By Doug Hascall (Firmware Engineering Manager, Integrated Lights-Out)
Today, Integrated Lights-Out 3 (iLO 3) makes its big public debut. This is a huge step forward in iLO technology. The ASIC and firmware teams worked many long hours to bring iLO 3 to completion. It is my opinion that one of the strengths of the iLO product is that HP builds both the ASIC hardware and the firmware ourselves. The ASIC architects and the firmware architects work together and collaboratively build a great product. Because our firmware engineers are able to work side-by-side with the ASIC engineers, we can create highly-optimized and industry-leading features like the Integrated Remote Console and Sea of Sensors. Our iLO firmware has the advantage of running on a custom-designed ASIC that is specifically made to be the perfect management processor for ProLiant.
The new iLO 3 ASIC features more horsepower for our firmware to exploit. Both the original iLO and iLO 2 used the same 66 MHz RISC CPU. I'm frequently amazed at how much functionality we squeezed out of those 66 MHz! Now, with iLO 3, we have a 250 MHz ARM 9 core, DDR memory, PCI Express and USB 2.0 interfaces. Just wait until our customers see what we can do with three times the horsepower.
With iLO 3 we have a Remote Console this is eight times faster than iLO 2 and Virtual Media that is more than three times faster. Turbo-charged performance is one of the marketing talking points of iLO 3. The Integrated Remote Console (IRC) for Windows is completely redesigned. It uses DirectX for video rendering and is based on a .NET Framework. One of the coolest features of the new IRC is how it can scale down the remote console screen to be as small as a thumbnail or stretch it across two physical monitors. Let's see the competition do that with a little Java applet! Also with iLO 3, is a new look and feel to the web-based user interface. The iLO 3 GUI is based on Java Script Object Notation (JSON); it looks awesome and performs fantastic on a wide variety of web browsers.
We have been working on the iLO 3 ASIC and firmware for over three years. I hope our customers agree that it is worth the wait. To me, the only word to describe it is "awesome". I'm very proud of all the engineers at HP who worked tirelessly to make this happen.