HP Discover: First day roundup

Convergence was one of the main topics of the day and HP showed it perfectly with a convergence of their own: Merging their hardware and software shows into a new all-in-one conference dubbed HP Discover. Although convergence was a major topic, there were many other topics discussed including several product announcements, companies moving to the cloud, and the big splash of the show, the HP EcoPOD.

For all of the things that were announced it seems that the talk of the show has been focused on what hasn't been talked about, namely information on when HP's entry into the tablet market, the TouchPad, will occur. During the keynote, CEO Léo Apotheker showed some of the many uses of the device, but would only say that the TouchPad would be available, "very shortly."

Some of the highlights from the day:

  • New storage products announced: 5000-series, X9000 IBRIX, and P6000 EVA.
  • New Vertica appliance anounced.
  • HP EcoPOD, a modular datacenter, is highly efficient and can reduce IT infrastructure costs. Roughly 2.5% of all energy usage in the United States is consumed by data centers.
  • HP will soon have a public cloud offering. While there were no details, the assumption is that it will compete against Amazon's elastic cloud.
  • Nothing specific, but vSphere 5 is just around the corner

Some observations from the day:

  • HP hates Oracle, and that's an understatement. They constantly pitted Vertica against Exadata, claiming that Vertica is open standards whereas Oracle is closed and you don't want to be locked in.
  • The "cloud" is the most disruptive technology since the invention of the PC. Most people are saying that most data will soon be in the cloud, whether it be public or private. In fact, Heartland Payment Systems is planning on moving all of their data from their mainframe into the public cloud. Yes, the same company that was involvedin the TJ Maxx credit card issue.
  • Many interesting quotes, but one of the best that really captured the "Instant-On" mantra that has been preached all day came from Don Tapscott: "A kid once told me, 'If the news is important, the news will find me.'"

Some details from the TouchPad demo:

  • Comes with HTML5 and Flash out of the box
  • JustType allows users to type something in and the tablet will find what you're looking for automatically. It looked like a search in Windows 7 on steroids.
  • The tablet has great graphics for gaming, but the emphasis is still on the business side. It uses Citrix Receiver to allow companies to publish applications for easy access and all of the heavy lifting is done on the server, transferring only the needed data to the tablet.
  • The TouchPad tethers to the Pre3, allowing you to take phone calls on either so they don't have to be next to each other. In addition, you can transfer data by simply tapping the Pre3 to the TouchPad.

Tomorrow we will be able to dig deeper into the technology and get some hands on time with some new toys to share with you.

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