Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Latest Updates for BladeSystem and Management Tools

Apologies for the delay in updating the blog but it has been a busy month. I have been to the Worldwide BladeSystem Ambassador Academy in Houston, Texas and my head is busy trying to absorb all the new information I picked up there as well as deal with the backlog of work that I had waiting for me when I got back. So what's been happening this past month?

HP regains No.1 spot in Blades
Well I guess the biggest news from my point of view is that HP BladeSystem has finally recaptured No. 1 unit and revenue market share from IBM in the blade server market. It has taken us 10 Quarters but it has been on the cards ever since cClass was launched given the huge demand we have experienced and massive adoption of BladeSystem worldwide. Since cClass was launched HP has outpaced the market every quarter and according to IDC now holds 41.9% Revenue Share and 40% total Factory Units Share and has 10 times the growth of IBM in units and revenue year over year.

Anyway enough crowing what developments have there been in ProLiant and BladeSystem in the past few weeks.

New firmware available for Onboard Administrator
Version 1.3 of the OA is now available for download with some tweaks and fine tuning of the power utilisation and also implements zoned cooling in the cClass which further increases the cClass power and cooling efficiencies. One case of note was at a bank in the UK who upgraded the OA to version 1.3 and for their specific configuration with a full blade enclosure saw a 10% decrease in total enclosure power draw (300W). By implementing zoned cooling we now dynamically increase and decrease the RPMs of the fans in 4 zones. We increase the RPMs of the fans in that zone which require extra cooling whereas prior to 1.3 all fans would have increased.

SIM Updates
Systems Insight Manager 5.1 is now available and includes some nice new features (48 in fact but I will spare you and just point out the highlights) inc. Active Directory synchronization: integrates with group lists and authorization as an active directory resource group; Ease of use enhancements: quicker installation and easier configuration make HP SIM 5.1 easier to use than ever before; Improved enclosure views: enhanced view shows health status, environment information, and firmware revisions in life-like detail and a Custom tool wizard: allows you to easily integrate your programs, scripts and custom commands into HP SIM.

The best feature IMO which before was a stand alone product but is now a core feature of SIM is the Remote Support pack. The HP Services Essentials Remote Support Pack integrates with HP SIM to improve warranty and contracts management, provide optional automated support calls to HP, and add intelligent events and advanced troubleshooting resources. When the Remote Support Pack is fully installed, turning on remote monitoring for any particular device is then just one-click away within HP SIM. Enabling the Remote Support Pack will also give customers access to the new warranty and contract entitlement feature in HP SIM 5.1. For further information visit