10 Scintillating Scenes From HP Discover 2011

HP Discover: Drinking From The Enterprise IT Firehose

HP Discover 2011, held last week in Las Vegas, culminated in a private concert by Paul McCartney, but that was preceded by three days of some serious heavy lifting, much of it centered on HP's data center business. Roughly 10,000 attendees heard about the galloping progress HP is making with its Converged Infrastructure portfolio, as well as in cloud computing, virtualization and enterprise services.

Following are 10 glimpses from HP Discover 2011 that accurately convey the feeling of being at the event and the messages the $126 billion IT giant brought to bear in conjunction with some of its largest technology partners.

Bright Future

Fusion-io, an HP OEM partner, showed off its HP IO Accelerator demo on the Discover 2011 show floor. Fusion-io's storage memory boosting technology handles an insane amount of data throughput and tackles I/O bottlenecks while increasing application performance and reducing data latencies. Fusion-io also had its IPO last week and saw shares jump more than 30 percent.

HP's Most Famous 'Partner'

There were tons of partners at HP Discover, including one who has sold in excess of 15.5 million records in the U.S. That's right: Paul McCartney is partnering with HP to help solve the nettlesome issue of what to do with all the digital content the rock legend has generated over more than five decades.

McCartney, as one might expect, has created a lot of photos, videos, paintings, and other artistic content over the years. And then there are the songs. To get a handle on it all, McCartney's company, MPL Communications, is working with HP to digitize all this content and get it all in a Web-accessible format.

At Discover 2011, HP wasted no opportunity to talk about the digital library it's building for McCartney and how the tech giant's IT portfolio is uniquely well suited for this challenge.

Technology Expo Or Techno Lounge?

Low light and vibrant colors were the theme at Discover 2011, which meant that many scenes at the show were virtually indiscernible from the ones taking place inside the Venetian's bars and casinos.

Here show attendees are seen discussing the advantages of HP's application transformation strategy, while a bit further back, folks were hammering out the details of hybrid cloud delivery, over a few cocktails.

Microsoft's Trailblazing Sloganeering

Microsoft's new corporate tagline, "Be What's Next", debuted last July and was on display at Discover 2011. It sounds like a play on Ram Dass' seminal 1971 book 'Be Here Now' that's been skewed into forward looking form. OK, it's better than the old "Your Potential. Our Passion" slogan but still enigmatic as all get-out. It may have been true more than a decade ago, but in areas like mobility it's borderline comical.

Sign Of A Coming Techpocalypse?

Anyone who worked in IT during the Dotcom Bust surely shuddered when they saw this large and intricately carved ice sculpture at Intel's booth. That's because ice sculptures were an extremely common sight during the late 90's boom, when every night a different startup would throw a big party to show how well equipped they were to burn through mountains of venture capital. Intel's was just one of a smattering of ice sculptures at Discover 2011, but this is one ominous sign that bears further scrutiny.

Swing, Batter

Let's be honest: A technology expo wouldn't even be worth mentioning if it weren't replete with booth games, and Red Hat's was no exception. Here we see a Discover 2011 attendee trying his hand at an interactive baseball video game. Either that, or he's simply fed up with the sluggish performance of his laptop and exacting some richly deserved revenge on the infernal piece of hardware.

Introducing Performance Optimized Data Centers

Discover 2011 attendees crowd around an HP spokesman to hear more about HP POD 240a, the first model in HPs' new line of Performance Optimized Data Centers (PODs).

The POD 240a, also known as EcoPOD, uses up to 95 percent less energy than traditional data centers, offering Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) as low as 1.05. HP says traditional data centers have an average PUE of around 2.0. HP POD 240a also includes the equivalent of 10,000 square feet of data center space

HP says it can design and deliver EcoPODs to customers in 12 weeks, compared to the years it takes to build a bricks-and-mortar data center. HP also says PODs offer 75 percent savings on data center construction right off the bat.

Overflow Parking

With some 10,000 in attendance at Discover 2011, and Las Vegas swelling with an inordinate number of tourists, parking space was at a premium. Which perhaps explains why someone was compelled to park their vehicle on the expo floor.

Cloud Experts In The Hizzy

HP spent much of Discover 2011 hammering home its hybrid cloud delivery message, and the company unveiled new support services for CloudSystem, its platform for building and managing cloud services across private, public and hybrid environments. HP's new Support Services for CloudSystem covers all CloudSystem elements -- including hardware, management software, storage, networking and virtualization -- under a single support agreement.

HP also had plenty of cloud experts roaming the expo floor and offering to guide attendees through the miasma of confounding cloud lingo.

HP's Services & Industries Pavilion

A glimpse at HP's bustling Services and Industries Pavilion, where Discover 2011 attendees could learn about where cloud fits with just about every business case imaginable, invariably resulting in lower IT costs and more efficient, flexible infrastructure.