Ingram Micro Solution Center

Friday I flew to Santa Ana, California to visit the Ingram Micro Solution Center. Now flying to California and back all in one day was quite the adventure. It involved waking up at 4:30 AM to catch a 7:30 AM flight, and not walking back in my home until 11:30 PM – a 19 hour day (with 6 of those hours in the air). Why would I do this you ask? For an opportunity to get hands on with HP Blade servers and EVA storage.

The guys that work at the solution center have the coolest jobs on earth. Day in and day out, they get to work with customers (like me) in a non-production environment where everything is there for education and experimentation. We got to get “hands on” with the new C-Class server blades. We attached them to the network, logged in to the management interfaces for the first time, and used HP rapid deployment pack tools to “push” down preconfigured Windows server images.

As if that wasn’t enough fun, we then used the EVA tools to “publish” fiber channel SAN storage to the blades. We added more storage, performed storage expansions, and even took snapshots and clones of the data. The business copy features can automate (via script) the snap and clone process – evening mounting those volumes to another server for backup or development testing. The Business Copy software can also handle the replication between multiple EVA systems.

In short, it’s not just about the hardware. The management tools make the solution. Now it is up to us to determine how we use these tools to meet the business demands for availability, scalability, and performance.

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