By 15 February 2012 | Categories: news


continued from Part 1
At the launch of HP's new ProLiant Gen8 servers, Mark Potter asserted that the net result of deploying the new servers is a conservative estimate of five months return on investment, while doubling a data centre’s capacity.
He continued that that the new technology was not solely about “doing things better” such as in offering a start up time of three seconds, but was also aimed at offering a way to “do things smarter.”
One such example of this includes being able to eliminate manual operations such as server updates, which typically took five hours of administrator time per rack of servers.
The new HP Smart Update feature, however, would enable a business to update its server’s drivers and firmware remotely using their smartphone or tablet as well as by scanning a QR code if desired, and perform the same update in considerably less time.
The list of savings offered by the new servers is impressive and extensive. In a nutshell, the following are some of the main savings and benefits that HP asserted will be afforded ProLiant Gen8 users:
  • Nearly double compute-per-watt capacity and potential financial saving of $7 million (R56 million) in energy costs in a typical data centre over three years.
  • Increase of computing capacity of 70% due to the HP 3-D Sea of Sensors, which identifies over-utilized servers based on real-time location, power, workload and temperature data.
  • Reduction of time spent on manual operations, such as server updates, from five hours down to ten minutes, freeing up administrator’s time for better productivity.
  • Resolution of unplanned downtime issues up to 66% faster, affording an incalculable benefit considering the potential $10 million per hour cost of unplanned downtime.
  • Saving in excess of 30 days of administration time a year per person in a typical 10 000 square-foot data center, due to the acceleration of application deployment and automation of manual tasks.
The Human Factor
However, it quickly became apparent that the new ProLiant Gen8 servers don’t simply implement new technologies, but also address common issues to which data centres are vulnerable. The main one amongst these takes into account that the self-sufficiency of the new servers does not eradicate the possibility for human error.
Potter explained that, for example, an industry wide problem was that data centre customers often go into the data centre and remove the wrong drive, which results in data loss.
In response, the ProLiant Gen8 server boasts a new SmartDrive technology, which tells technicians via LED light warnings, which drive must not be removed to prevent data loss.
Another common problem was technicians bending the pins on the motherboard when inserting the processor. To address this problem, the company elaborated that this was a “large warranty event” and thus it introduced a new patented approach called SmartSocket.
Instead of placing a processor onto the motherboard and potentially damaging them, SmartSocket allows users to slide the processor into a separate tray, which then precisely aligns itself to the motherboard pins.   
The SmartSocket protects motherboards from being damaged
when the processor is installed.
To the point
While the claims of a complete and utter transformation of the IT industry with regards to business solutions was unapologetically bold, what we saw and heard in Las Vegas seemed to herald a significant watershed moment for the industry.
While advances in servers and storage may usually be one of those developments that happens in the background and is given little attention to by technology enthusiasts, it is nonetheless the backbone of many businesses that users benefit from.
Moreover, the ramifications of the announcement - what it can mean to businesses of every size, to the industry as a whole, and to users who rely on and benefit from data centres and servers, left us with the distinct impression that we were witnessing yet another watershed moment for the technology industry.
We suspect the launch may well play a significant role in the uncharted and unfathomable horizons which the technology industry seems so intent on exploring.
To continue to part one, please click here.  


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