How about this for a mouthful:“HP ProLiant Generation 8 servers feature embedded automation and intelligence that cut life-cycle operations tasks, facilities overhead and downtime costs.”

I can tell you something else that makes the HP Gen 8 server special.

It’s got a green light on the front.

Why does that matter?

The reason is interesting because it sums up what’s so different about this amazing new- generation server.

Research carried out by HP found that one of the commonest causes of server downtime was not lack of processing power, not shortage of storage space or any other hi-tech problem.

It was just this: blundering engineers often yank out a live hard drive from a server chassis.

In other words, pulling out the hard drive while it’s operating.  The result: Data is wiped. The  whole system is brought down.

The solution: an easily visible light that reveals the status of the server.

It’s what I’d called idiot proofing.  So obvious, you might say, that it’s amazing it hasn’t been done before.  And I’d agree.

Perhaps it’s because designers of advanced hi-tech kit like servers don’t always consider that they’re operated and maintained by mere humans.

Here’s another thing HP found when it asked a few questions of people who ran its servers.

Another big cause of server downtime was people pulling out a wall plug leading to the wrong server!   So, they’ve colour-coded the cable sockets leading to the new generation 8 servers to tackle that one.

They’ve also made CPUs that will only fit one way because so many people have tried to fit CPUs the wrong way, bending the pins in the process and ruining them and probably the motherboard as well.

Again, simple idiot proofing.

Simple, yes; but this sort of thing could save a business a huge amount of money in downtime and repair costs.

This is why the HP generation 8 server is so special.  Not only does it represent the first ‘smart server’ on the market, it also features attention to detail that shows its creators have really thought about how this kind of kit is used in the real world.

But putting all this extremely down-to-earth, practical stuff aside, what is really so ‘next generation’ about this server?

Well, it’s what is meant in the paragraph I quoted at the beginning. The ‘embedded automation and intelligence’ bit.

What the generation 8 server does is quite simply unique in the market. Personally, I think it points the way to how all high-value tech devices will operate in the future, probably the very near future.

The generation 8 server constantly runs a diagnostic tool that monitors itself. This identifies any potential fault before it become serious enough to have an impact on the server’s performance.

Essentially, the generation 8 is looking for problems to solve.

Not only that, but it relays this information to either HP directly, or to an authorised HP dealer, like Virtual Distribution.  If there’s a problem, it sounds the alert and will open a channel with HP support to attempt to fix the problem remotely.

I imagine that this kind of state-of-the-art technology will unavoidably cost more when the server is launched in April.

But the short-term outlay will inevitably equate to long-term savings for any business in monitoring and maintenance.  HP estimates the return on investment for a business will be about 10 months; other calculations I’ve seen suggest more like six months.  Now that’s pretty amazing.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your servers, I’d strongly suggest taking a look at the HP Generation 8.


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