Thank you for being here,
Today we'll continue with this Gen8 series meeting Edmond McGee, HP Worldwide Product Marketing Manager for the HP ProLiant BL420c Server Blade.
In this session of Coffee Coaching we are going to unveil this brand new offering in the HP blade portfolio and speak to some of its key features with you.
The BL420c Gen8 is the new entry level dual-socket half-height offering in the blade server portfolio, providing breakthrough server blade economics for essential enterprise workloads.
With enhanced features such as hot-plug drives providing high availability, smart array choices with increased RAID performance, an array of networking choices via FlexibleLOMs, increased memory and I/O speeds, and a 3/3/3 warranty, the BL420c Gen8 redefines the term "entry-level" in the blade market.
It spans everything from single applications and small deployments to essential enterprise workloads, making it ideal for mid-market and cost-sensitive enterprise customers.
The workloads we just mentioned can run under a wide variety of supported operating systems, including multiple versions of Microsoft Windows Server.
Let's go ahead and see what's new for this generation!
The BL420 will be replacing the BL280c G6 as our entry level offering.
What you can expect over the previous generation entry level offering is:
* Increased Core Support (up to 8 cores), utilizing the latest Intel® Xeon® E5-2400 Series Processors.
* High Availability via Hot-plug Drive support.
* An Enhanced Management Suite.
* A 3/3/3 warranty that you can expect across the board with 400 series blades.
* Choice of Smart Array Controller via a daughter card with improved RAID performance and support for 6G SAS/SATA.
* Choice of networking adapter via FlexibleLOM.
* Improved memory capacity and speed and new Advanced Mezzanine Slots providing increased bandwidth per slot.
So let's take a look at some of the features we just mentioned and then we'll go more in depth on each one:
* First you'll see this is a half-height 2 processor configuration with support for two hot-plug drive bays, supporting SAS/SATA/SSD, to a max of 2TB.
* We have a USB and MicroSD connector to support Microsoft Hyper-V.
* You'll find 12DIMMs, 6 per processor
* There is support for 2 different Storage Controllers.
The Dynamic Smart Array B320i is pictured to my right with the easy lift blue handle.
* You'll see the 1x8 and 1x16 PCIe Gen3 mezzanine slots.
The mezzanines obviously connect to the connectors but are actually secured to a mezzanine assembly for serviceability.
So for example, if you need to access the FlexibleLOM adapter, you simply follow the numbers and release the latch labeled #1, pull out the mezzanines altogether with the mezzanine assembly labeled #2, and access or replace the FlexibleLOM that simply pulls out by lifting up on the handle labeled #3. Easy as 1-2-3.
* The FlexibleLOM Adapter provides choice of the latest networking technologies.
* And last, but certainly not least, is the embedded management, HP iLO Managmenet Engine.
Let's go ahead and take a look at some of the features and enhancements of HP iLO this generation:
* Our new Intelligent Provisioning takes all of our strengths of products like SmartStart, PSPs and HP SUM, You can deploy quickly and don't need the hassle of searching for HP discs.
* With Agentless Management, you no longer need to install OS agents
* Now we move onto diagnostics and this is one of my favorite features. The Active Health System offers an always running diagnostics system, in order to facilitate faster root-cause analysis and problem resolution. It starts working the moment that a power cord and an Ethernet cable are connected to the enclosure.
* Lastly, we also offer faster access to HP Insight Remote Support, HP's 24-7 "phone home" remote support software.
All these functions are common across ALL ProLiant Gen8 platforms!
Next, we see the HP Smart Socket Guide. We think we'd all agree there's no need for the unnecessary downtime caused by bent processor pins. Guess what? You don't have to ever touch the processor again. You hold the blue sleeve that comes with the processor and slip it into the HP Smart Socket Guide that's on a spring hinge; you then push down and secure it into place. It allows for perfect alignment and eliminates user error.
HP SmartMemory provides double the capacity in BL420c Gen8 over the BL280c G6, 1600MHz speeds, 20% more throughput, and power efficiency without sacrifice to performance. We also provide 3 different choices: power saving, high performance, and low-cost options.
The HP Advanced Mezzanine Expansion slots on the BL420c Gen8 support the highest performing I/O cards now and into the future. You can expect two PCIe Gen3 expansion slots, a 1x8 and a 1x16, providing up to 400% the bandwidth per slot of a BL280c G6.
The HP FlexibleLOM provides the ability to customize server networking today and the ability to meet future needs without overhauling server hardware. It provides choice of bandwidth, fabric, and OEM partner so you get exactly what you want, whether it be 1GbE, 10GbE, 10Gb Flex-10, or 10Gb FlexFabric.
Moving onto storage. As mentioned earlier, you have the option of a higher performing storage controller or a more cost-optimized solution. Let's cover the higher performing option first: the HP Smart Array P220i. This is the same controller you will find on the BL460c Gen8. It comes standard with 512MB FBWC and can perform 3 times the I/O transactions per second over the the standard controller on the BL460c G7.
The cost-optimized solution has some of the same features as the P220i. Where it differs is that it is FW assisted HW RAID vs true HW RAID, it comes standard with no flash backed write cache, and supports only SATA RAID 0 and 1. SAS RAID 0 and 1 requires an optional license key. Pre-configured server models, however, do include this license key.
The HP SmartDrive provides better status indication through use of LED's to provide a visible backlight, an activity ring, an online/fault indicator, and a Do Not Remove LED. A common misconception is that a hot plug drive can be removed at any time, which is not the case.
We've covered a number of the features, functionality, and benefits of this blade server. To summarize, the HP ProLiant BL420c Gen8 is the entry level, dual-socket, half-height offering in the Gen8 blade server portfolio, designed for cost-optimized performance, high availability, and enterprise-level management. We definitely didn't hit on all the topics, so for a more in-depth look on some of the things I've covered in this session, please check out both the BL420c Gen8 materials on HP.com as well as some of the other Coffee Coaching videos on the latest HP ProLiant Gen8 features.
For more information, please visit: