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My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
I wrote this original post over 2 years ago when I first had to build a set of HP blades in a c7000 chassis, having just taken delivery of another c7000 I had hoped that technology in the onboard administrator (OA) modules had progressed a bit further than it has.
For some reason they still only have 100Mb/s on board NICs, despite all other parts of this chassis using the all-singing and dancing Flex10 10Gb technology.
iLo/OA NIC Settings
Blade Chassis Interconnect Bays – high speed goodness
Whilst I realise PXE and Altiris etc. are the preferred method for building out large numbers of blades, it doesn’t work for everyone and particularly when it’s the 1st chassis in a Greenfield environment you need to get an OS on a blade before you can even start to setup a PXE server – Windows 2003 over iLo takes about 4 hours to install, 2008 is even worse – or have someone use a USB attached CD to install the 1st blade an OS physically in the DC.
I accept that the iLo is for out of band, emergency type access where the blade OS isn’t accessible – but in my experience there are a large number of scenarios where you need to use tools that boot from DVD/CD .ISO images in a hurry like data recovery, forensic analysis, bare-metal OS restore tools, P2V tools etc. and 100Mb/s just doesn’t cut it these days.
Also if you work in a secured environment then getting clearance to run great and useful tools like DHCP/PXE on networks that could be routed to/from outside the DC is hard, sometimes virtual .ISO media over an isolated and secured OoB network or a person on-site in the DC with physical media is the only acceptable method for moving data.
Gigabit networking is such a ubiquitous technology these days, and with the OA modules for a blade chassis costing around £1k GBP each (2 generally required for redundancy) you would think there is enough budget to go for Gigabit on-board and make the excellent virtual media features really usable in all scenarios
On the plus-side, they have a fancy new BIOS splash screen 🙂
…or is it just me?