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The Composable infrastructure interactive challenge – how do I win?

Chris Purcell

Technology is changing rapidly, and I for one am constantly challenged to understand what’s changing. Once understood, I seek to apply that change or changes into what I do every day. Sound familiar?

I had the opportunity to attend HPE Discover earlier in June, and although I had responsibilities to work at the event, I did get a chance to wander throughout the show floor and look for things that were appealing…of which there were many.

One example of this was the HPE Composable Infrastructure interactive challenge that I found very enlightening.

Guy.jpgAt trade events, you traditionally are faced with many demos and demo staffers; you talk, you listen and in my case, I take notes so I can reference the demos later. But what I liked most about this interactive challenge was that I could get hands-on experience using an intuitive software interface that was both educational and fun.

Here’s how it worked: I was presented with 5 different Composable Infrastructure use cases that the staffers turned into a race for me to complete with others. The first thing that went through my mind was, “Hold on…what do I know about Composable Infrastructure…and how can I complete this task correctly?” And then, to make things worse, I was racing against others at the same time….Hmmm…I think I was being set up to fail.

The available scenarios (or races) centered around HPE OneView 3.0 and Hyper Converged 380  powered by Intel®. Each walked you through how to do different tasks in the user interface e.g., setting up VMs or resolving issues in HPE OneView. What I liked about this challenge was that the scenario was clearly set up and that I had a basic understanding of what I needed to do to solve the problem. The five challenges included:

  • Creating a server profile template with HPE OneView
  • Deploying a server using a server profile with HPE OneView
  • Creating and powering on new VMs with HPE Hyper Converged 380
  • Getting VM placement guidance with HPE Cloud Optimizer
  • Deploying VMware hosts from vCenter with HPE OneView

I opted for “Creating and powering on new VMs with HPE Hyper Converged 380”, thinking it would be valuable to understand. I know this process traditionally takes time to complete…but with the Hyper Converged 380, it now can be completed quickly. Well, at least that’s what Subbu Mahadevan (the HPE staffer I spoke with) told me. “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines,” the Subbu announced. And before I knew it, we were off! I was racing against the clock and against four other contestants who were lined up beside me. As the challenge started, I was presented with different questions that I had to answer, which then opened up another set of options depending on my answers. On questions I didn’t know, I hit the help button, and it prompted me with simpler choices that provided me with the right answer. I could have gone slower, and I think I could have done better with some of the answers I selected, but I was racing against others--so I went as quickly as I could.

What really impressed me about the interface was how intuitive it was, and where I made errors, it helped me correct my answers. And in my case, it helped me complete the task and finish the race.

The results? I came in second place, with my colleague Diana Zavala beating me by 0.5 of a second…not too shabby overall for a beginner. But in all seriousness, it was really a very cool experience and a fun way to learn something new. I did go back and try out some of the other challenges, which I found to be just as intuitive and simple to complete.

So you may be wondering what I won in the Composable interactive challenge? Believe it or not, my 2nd place score was good enough to stay on the leader board throughout the day, and I was awarded with a wireless mouse for my efforts!

After getting back into the office, I went online to see if the challenges had been posted, but could not find the ones used at HPE Discover. But I did find this Hyper Converged 380 demo, which was more or less the same as the first challenge I took for creating and powering on a VM. Check it out and see if you can create and power on a VM in 5 clicks…yes, it really is that simple. Ping me back, and let me know how you got on.


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About the Author

Chris Purcell

Composable Infrastructure, Integrated and Multi-Cloud management, Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Cloud