HP: Bob McEwan, ‘Towards the Machine’


Biography: Bob McEwan EMEA EG Consulting Manager/Chief Technologist HP

Bob McEwan is a Presales Manager within HP’s Enterprise Group and is responsible for developing the Telesales Presales organisation in EMEA, as well as supporting an initiative to improve the total customer experience. In this role, which he started in May, 2014, Bob has been tasked with developing a support organisation to work with Telesales in the three EMEA hubs in Erskine, Barcelona and Prague.

The new hubs will benefit from Bob’s experience leading and developing large teams. Prior to his current role Bob was the Presales Manager and Chief Technologist for the UK & Ireland Enterprise Group, a group of over 80 highly skilled technology consultants. He has been with HP for over twenty years, joining through the Tandem and Compaq acquisitions.

As well as acknowledged leadership and management skills Bob has extensive knowledge of HP’s technologies including NonStop, Unix and Windows-based servers as well as a range of Storage and Networking infrastructures. He has presented at a number of Cloud events on behalf of HP and its partners. He has also spoken at non-IT events as an informative public speaker on technology directions.

Bob works with his team to identify the best options for HP’s customer base as the industry continues to evolve and develop. He covers multiple areas ranging from Strategy discussions to Cloud implementation, taking into account changing demographics, customer needs, and technology changes. Bob has a degree in Computer Science from Heriot-Watt University.

Guru Lecture: ‘Towards The Machine’

The Machine takes a different approach to data centre architecture. Realizing that most computers spend up to 80 percent of their time on tasks to manage the environment, not to perform the task at hand, The Machine just gets rid of these tasks making computers increasingly effective. How do they do that? Well, in current environments, two key tasks are taking the majority of the effort. On one hand, instructions and data keep being shuffled between persistent storage, memory and cache.

Things keep going up and down all the time through these layers. And in that process we go through multiple communication busses, each managed by their own software stack. What if we get rid of them? On the other hand, the second task consists in all the systems we have developed to be able to use the capacity of our current CPUs efficiently.

These include virtualization layers, multi-tasking, and etc. Again, what if we can get rid of those? A software-defined approach with a new OS (dubbed TheOS) will be required to make the machine achieve all its objectives. HP started work on The Machine two years ago, when Martin Fink became CTO and head of HP Labs. He took a look at the components that HP Labs was working on — memristors, silicon photonics — and six months later he decided that it was time to pitch The Machine to HP CEO Meg Whitman.

At the presentation, Fink said he expected 75% of HP Labs personnel to be dedicated to work on The Machine.

Additional Resources for Students: (Reading, Books, Papers, Online Resources) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzbMSR9vA-c&feature=youtu.be