HPE Discover 2016 - Day 2

Hello again.  I hope you found some interest in my blog posts from Day 0 and Day 1 of HPE Discover 2016.  Feel free to provide feedback on any of the posts.

Day 2 for me began with a breakfast meeting with HPE Software followed by Meg's Day 2 keynote, then a Docker HOL, Cloud Optimizer HOL, an excellent DevOps culture conversation, and a visit to the Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement area of the show floor.  I skipped the HPE Discover Celebration in the evening to catch up on customers and the Day 1 blog post, so I will not have any fabulous pictures from the Discover Celebration.

Reminder: You can continue to watch live streams and recorded content here.

8:00 AM Breakfast with Jon Kozimor, Director of National Partners, HPE Software

HPE Software has been a little overwhelming for customers and partners to comprehend due to the breadth of the offerings as well as the many touchpoints withing the HPE sales organization representing software.  John joined HPE from a background in software at EMC and is working to simplify the customer and partner experience with HPE Software.  HPE Software is arranged into three divisions:
  • Enterprise Security (ArcSight, Fortify, Voltage)
  • IT Management
    • Application Delivery Management (ADM, Mercury)
    • Operations Management (Cloud Service Automation, ITSM)
    • Business Service Management (Operations Bridge, AppPulse)
  • Big Data (Vertica, Data Protector)
My colleague, Don, and I spoke to Jon about how to best help our customers solve business problems with a mix of HPE Software and plan, build and manage expertise from Rolta AdvizeX.  I personally am being asked frequently by my customers for solutions around security, multi-cloud automation, and business intelligence. I can see customer value in projects around the Enterprise Security suite, Cloud Service Automation, and Vertica.

9:00 AM General Session

Another educational and entertaining keynote.  Rather than acrobats, the keynote was opened with the new Star Trek/HPE "The Machine" video which was fun to see on the big screen.  You can watch the video and the entire keynote here:

The topic of today's keynote was Digital Disruption.  It is a common saying these days, that if you are not doing the disrupting you are being disrupted.  Meg pointed out that the barriers to entry for disruptors have been lowered.  A few technologies affecting this lowering of barriers are cloud, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and open APIs.  New entrants can easily and immediately rent what they need and take their ideas to market.  Meg mentioned how The Machine, and memory-driven computing, will allow us to solve problems that we are unable to solve today.  Part of the keynote video above showcases the HPE Labs engineers behind The Machine and how proud they are that they have started from scratch and built a new compute model using the best of what exists today including their own inventions.

Internet of Things 

The balance of the keynote was dedicated to IoT and the statistic that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020.  General Electric was highlighted in a video predicting that the next ten years will see the Commercial Internet be accompanied by a new Industrial Internet.  GE has already built their own Industrial Internet, Predix Cloud, built on Proliant servers that they use internally and rent to outside companies.

After the GE video, Doctor James Truchard, CEO National Instruments, took the stage with Meg to discuss their experience with IoT.  To tell you the truth, I think the Discover exhaustion got to me at this point and my mind left my body for about 20 minutes ;-)

Following Doctor Truchard, Antonio Neri, EVP HPE Enterprise Group, returned to announce a new product category from HPE - Industrialized Compute.  HPE's line of servers is named Edgeline and is designed for device manageability, security and harsh physical environments.  You can learn more about Edgeline here.


[Photo Credit: HPE Discover Web Site]

Meg next introduced the very dynamic speaker, Luke Williams.  Mr. Williams is a professor at the NYU Stern School of Business as well as the author of "Disrupt. Think the Unthinkable to Spark Innovation in Your Business".  This guy knows how to captivate a room of 10,000 people.  He had the house lights on, he wandered through the crowd, he used slides that were one picture and no words.  Some of Luke's key points were:
  • Complacency is dangerous.  Complacency leaves no room for innovation.
  • Incremental change is not enough.  Incremental change has a diminishing rate of return.
  • Businesses need an even number of disruptive ideas to incremental ideas
  • Be the leader in disruptive change in your organization
  • Pay attention to irrelevant information
  • There is too much time spent on prediction and not enough time spent on deliberate provocation
  • Disruption has to deliver value
Luke's closing recommendations were these:
  • Craft a disruptive hypothesis
  • Define a disruptive market opportunity
  • Generate several disruptive ideas
  • Shape a disruptive solution
  • Make a disruptive pitch
Luke then brought three disruptive innovators on stage for a panel discussion: Neel Mehta, Harvard student driving government transparency; Tobias Knaup, Co-Founder of Mesosphere; Premal Shah, Founder of Kiva.  These panelists discussed the motivation, mindset, and methods that allowed them to be successful in disruption.

