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HP keynote splash goes on Web from Forum

SmokeTF Complete with comedian Jake Johannsen as host, HP's splashy keynote show from last week's Technology Forum is online for lunchtime viewing at its website. The show's comedy starts at the 10:00 mark, while HP's czar of servers, storage and networks, Dave Donatelli, outlines the Converged Infrastructure product lineup starting at 20:00.

For a taste of the technical drill-down into the details behind the BladeSystem Matrix technology included in HP's new server products, HP engineer Nigel Cook -- inventor of the magic that configures extra processing power in a flash -- demonstrated the interface staring around the 1 hour, 3-minute mark. Cook is among a new cast of HP technical experts that Hewlett-Packard is pressing into customer videos and presentations. He shows how ProLiant and Integrity blades can be assembled through virtual machines to meet unexpected needs.

"It looks very simple here," Cook says, "but if you're doing this without Matrix, it can take months."

Cook-Donatelli Converged Infrastructure sounds, from Donatelli's overview, like more than a way to "reduce IT sprawl." Reconfiguring blade servers on the fly is a way to cover your needs "in SuperBowl time, when a marketing department ran an ad." Given that such an ad runs more than a half-million dollars, you can get an idea at where HP wants to sell the Infrastructure with its own salespeople.

But HP's also got a reseller channel to push these products out to the smaller customers who have made migration their new path into the IT future. If your marketing department doesn't have half-million ad buys on its radar, you still might need to accommodate sudden surges in sales. Donatelli described the ideal (from HP's perspective) moment of need, expressed by business units to IT managers.

"We didn't know it would be so good," he imagines the conversation. "I need a lot of Infrastructure, and I need it quickly." In plainer terms, IT needs might surface overnight, or inside a week, or after a budget has been set for operations. You're not supposed to need to scramble to respond to this, if you carry that Convergent Infrastructure at the ready.

HP had capacity on demand offerings more than seven years ago, just like IBM. The concept has evolved to include storage and leans on virtualization, technology that has improved (faster, more granular) as well as dropped in price. So it's probably within the reach of the midsize HP 3000 customer, but in the sub-category of "build-out" IT. That's the kind that starts in a small configuration you might increase, with supplemental purchases.

Johannsen on Floor Johannsen might have put the audience at ease by pricking the HP balloon of rocket-launch adjectives. "It's good to know that we're the shape-shifters," he cracks after he strides through the dry-ice fog of the musical intro. He thanks the band and then goes into the comedy that pokes at HP's hyperdrive summary of Converged Infrastructure.

Jake: The beauty of the Superdome is...

HP booth guy: That it is a scalable, grow-as-you-go architecture that allows customers to grow applications as they need, right? That's it in one sentence.

Jake: Awesome. All I can say is, "Who dat?"

HP is selling this message to the sales force and pre-sales tech staff as much as to the customers at the Tech Forum. Some of the HP folks might hear the equivalent of "Who dat?" at the smaller sites. Spending some time with the HP smoke and joke show online, along with tech specifics from experts like Bruce, could at least carry you beyond Who Dat -- which is not the latest backup solution, by the way.