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Master ASE Perspectives: AMS HPE Master ASE Conference

SarahA

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Hi, I'm David Ashby, a solutions architect with Technologent and an HPE Master ASE for Storage; an ASE for servers; a Cloud/Datacenter ASE; with certifications also in Superdome, OneView, and Synergy. I've worked with HPE products for much of my life, typically in commercial and large enterprise customers.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the HPE Master ASE Conference in Colorado Springs, CO. This is an annual week-long conference, attended by around 100 avid solutions architects and/or implementation experts in the storage arena who need to not only know Hewlett Packard Enterprise Storage products, but also the theory behind the products, such as different storage technologies (block, file, object); backup and restore; snapshots; replication; deduplication and compression; flash; protocols; connectivity, etc.

This was my fourth year attending, and every year I walk away with more knowledge, new and renewed friendships, and an increased appreciation for my colleagues' experience and expertise. What a great group! I would encourage everyone who is a Master ASE and who has an opportunity to attend to try to make it next year. You won't regret it.

To give you an idea of the flow of the event, here's how things unfolded:

Day 1Fire side chatsFire side chats

I fly into CO Springs airport on Saturday from Dallas and shuttle to the hotel -- the beautiful Cheyenne Mountain Resort (CMR). The facilities are amazing with a cozy lodge, heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi, massive modern fitness center, indoor tennis courts, well-kept grounds, and comfortable rooms.

 

Fun and gamesFun and games

 

 

 

HPE welcomes everyone for a fun reception with food and some competitive games and activities before we turn in for the night.

 AwardsAwards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Team building activitiesTeam building activities

Day 2

It's Sunday, and I get an early start with the CMR breakfast buffet, which offers one of the most extensive spreads I've ever experienced for breakfast. I already know I'm going to gain a couple of pounds.

HPE has given us a free day while offering up an optional teambuilding activity. Every year HPE comes up with something fun that allows us to relax and better get to know our comrades. In previous years it has been dogsledding or snowmobiling; but this year in was similar to a search and rescue mission, where we earn team points for finding things by GPS and engaging in team challenges.
Team building activitesTeam building activites

  

 

Lots of fun! Our team – “Low Expectations, High Achievers” -- fails to win first place, but fortunately did not end up in last place, either. However, as my son says, even second place is the “first loser.” So I guess we are the fourth loser. We manage to overcome our loss with a special dinner that night at a local Irish Pub.

 

 

 

General SessionGeneral SessionDay 3

We kick off the technical training this morning with a welcome and then keynotes on the latest 3Par (StorServe), Synergy composable infrastructure, and Aruba campus switching developments.

Evening RecptionEvening RecptionHPE seems well-positioned to compete on the edge and in the datacenter. The afternoon sessions feature presentations focused on fibre channel infrastructure, with Brocade and Qlogic. Gen6 is here! 32Gb is real. Fibre channel is growing, not dying. Brocade's FabricWatch allows end-to-end performance monitoring. Qlogic has some nice new NICs with full-featured networking functions. We also hear from Suse about its tighter relationship with HPE now that HPE's software portfolio and Suse are both part of the MicroFocus spin-merge. Mental note: Suse's Ceph offering is definitely worth checking out. We finish out the day with a vendor expo and prize drawings, but I, unfortunately, don't win anything this year. I’m tired of losing at this point.
LabsLabs

 

Day 4

After another breakfast buffet, we start the day with keynote updates on the MSA and SV3200 lines; architecting workloads for databases; and RMC data protection for Oracle and SQL. HPE has low-end storage well-covered. As for databases, performance is always key, and 3Par delivers. As with any storage, though, performance estimates can vary wildly without careful consideration of the customer's requirements, and we learn what impact things like block size, mixed workloads, etc., can have on overall performance.

Sometimes, backup time can be the most painful performance problem, causing unacceptable RTO/RPO times. HPE's RMC is really amazing for large databases, backing them up in a matter of seconds or minutes. 

 

In the afternoon of Day 4, we begin hands-on labs for Synergy, the StoreVirtual 3200, 3Par File Persona, and 3Par Space Efficiency. It’s helpful to get my hands dirty and see how these new products and features can be implemented and optimized

 

 

Hands-on labsHands-on labsDay 5

In the morning, we dig a little deeper into storage networking and begin to focus on some newer technologies making their way into the datacenter, such as containers. HPE is container-ready with 3Par. Docker has some interesting storage options, and 3Par can offer customers both ephemeral and persistent storage. 

The afternoon of Day 5 brings more opportunities for hands-on labs, with RMC-S (SQL), 3Par Containers, Aruba, and RMC-V (virtualized). And if we don’t get enough lab time in the afternoon, HPE opens the labs in the evening, too. OK, I’ll confess that I take the night off to eat dinner with a friend in Colorado Springs.

 

Day 6

This morning, the keynote speakers focus on object storage. For some of the audience, object storage has been somewhat mysterious, but HPE clearly explains the differences between object and file storage, as well as going into which use cases make sense. I find these use case scenarios really helpful. We then transition into some sessions we choose based on our interests. The options are wide-ranging, but I focus on CloudSystem, VDI, 3Par sizing, and software-defined storage. That night, HPE treats us to a fine steak dinner and libations at The Famous, a top local steakhouse. Wow, I'm tired by now; we’ve been here almost an entire week!

Day 7

After my final breakfast buffet of the event, we conclude with a couple more keynotes, including a discussion on storage industry trends. It’s fascinating to learn of the many technologies HPE and its partners are working on and get an idea of when they might come to fruition. It's almost a bit scary to think of the performance we might see commonplace in a couple years with persistent storage, NVMe, 3D Crosspoint, Memristor, and other emerging technologies. After the keynotes, we say our goodbyes to all the new friends we made during the week and all the old friends from years back with whom we have been able to reconnect. It has been a long but useful and informative week, into which HPE has invested a huge amount of effort to make it valuable for us.

Thanks, HPE, for a great event. And if you’re reading this blog post, I hope to see you next year!

 


David AshbyDavid Ashby

 Meet David Ashby, Master ASE and Solution Architect at Technologent.

  • Master ASE
  • Master ASE Conference
  • Master ASE Perspectives
About the Author

SarahA

I’ve been in marketing in high-tech for 15+ years. With HPE now for 6; prior I managed social and marketing communications for an inflight Internet company. I love telling stories about our customers and partners. I'm excited to do that here for Partner Ready Certification and Learning.

Comments
Stefano Colombo

Is this event by invitation only ?

I'm a storage and network MASE and Server ase but never knew about this event 

 

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