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Displaying articles for: January 2010

BladeSystem Firmware Release Set 2010.01 is now available

BladeSystem Firmware Release Set 2010.01 is now available

On 1/26 the blade firmware compatibility chart was updated with information on the first Firmware Release Set www.hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates . The info below explains the new Firmware Release Set test stack and support changes.  There will also be a Customer Advistory and Engineering Advisory which will be live 1/26.


The 2010.10 release set does not include BladeSystem Matrix, Integrity blades, or workstation blades.  Unique links to firmware for these products will also be posted on the compatibility page.


Background info

HP BladeSystem is making it easier to acquire, maintain, and get support for the full range of firmware components. HP customers can now upgrade firmware for HP BladeSystem components with a single HP c-Class Firmware Release Set.  HP c-Class Firmware Release Sets are composed of individual HP BladeSystem firmware components that have been tested and verified together in an integrated BladeSystem environment.  The following HP BladeSystem firmware components are included in the HP BladeSystem c-Class Firmware Release Set:

·    Onboard Administrator (OA)

·    Insight Lights-Out (iLO)

·    Virtual Connect (VC)

·    Power Management Controller

·    BladeSystem Server System ROM

·    NIC

·    Storage

Adopting a standard of regularly scheduled Firmware Release Sets will simplify the firmware and upgrade support model.  When contacting HP Call Center Support, the HP Support Representative will only require that the customer has the latest Firmware Release Set or one of the two previous Firmware Sets installed.

Firmware Release Sets are easy to identify because they are based on the month and year of the publish date. For example, the initial January 2010 Firmware Release Set will be labeled 2010.01.

Individual firmware components will continue to be updated between regularly scheduled Firmware Release Sets. These individual firmware component releases will be tested with the most current Firmware Release Set and will be incorporated into the next scheduled Firmware Release Set.  Release Notes for the individual firmware components have been enhanced to include information regarding the criticality of the individual firmware component upgrade. The severity levels in the Release Notes make it easy to decide whether to upgrade the individual firmware component or wait until the next scheduled Firmware Release Set is available. The following severity levels are included in the firmware Release Notes under the Update Requirements section:

  • Critical: HP requires users to update to this firmware version immediately.

  • Recommended: HP recommends that users should update to this firmware version at their earliest convenience.

Optional: Users should update to this firmware version if their system is affected by one of the documented fixes or if there is a desire to utilize any of the enhanced functionality provided by this version. 

Labels: BladeSystem

HP and Microsoft Ring in the New Year with Infrastructure-to-Application Innovation

By Scott Farrand

Complex data center infrastructures are heightening risks for many organizations, who are struggling with constantly evolving technologies and computing methods. With increasingly heterogeneity, growing virtualization across the data center to the desktop and rising demands for private clouds, organizations are often overwhelmed with their management requirements to keep IT under control. To address these concerns, the need for convergence solutions and simplified management will be stronger than ever this year – and a new year’s resolution for many CIOs. 

Significantly expanding on our 25-year Frontline Partnership, HP is working with Microsoft towards a shared vision of eliminating complexity within the data center to help organizations drive faster time to business value.  This is the most comprehensive technology alignment in the industry to date, through our unparalleled level of joint investment in engineering, integrated solutions and go-to-market support. The HP team is excited about the journey ahead with Microsoft and the ability to dramatically simplify the use of technology for customers. 

This $250 million agreement will enable HP and Microsoft customers to protect current technology investments, while enabling them to leverage next-generation application models that combine on-premise computing with cloud-based services.

As a result of this agreement, the more than 32,000 HP and Microsoft Frontline Partners will benefit from increased business opportunities through a combination of infrastructure and application packages as well as services.  The HP and Microsoft Frontline Partnership is based on rigorous focus to understand each other and the segments of the markets we address – which thereby allows us to better understand our customers and their IT challenges. We share long term strategic plans across businesses and regions and have built a shared view of our customers with a top to bottom commitment to offer them technologies at affordable prices that help them run their business.

