300 million, two-year R&D program, Project Voyageur is HP’s initiative to redefine data center economics by automating every aspect of the server life cycle. To date, Project Voyageur has resulted in more than 900 patents filed and a new systems architecture called HP ProActive Insight Architecture, which will span the entire HP Converged Infrastructure.

ProActive Insight Architecture

HP ProLiant Generation 8 servers leverage the ProActive Insight architecture, a combination of tightly integrated hardware and software, to deliver continuous intelligence and management of server health, power usage and other important diagnostics.

Tested in more than 100 data centers by real-world customers, including Banco De Oro (BDO), HP ProLiant Gen8 servers automate lifecycle management, accelerate application performance and maximize availability by eliminating common tasks and problems. As a result, routine tasks are automated, giving back nearly 30-days a year per IT staff, enabling organizations to reallocate resources to focus on innovation.

The HP ProActive Insight architecture fundamentally redefines how administration is performed across the entire server life cycle. Incorporating three major innovations, the HP ProActive Insight architecture with Integrated Lifecycle Automation simplifies common tasks to keep systems running at peak performance, with an estimated 93 percent less downtime during updates than with previous generations of ProLiant technology. These Integrated Lifecycle Automation innovations include:

  • Intelligent Provisioning enables organizations to get systems online three times faster with a fully integrated server and operating system configuration tool. It is a single embedded tool that automates server setup and configuration tasks, eliminating physical media such as CDs and DVDs that complicate deployment, as well as 45 percent of traditional setup steps.
  • Active Health System allows administrators to collect troubleshooting information five times faster by continuously monitoring more than 1,600 system parameters and securely logging all configuration changes. It acts as a 24/7 “Mission Control” for servers with fully automated monitor, diagnostic and alert features designed to maximize uptime.
  • And Smart Update is a system maintenance tool with one-click simplicity that systematically updates servers and blade infrastructures at the scale of the data center. It manages deployment of firmware, drivers and tools to execute system updates in parallel across the infrastructure.

ProActive Insight Architecture is the foundation for multiple generations of technology to follow and has contributed to several industry firsts. Today, ProActive Insight architecture is more than a design or even a transforming design philosophy. It’s also the alignment of over 900 patents, over 150 customer innovations and an alliance of the world’s top technology provider allied to transform the server experience.

More information on HP’s ProLiant technology, including ProActive Insight Architecture is available  at hp.com/go/proliantgen8.

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Tags: Facebook , HP ProActive Insight Architecture , infotech , Internet , IT administration

  • NoWorryBHappy

    HP’s server tool, the i-LO that is used to remotely manage and monitor the Proliant DL series, is indeed very ingenious, innovative and productive tool. The problems are that the ProLiant server are
    - expensive
    - have a short span life of four years
    - not backward compatible with Linux OS (the drivers are not upgraded as the OS advances) 
    - incompatible with each other (you cannot use a memory module from a DL-383 with a DL-386)
    - the utility to install/upgrade i-LO, sum, must be made more user-friendly

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