Meg then thanked Luke and the panelists and closed with disruption.  She pointed out that 60% of businesses are just starting with digital transformation.  HPE and partners are here to assist with that digital transformation using solutions including converged, cloud, security, HAVEn, Vertica, Aruba, and IoT. 

11:30 AM Composable Infrastructure ecosystem in action; Docker (Hands-on Lab)

OK, back to the deep technical education to find out what really works and where the future is headed.  I will tell you that the Docker Hands on Lab really opened my eyes to a future where containers could easily replace virtual machines.  It is no wonder that both Microsoft and VMware have embraced containers.

This lab was really enjoyable.  One of my goals for Discover was to stretch and this lab helped me stretch my understanding, and appreciation, for containers. I was impressed that firewall rules and port forwarding can be specified in the command line that creates the container.  During the lab, we became familiar with creating and running containers as well as docker hosts.  The latter sections of the lab had us integrate Docker with OneView and Insight Control Server Provisioning so that a single docker-machine command built a physical host from a server profile, installed Linux and then docker host on that physical server.  A great example of composable infrastructure.

Feel free to grab the full lab guide here.

2:30 PM Composable Infrastructure ecosystem in action; HPE Cloud Optimizer (Hands-On Lab)

HPE Cloud Optimizer is like vRealize Operations - if vRealize Operations supported OneView, vSphere, Hyper-V, Xen, OpenStack, and Amazon.  HPE Cloud Optimizer allows you to analyze risk and capacity and perform what-if analysis on your current heterogeneous cloud environment.  I am considering using Cloud Optimizer to help customers get a handle on how efficiently they are using their clouds and where they could improve.

Feel free to grab the full lab guide here.

4:30 PM Creating a collaborative culture for winning with DevOps (Discussion Forum)

This session was another 30-minute discussion forum on the show floor.  A woman from HPE Worldwide Education Services (Jeanette Jacobs) and a woman who is the Worldwide CTO for DevOps for HPE Software (Kan Tang) were the facilitators.  Any well-working IT organization is a balance of people, process, and technology.  DevOps, and the move to DevOps, is no different.  The people dimension tends to require the greatest amount of investment as change is hard.  For one customer, an engagement for a move to DevOps was broken down into three major phases:

  • CI&T Governance plan and body charter
  • Communication plan and awareness campaign
  • Stakeholder and program analysis

I recommend that you check out Kan's paper on LinkedIn here.

4:00 PM Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA) Section

Well, seeing that I had to sign a confidentiality agreement, I cannot really divulge anything here in writing.  During this first of two visits to the CDA area, I did see some impressive networking, StoreVirtual and OneView futures.  I will tell you this: if there is something you have been wanting to see, chances are you will see that in the next 12 months. I expected the networking and OneView futures.  I was surprised at the breadth of the StoreVirtual futures.  Keep your eye on those spaces.

8:00 PM HPE Discover Celebration

[Photo Credit: https://www.hpe.com/events/discover/]

I'm embarrassed to say that, for the first time, I skipped the Discover celebration to stay in.  Pretty sad. I had two days of customer follow-up I needed to complete as well as this blog to work on.  I spoke to a few colleagues and customers who did attend and it sounded like a great event.  There was a professional group of musicians that kept changing costumes, roles on stage and musical styles all night playing something to please everyone in the crowd.

Being Critical

Someone I respect suggested that I be more critical in my blog posts and point out more negatives that I experienced during HPE Discover so that it does not look like I am being paid by HPE to write these posts.  To be clear, I am not being compensated by anyone to write these posts.  I am writing these posts as I feel it is my responsibility to share my experiences during HPE Discover to help my customers and colleagues as well as to repay the huge investment that it takes to send someone to this conference.  Here are a few critical observations that I would like to share:

  • It is very hot in the desert in June.  Obvious, but still surprising.
  • The profitable future of IT is in software and services.  I am glad to see that HPE is giving their customers compelling, secure and automated solutions to keep IT on premise, but over time, a larger and larger percentage of IT will move to SaaS, ITaaS and PaaS.  HPE needs to aggressively grow their relevance and revenue in the software space.  The same advice goes out to HPE's partners.
I hope you found this post interesting and educational.  I would love to receive your feedback.