As a wireless networking professional all of this talk about the edge relates directly to what my day-to-day business is. More than just a theme for HPE Discover 2018, the edge is where everyone is trying to bulk up their presence. Whether it’s computing, memory, processing power, or data collection, the edge continues to be the magical frontier.
In my world though, we’ve been on the edge for a while. Figuring out ways to make communications easier by facilitating handoffs and transitions across networks, collecting analytics and data using beacons and probes, and even trying to push firewall rules and access control down to as close to the user as possible. Now as the rest of the industry begins to follow suit, it’s as refreshing to be here as it is to be the person muted on a conference call when you know you’ve got what everyone wants and you’re just waiting for the right moment to lob that softball and win the big account.
HPE Becoming More Edgy?
From the dressed down attitude, the relaxed environment, and the incredible graphic design, HPE Discover although still a suit-fest for the most part, had a bit of a different tone this year.
Jeans replaced a few suits and dynamic use cases replaced deck presentations. It was a very cool change and I hope is the start of something that continues. It took some of the stuffiness out of the larger-than-life enterprise computing organization and began to make some of these amazing technology advancements actually relatable.
I’ve felt that what this show is missing is that connection where you can take something off of the show floor and figure out how to make it work for you. It always seemed like it was akin to Fashion Week in New York; You see all this amazing couture walking down the runway, but it’s nothing that you would ever actually wear on the street. This year at Discover, it was definitely more down to earth and appreciated.
More than just cool-factor under the hood
Although I have gone on and on about the amazing graphic design & the work of the marketing teams and the laissez-faire attitudes on social media, the core business side of HPE is still there and as pressed and steamed as ever. Not in a bad way though, more of a hardcore tech OG way, or as my 14 year-old daughter would say, legit.
There were sessions that dug right down to the bone of being a nerd. From the wide-angle views of the Future Now session with the Atlantic to the discussion about quantum computing, to the work that’s being done by HPE labs on The Machine (even some RF showcases from HPE Labs team that was totally in a silo apart from Aruba), HPE seems to be continuing the legacy of developing amazing products that transform technology and the computing industry. This is what I love about Discover. This is what I love about seeing the entire ecosystem in one room, at one time, relational technology functioning like a well oiled machine.
As a wireless solutions architect, my world usually consists of access points, controllers, and the occasional switch or device that I get to plug into. No matter how wide and exciting I think my world is, perspective is incredible. At shows like Discover, I get to see how small but absolutely imperative my role in the workplace and overall Enterprise and computing environment is. While it can be quite humbling at times and almost feel overlooked to some extent, it can also show us how we can facilitate the transactions that so many other devices in the network rely on.
Living on the Edge
As an overall view of HPE Discover, it would look like they are betting big and heavy on the edge. Not just participating, but taking it over. From the memory driven compute products that can crunch a ridiculous amount of data in no time to the ways they are getting relevant data where it needs to be as quickly and accurately as possible so it can become usable, it seemed to be this great thread that stitched together the show. Everyone seemed to be in-step with how they were solving these problems and making their solutions available to customers.
Special thank you’s to Mr Neri for the basket of snacks and Becca and Laura for taking care of us and facilitating the trip! You guys sure know how to treat bloggers!
To Mark and the team at HPE Labs, keep doing amazing things!!
And to my new friend Beena who was incredible to spend time with and have my mind expanded about the future of AI and how critical humans are in it, thanks for hanging out!!
Side note: The Marketing and Design
One of the things that this event did spectacularly well was the imaging, branding, B-roll, and visual graphic design elements that went into it. This was hands-down one of the best looking shows I’ve had the ability to go to. I don’t know who is responsible for it, but whoever did this design did a tremendously wonderful job.
I have one bone to pick: there were no IT Monster plush animal or swag. That was a huge misfire, that thing is amazing. I hope to see one soon!
Disclaimer, disclosure, please note:
HPE gifted the access and trip to the HPE Discover event to me as an independent blogger. While under no obligation to report on it or what it was like, it’s my please to share what I do and don’t like about the event.