HP Tech Day (#hpbladesday) – Final Thoughts (REVISED)

(revised 5/4/2010)

First, I’d like to thank HP for inviting me to HP Tech Day in Houston. I’m honored that I was chosen and hope that I’m invited back – event after my challenging questions about the Tolly Report. It was a fun packed day and a half, and while it was a great event, I won’t miss having to hashtag (#hpbladesday) all my tweets. I figured I’d use this last day to offer up my final thoughts – for what they are worth.

Blogger AttendeesShare photos on twitter with Twitpic
As some of you may know, I’m still the rookie of this blogging community – especially in the group of invitees, so I didn’t have a history with anyone in the group, except Rich Brambley of http://vmetc.com .  However, this did not matter, as they all welcomed me as if I were one of their own.  In fact, they even treated me to a practical joke, letting me walk around HP’s Factory Express tour for hal an hour with a Proliant DL180 G6 sticker on my back (thanks to Stephen and Greg for that one.) Yes, that’s me in the picture.

All jokes aside, these bloggers were top class, and they offer up some great blogs, so if you don’t check them out daily, please make sure to visit them.  Here’s the list of attendees and their sites:

Rich Brambley: http://vmetc.com

Greg Knieriemen: http://www.storagemonkeys.com/  and http://iKnerd.com
Also check out Greg’s notorious podcast, “Infosmack” (if you like it, make sure to subscribe via iTunes)

Chris Evans: http://thestoragearchitect.com

Simon Seagrave: http://techhead.co.uk

John Obeto: http://absolutelywindows.com 
(don’t mention VMware or Linux to him, he’s all Microsoft)

Frank Owen: http://techvirtuoso.com

Martin Macleod: http://www.bladewatch.com/

Stephen Foskett: http://gestaltit.com/ and http://blog.fosketts.net/

Devang Panchigar: http://www.storagenerve.com

A special thanks to the extensive HP team who participated in the blogging efforts as well. 

HP Demos and Factory Express Tour
I think I got the most out of this event from the live demos and the Factory Express tour.  These are things that you can read about, but until you see them in person, you can’t appreciate the value that HP brings to the table, through their product design and through their services.

The image on the left shows the MDS6000 MDS600 storage shelf – something that I’ve read about many times, but until I saw it, I didn’t realize how cool, and useful, it was.  70 drives in a 5u space.  That’s huge.  Seeing things like this, live and in person, is what these HP Tech Days need to be about.  Hands-on, live demos. and tours of what makes HP tick.

The Factory Express Tour was really cool.  I think we should have been allowed to work the line for an hour along with the HP employees.  On this tour we saw how customized HP Server builds go from being an order, to being a solution.  Workers like the one in the picture on the right typically do 30 servers a day, depending on the type of server.  The entire process involves testing and 100% audits to insure accuracy.

My words won’t do HP Factory Express justice, so check out this video from YouTube:

For a full list of my pictures taken during this event, please check out:
http://tweetphoto.com/user/kevin_houston

http://picasaweb.google.com/101667790492270812102/HPTechDay2010#

Feedback to the HP team for future events:
1) Keep the blogger group small
2) Keep it to HP demos and presentations (no partners, please)
3) More time on hands-on, live demos and tours.  This is where the magic is.
4) Try and do this at least once a quarter.  HP’s doing a great job building their social media teams, and this event goes a long way in creating that buzz.

Thanks again, HP, and to Ivy Worldwide (http://www.ivyworldwide.com) for doing a great job.  I hope to attend again!

Disclaimer: airfare, accommodations and meals are being provided by HP, however the content being blogged is solely my opinion and does not in anyway express the opinions of HP.