Teaming up with Microsoft’s leading virtualization solution Hyper-V, HP is building on our converged infrastructure strategy by enabling customers to achieve a business-ready infrastructure that creates the foundation for cloud computing.  Our new integrated virtualization solutions will allow businesses to significantly improve server utilization, decrease implementation time and reduce network as well as cabling infrastructure costs. In addition, HP’s Insight Software and Business Technology Optimization solutions are deeply integrated with Microsoft’s System Center suite to offer heterogeneous data center management solutions for virtualization environments that improve administration productivity and simplify management.

For Microsoft Exchange customers, HP and Microsoft will deliver joint solutions based on HP’s converged infrastructure and deliver infrastructure optimized for Microsoft Exchange 2010.  These infrastructure solutions will drive higher levels of availability, performance and redundancy at a lower cost per mailbox. Combined with HP professional services, Exchange 2010 upgrades are further simplified with best practice methodology, tools and templates offered globally, speeding deployment while managing risk as well as reducing costs to our customers.

To help customers quickly access the information needed to make critical business decisions, HP will collaborate with Microsoft to develop a comprehensive portfolio of optimized data management solutions and appliances. Along with a full range of professional services, these solutions will ease implementation. Driving faster-time-to-application value, HP is also offering services for application modernization of large scale online transaction processing implementations as well as customized Business Intelligence services. Customers will be able to increase business flexibility and reduce technology costs more than ever before.

Through this alliance, HP will reduce risk and datacenter complexity in the delivery of virtualization, data management and application solutions to our customers. 

Labels: HP software

"If something doesn't exist, we'll make it"

Over the holidays, I took my daughter to see a movie about a Cajun frog.  I admit to a pang of jealousy as I passed crowds lined up for screenings of "Avatar". However, given my situation -- namely a 5-year-old clamoring for popcorn and a Princess movie -- I made the best choice for my needs.

It turns out those Avatar-watching throngs got to see the result of another best choice; one made by a group of IT experts in Miramar, New Zealand

Weta is an Academy Award-winning studio that did the digital effects for Avatar.  The imaginations at Weta Digital have created some incredible virtual realities. Jim Ericson from Information Management quotes Weta's Paul Gunn as explaining that 'if it's something that doesn't exist, we'll make it.'  Pretty amazing innovations coming from a relatively small place on the other side of the world from Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

In an article and blog, Jim sketches for us the 4000-server facility Weta used to render the VFX of the blockbuster.  One eye-opener: the final output from this behemoth server farm fits on a single hard drive.

Weta's space- and power-constrained facility uses advanced techniques like blades and water cooling.  Performance is a paramount need –so much so that their server clusters comprise seven of the world's 500 largest supercomputers.  But their workloads didn't just need massive scalability, they also required high bandwidth between individual server nodes, and relatively local storage.  

As Jim points out, they chose to build their infrastructure with HP BladeSystem, using the double-dense BL2x220c  server blade.  This very innovative, compact server (shown in the video below) let them achieve, in their words, 'greater processing density than anything else found on the market'. 

Actually, any engineer could stick 64 Intel® Xeon® processors into a 17-inch-high box and get it to run.   However, very few computer companies have the expertise -- and resources -- to make such a thing affordable and efficient, and to be able to warranty  that it will run without pause for 3+ years. 

Even more important: Weta possessed something relatively rare when they chose HP BladeSystem. They were already experts in bladed architectures.  Their prior infrastructure was based on IBM blade servers, so they already expected the space- and power-saving benefits of blades.   Weta was seeking  the best bladed architecture.  And Weta determined that, for them, HP BladeSystem was the best choice.

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  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • I am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
  • I work within EMEA HP Servers Central Team as a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA HP Server specific information. I also tweet @ServerSavvyElla
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  • WW responsibility for development of ROI and TCO tools for the entire ISS portfolio. Technical expertise with a financial spin to help IT show the business value of their projects.
  • I am a member of the HP BladeSystem Portfolio Marketing team, so my posts will focus on all things blades and blade infrastructure. Enjoy!
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • 20 years of marketing experience in semiconductors, networking and servers. Focused on HP BladeSystem networking supporting Virtual Connect, interconnects and network adapters.
  • Working with HP BladeSystem.
  • Greetings! I am on the HP Enterprise Group marketing team. Topics I am interested in include Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and Management, and HP BladeSystem.
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