While most of the industry is focused on Hewlett-Packard's rise in the software segment, punctuated this week with the latest collaboration with Microsoft, there were some significant new developments on the hardware front as well.
In short, HP's coming year will focus around one thing: blades. With volume manufacturing, the company hopes to leverage the technology on both the server and storage sides. Not surprisingly, this fits in nicely with the software efforts, considering Microsoft is also keenly interested in business productivity suites and adjunct hosted services.
HP is also jumping on a new trend in the blade industry, blade workstations. These devices can be set up remotely so that a single station housed in the data center can serve a number of hardware appliances in the office, manufacturing shop or trading floor. It will be interesting to see if HP can successfully transition from LAN connectivity to an IP approach, if for nothing else than to cut down on the amount of wiring that will be needed.
And one of the least-noticed advancements for HP, and others, is Intel's NetStructure single board server, which is likely to make up the guts of the HP bh5700 series server aimed at carrier-class operations. The system is powered by the Xeon 5138 with an eye toward extreme database applications, as well as IP Multimedia Subsystems.
Clearly, HP thinks blades are the wave of the future. And with pressure on users to trim operating costs, improve storage management and enhance customer experiences, the company has at least settled on a way forward.