Re: New IBM Blade enclosure or not?
>> Well, as Odyssey is still in the planning stages, it is difficult to determine what it is going to look in a few years. Nevertheless, the high point of Odyssey are that they are going to unify the Unix and x86 architectures in the same enclosure around a common chassis called HydraLynx.
It might just be in the planning stages, but there's enough publicly available material at their website to correct some of your errors...
HP already offer Unix and x86 in a common enclosure- it's called BladeSystem c7000, and you can put blades in it running Windows/Linux on x86 and HP-UX/OpenVMS on IA64. That's been in the marketplace as an offering for a good 5 years, just as IBM have offered Power and x86 in their BladeCenter H enclosure. If you think that is what Odyssey is, you are wrong.
The hardware side of Odyssey (ignoring the software/services and other components) is about:
i) Producing a "scalebale x86 blade" similar to the BL860/BL870/BL890 IA64 blades where you can grow an existing blade from a 2-socket to a 4-socket to an 8-socket blade by adding additional blade modules and then combining them together using a blade link. This is similar to what IBM do with their p5x0 components, except in a blade enclosure and without all those nasty/messy interconnect cables. This is HyrdaLynx.
ii) Producing a "x86 Superdome" - that isn't in the same BladeSystem c7000 chassis, but in a Superdome 2 blade enclosure which shares many components with the c7000, but is different in that it has a resilent compute fabric for interconnecting the blades and IO enclosures to create electrically isolated partitions, and deliver enhanced failure detection/correction on a level you see in Integrity and Power systems, but don't see in the x86 world right now (not in a Flex Chassis either). This is known as "DragonHawk" - if IBM were to do something similar, it would be more akin to a x86 version of the p795, not this Flex chassis.
>> Flex Manager combines a bunch of HP's software features in Superdome as well as bunch of other features that are currently additional licenses from HP, such as automated provisioning and build software and management through the VM layer.
A closer comparison is of course would be with BladeSystem/VirtualSystem/AppSystem/CloudSystem, which as I said previously have offered these sorts of capabilities for both Unix and x86 acrhitectures for a few years now. Any conversation about licenses is irrelevant without doing a full TCO compare, which I hope you will agree is outside the scope of a friendly discussion on a forum.
>> Flex Manager has HP Insight Manager and HP's x86 Analysis Engine functionality built in which is going to be part of these Odyssey systems.
I'd love to hear where you read that - if you talk to HP in any detail, they will tell you that the reason there isn't currently a x86 Analysis Engine similar to the one in the current Superdome 2 IA64 system, is because the x86 processors won't have the required features until the next iteration of the Xeon processor - so unless IBM have done a ton of firmware work here that they won't need in the next rev of their Xeon processors, I find that highly unlikely.