Good bye 2012 – A year in review for Microsoft

2012 has been a huge year for Microsoft – one if not they biggest since its beginning on April 4, 1975. Some of their achievements this year include:

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Hyper-v 3.0
  • Latest release of Windows Azure
  • Windows 8
  • System Centre 2012 SP1 going RTM
  • Windows Phone 8
  • Windows Surface RT

Microsoft have released a video to remind us of the hard work they have been doing this year!

Excited about HP’s ‘Gen 8’servers?

I have always been a fan of HP’s server hardware and software so I have been to look at when their 8th generation ProLiant servers would have to offer and to see if HP’s claim of ‘HP ProLiant Gen8 servers are so intelligent, they virtually manage themselves’ is true.

HP’s proLiant server range is still the most popular x86 server out there it will be interesting to see if the changes this new model brings will be enough to keep it in the lead.


Solving common datacentre problems

HP claim there are two main reasons for hardware related human error downtime problems in the datacentre one of them being data corruption due to the removal of a working disk instead of a faulty one. To combat this problem HP have included a feature called Smart Drive whicnj will make it far easier to see which disk has gone down .

The second problem is bent pins and so they have come up with a solution for that to with a feature called Smart Socket, which is a new Xeon processor socket that HP developed with Intel to make sure that customers who add processors to ProLiant servers don’t bend the pins.

One of the new hardware features I am looking forward to seeing is the new SmartArray controllers which have now been optimised for use with solid state disks (will we start to see SSDs as common place drives in data centres soon?) these new controllers will also offer more secure 3 disk mirroring to keep your data nice and safe.

These are just a few of the 150 new features HP have said are included in the new range. There will be four ranges of the new Gen8 servers to take advantage of the 150+ new features HP have said will be included and these will be rolling out over the new couple of months according to John Gromala marketing director for ISSS division at HP.

The Gen8 ranges will replace the current ProLiant G7 range based on the Xeon 5500 and 5600 and Opteron 6100 and 6200 processors and will come in the ML (aimed at SME’s) and DL range (aimed at traditional data centre).


HP Proactive Support Services

HP have built a new cloud based portal ‘HP Insight Online’ ( that will give HP’s customers  and support staff (including HP partners) insight into what is happening with your servers and will allow HP’s support  staff to very quickly diagnose and repair any issues with your new Gen8 server (HP claim you will be able receive 40% + faster resolutions to your problems). Insight Online will be used to spot and fix potential trouble areas before they cause problems.


New look servers

For people who like their data centres looking top notch HP have upgraded the look of their Gen8 servers which now sport a brushed metal look with cool looking air vents.

 See HP’s Gen8 launch video here >>